The domain extension or TLD (top-level domain) as it is sometimes referred to, is the small section at the end of an internet address. The most popular and recognizable domain extension to this day is of course the .com domain extension.
But which domain extension is the best choice for your website or blog? Which domain extension is best for SEO? And should you consider considering a country-specific domain?
Domain name extensions – What you need to know
For quite some time there have been disagreements as to whether or not a specific domain extension has a better or worse effect on a website in terms of SEO and how well the site will rank in the search engines as a result. There are many people that still believe that in order to have the best chance of success online, then you must have either a dot com, net or dot org domain name.
There are many people that claim that in terms of SEO, the dot com is the most powerful, followed by the dot net and then dot org extensions. At some stage in the past there may have been some truth in this statement, but today things are rather different. One of the things that we are going to be looking at right here, is why this statement is just a myth now.
In order to understand which domain extension is best for your blog or website, it is important to understand a little bit about how the search engines work.
How Search Works in relation to the domain name
Search engines like Google and Bing are constantly changing the way that they deliver search results to the public. The main goal of the search engine is to present the right information to the right people. This means that they need to look at many different factors in order to determine where we rank within the search results and who gets to see us.
In order to decide where you will appear in the search results, Google looks for clues within your domain name, the descriptions that you give to your web pages and most importantly the content within your site.
The search engines use an algorithm to quickly scan the pages on your site, checking hundreds of factors that build up a picture of how relevant your site is and where it should show up within the search results. Your domain name is just one factor.
Which domain extension is best for SEO?
Although some people will still disagree with me, there is not one single domain extension that is better than any other. In fact, Google has confirmed that they do not consider any type of domain to be better in terms of SEO. The only time when the domain extension will play a very small part in terms of SEO is when the domain extension is a local one, like .co.UK for the UK or .us for the United States.
Country Domain Extensions
Do you want your website or blog to target a specific location rather than targeting a worldwide audience? If so then perhaps you should consider using specific country domain extensions. As we have already said, the search engines will look for clues as to what and where you are targeting within your domain name and content.
Whilst using a country-specific domain name extension will not ensure that you rank well for that given location, it will give the search engine an indication that it’s your aim to serve viewers in that area.
So does this mean that websites with country domain extensions rank better locally? No, it doesn’t. You could have two shops in New Zealand, one called “PetesPetShop.NZ” and one called “mikespetshop.com” and neither one would be better than the other in terms of SEO. Where these websites show up within the search results would depend mainly on the content within the website, but also on lots of other ranking factors. Google will take the location of the business into consideration as a ranking factor if it deems it necessary and will present local results to local searchers, regardless of the domain extension.
Which Domain Extension Should I Use For My Site/Blog?
There are a few things that you need to think about when choosing a domain. It’s true that a lot of people will naturally search for a .com domain if typing in the URL of a business. However, most people are now aware that there are tons of different domain extensions and the best way to get good information is just to use a search engine. There is hardly any benefit to choosing a domain or its extension for SEO purposes as we have said and there is barley and value in choosing a domain based on it is available under a country domain extension.
So what about branding? A dot com or dot net domain can look very professional but with the volume of websites being created every day, it’s sometime very difficult to get the domain name that you want.
There are now new domain extensions that help not only with the problem of not being able to find the right domain name but also with finding yourself a “brand”.
New Domain Extensions
There are now hundreds of new domain extensions that are available for public use. Some are specific to certain niches or local areas, whilst others have much broader use. One of the great benefits of these new domain extensions is that we can finally purchase a name that otherwise would not be available to us. At this website, we have used a .zone domain extension as part of the name for our website: www.MakeMoneyOnline.Zone
There is a growing list of new domain extensions that are being added to constantly. You can check out the list of new domain extensions at Godaddy.
How Will Google Treat The New Domain Extensions?
As we have already covered, there is no real SEO benefit to choosing one domain extension over another. What will determine the success of your website is the content within. Again Google have confirmed this to be the case.
Conclusion – Which Domain Extension Should You Choose?
When choosing your domain name and extension there are a few things to consider. Do you want your website to be a brand or a name that people will recognize? Perhaps one of the new domain extensions could help you get the name that you want? Do you want your website to be specifically for people in a certain part of the world? If so, you might want to consider a country domain extension.
You should however avoid purchasing a domain name just because the name is available under a country-specific extension. Buying a dot “NZ” domain might be confusing for people if you are targeting buyers in the UK for example.
Most importantly, don’t buy a dot com, net or dot org domain just because you think it will do better within the search engines. It won’t!
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For google seo, I think the best domain extension is .xyz domain because its a real generic domain extension.
.xyz is a good generic domain extension, but then there are tons of options these days. And although people will argue forever about which domain is best for SEO, as far as we are aware every domain extension is now equal. There was a time when everyone said .com’s were better than anything else, some people still do. But the fact is, content is what gets the rankings, not the domain name or extension.
Thanks for sharing your opinion with us.
When creating my website I never knew which was the best domain name to choose. I wish I had read this article before! I ended up choosing a .com to be on the safe side. It is interesting however, to hear about all these new domains that are coming about. Very true about people becoming more aware of theses domains, making the importance of a .com much less. Great article!
Hi Harry. It’s very true, the dot com is still the most popular domain because it’s the most common. However, there is absolutely no reason to make do with a second rate dot com domain name that you aren’t that keen on. Regardless of what some people still believe, dot coms do not rank any better or worse than any others within the search engines. Dot com sites may have had an SEO advantage a couple of years ago, but not now. Thanks for posting your thoughts on this article Harry.
Renee Townsend says
I’m big into dot com domain extensions, simply because that’s natural for most users. I’ve found users mistaken the url of companies who’ve chosen to use a non dot com extension. For example, fasfa (dot) gov is the official domain for students to apply for financial aid. Until recently, fasfa (dot) com was reeling students in and charging them for services that are free at fasfa (dot) gov. Individuals would unknowing give out their private information to fasfa (dot) com, which is horrifying.
As such, I tend to recommend people pick up not only the dot com but also other domain extensions which might be available, just to protect their name. But like you mentioned, it’s often hard to find good dot com names these days.
Hi there, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. You make a very good point here, people do tend to think of .com before anything else, it’s the most commonly used domain extension. I totally agree that you should probably purchase other domain extensions if it is going to cause any confusion or loss of business in the future. However the majority of people that are buying domain names for blogging or making money online through affiliate marketing and that sort of thing need not worry about this in most cases. The average small business owner or blogger will get very little traffic from people typing in their URL and will get most of it from the search engines or paid traffic. The average internet surfer doesn’t tend to remember many individual websites and simply relies on search engines to fetch information for them, it kind of makes the URL and its extension irrelevant almost.
It would be great if we could all have the .com domain that we wanted, but that’s not going to happen. I agree with you that in an ideal world the .com should be one of the first considerations, but .com’s are becoming harder to find now, especially good ones.
Very informational on the domain name. I always like the .com or .net. I have not seen any major website using the other TLD. I am not sure about other country but in Singapore, where I am located, I tried registering a .sg but was not allow unless I have a registered business.
Thank you Vincent. I think the main reason that you have not yet seen major websites using the new TLD’s is simply down to the fact that they are new. When you consider the fact that it can take about a year to get established as a domain, there is no wonder that we aren’t seeing too many around yet. But believe me, I expect you will start to see more and more new domains coming onto the scene in the next couple of years. The new domain extensions are treat in the same way as any other in terms of SEO.
As for the .sg domain extension, I know exactly what you mean. It’s the same with .uk extensions. Its quite annoying really because I have seen some really good .uk domain names that would have been great, but apparently these are reserved until 2018!
Anyway, thanks for your comment. Glad you enjoyed the post!
All the best,