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Do GeoTLDs like .alsace have an effect on local SEO?

Home > Observatory and resources > Expert papers > Do GeoTLDs like .alsace have an effect on local SEO?

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Do the new gTLDs perform well in Google? Do GeoTLDs like .alsace have an SEO effect locally?

Olivier Andrieu of, SEO guru in French-speaking countries, delivers his analysis in a detailed report, based on the results of the SEO contest organized by the .alsace GeoTLD.

The contest was won, for the second year in a row, by an independent participant who’s a fan of SEO and devOps by profession: Nicolas Hug.

The first and second runner-ups are, respectively, the 2exVia web agency and the Inéolab SEO agency.

The key word this year was “argentoratum”, the Roman name for Strasbourg. Nicolas developed an optimization and linking strategy that bore fruit throughout the contest. He easily avoided the trap at mid-contest: the competitors had to start the competition with a .fr domain name and then migrate the site to a domain under the .alsace GeoTLD.

The performance of the competition websites and and the .alsace GeoTLD was polled with two key words: that of the “argentoratum” contest and a variant with the geographical indication “argentoratum alsace”; and, of course, according to various criteria: terminal (PC and smartphone), geolocation (Strasbourg, Paris, London, Munich, etc.), language (French, German, English), search engine version (, .de , .com,, etc.)

The first finding is consistent with the position, repeated many times, of and by Google, and similar to the results of the previous analysis in 2016 on the first SEO contest held by the .alsace gTLD: .alsace is as effective as the .com and visible worldwide, whatever the medium, the engine, or the language … A statement that will not surprise some but reassure others. Urban myths die hard.

The second observation is that, for the moment, there is no local effect or “bonus” for the .alsace for Internet users identified geographically as being located in Alsace. The results are the same whether the user is located in Paris, Marseille or Strasbourg for the same engine configuration and language.

The feature of interest in this case, however, and which was not visible in the 2016 report, is the difference in the results between the two queries of “argentoratum” and “argentoratum alsace”: in a virtually systematic manner, there are more sites under .alsace on the first page of Google results for a search containing the word “alsace” than for the query “argentoratum” alone. Note that the websites in the contest were optimized for the word “argentoratum” and not “alsace”. Occurrences on the latter term were low in the results.

Is .alsace better taken into account by Google for this type of geolocated query?

Is this a tangible result of the algorithm for the opening made by Google to GeoTLDs in the search engine’s official French blog in July 2015?

As a geoTLD, we hope this is the case, believe it to be the case, and take this development as the first step towards a better local performance of GeoTLDs.

We invite you to read the report by Olivier Andrieu and form your own opinion:

SEO Alsace

Download the Analysis of the results of the SEO contest Argentotarum (PDF – 1200 Ko)