.XXX Domains Get Their Own Search Engine

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A recent email sent out by ICM Registry announced next week's launch of a new search engine “dedicated to developed .XXX websites and .XXX content." The purpose is apparently to help bring real value to these unique domain extensions by providing users with “highly relevant search results” that give the domain owners additional traffic for no extra cost.

This search engine, conveniently named Search.xxx, will only crawl .XXX sites that already feature developed content, so sites that are hosted at a parked service provider won’t be included in the searches. Any .XXX website that can be found in a user’s browser can also be found by ICM’s search engine, but since it specifically looks at that particular domain extension, if any content links to a site or sites with other TLDs, the crawler will stop following it.

The crawler will also respect the robots.txt file, which can be used to restrict access to a site, and if a .XXX domain is forwarded to another domain, the search engine will continue to follow the search results of the URL, if it is being masked. Otherwise, the site will only be crawled if it ends with a .XXX domain. And, if an owner uses multiple domains (including other TLDs) for the same site, they must make sure that their relative links within the site allow the crawler to navigate through them.

Among the many factors that play a role in adding to the relevance of a site’s search rankings are the appearance of the search term in the domain name, header, title, URL and page content. It will also look at the number of words on a page that describe the content, particularly if it’s an image or video, so the more words, the better. Relevancy will also change over time if a site sees an increase in inbound links.

For now, this is the only dedicated search engine for one of the new GTLDs registered with ICANN, but it could have important ramifications for all of them if it turns out to be a success. It is very likely that we could, and maybe even should, see owners of various new GTLDs (such as .house, .dog or .doctor) build their own search engine within the extension. In this sense, Search.xxx may be the most important experiment taking place in this whole GTLD fiasco, especially as we learn more about how Google and other search engines are going to index sites with these new domain extensions.

Those .XXX domain owners who don’t want to be listed on Search.xxx are able to opt-out by simply sending an email to ICM Registry’s support services.

 

 

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1 comment

09-20-2012 7:39 AM

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