TLD Overview

Can choosing the right TLD be helpful when it comes to SEO strategies? Not at all. There are some things you can do with your domain name to rank a bit higher in a search engine, but it has nothing to do with the TLD you choose after doing a cheap hosting comparisonTLD

There is, however, one exception. Let's look at some SEO facts, that pesky exception, and things you should consider when signing up for cheap hosting and domain.

The SEO TLD Myth

It is said by many a businessman: the best TLD is a .com, this specific TLD will rank higher than any other TLD in existence! Others say that .gov and .edu websites are best for SEO purposes, while others choose .org over .com. There are those that believe .biz and .info sites rank the worst.

Here's the truth: your TLD will not affect the ranking of your site. I repeat, it will NOT affect the ranking of your site. When it comes to SEO, there is no domain extension better than another.

Even the head of Google's spam team, Matt Cutts, has reiterated on his blog and elsewhere on the web that TLDs will not affect SEO one iota. So where did the myth come from in the first place?

It's All About The Money

When you look into acquiring cheap hosting with domain, you are faced with choosing a TLD. Should you go for the .org or the .info? Your first instinct is to choose the .org, but the .info is so much cheaper! After mulling it over, you choose .org because somewhere along the line, you heard that it is highly ranked in a web search. You end up spending much more than you had to just to assure that you appear on that coveted front SERP. But did you have to?

People falsely assume that because they don't see a lot of these .biz or .info sites in the SERP, it means the automatically don't rank high. The truth: because people feel that these sites don't rank as highly as a .com, people just don't visit them. Our perception of the .biz as a low ranking TLD is causing the myth to become reality.

Highly Ranked Sites

Take a look at the sites ranked highly in the SERPs. Do you see a lot of .edu and .gov sites? Now why are they ranking highly? Because they are large sites with many backlinks, just the kind of website that should be ranking highly. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact they are .gov or .edu.

One Exception

As I said before, there is one exception (isn't there always?) to the rule. If you use a country code domain, your site will only rank highly in that country. For example, if you use a .uk domain, your site will not rank as highly in the US, or any other country. If you plan to sell goods or services on your site worldwide, it is unwise to use the .uk domain. If, however, you only plan to sell to customers in the UK, then go right ahead!

Considerations

Although it is true a .biz or .info site will not affect SEO, there are reasons to stay away from this domain altogether. McAfee put out a report of the riskiest domains, and determined that “the .info and .cm TLDs have almost as many risky sites as safe ones, while .vn has more risky sites than safe ones.”

So yes, .info may be cheaper than the .com, but will customers trust your site? This is likely the reason .info sites aren't ranking highly in the SERP.

After doing your cheap hosting comparison, when it's time to choose that all-important domain name, here's the important stuff to consider to increase traffic and SEO:

  • Choose a domain that is easy to remember and as short as humanly possible.
  • Try to use a keyword relating to your site in the domain.
  • Try to hyphenate domains containing three separate words or more (and try not to go over three words as it may look like spam).

Do you feel your TLD choice is effective for SEO purposes? Do you wish you had chosen a different option?

3 thoughts on “TLD: What You Need To Know Before You Buy

  1. NamesCon, around 900 people have registered for the event which is a big figure in itself and from this it will seems to be one of the biggest conference of domain industry.

  2. Hi Khristen – I enjoyed your post, but a lot of it I think is up for challenge. I have a mix of about 40+ web site domains and have experimented with many different TLDs over the years, pre and post penguin, panda and emd. My personal experience is that the dot com domains rank higher and faster and stick longer than dot info and dot biz domains and perform likewise better than dot org and dot net TLDs. I consistently rank highly (page 1 is a minimum for me) for domain names with more than 3 words in them and also, I have had NO penalties whatsoever in all my EMD sites. As long as each site is optimized correctly and has backlinks from a variety of high PR or edu domains and diverse IP addresses, they rank on page 1 quite easily. Diversity and quality of links then help them climb higher. But in all cases, it takes twice the work for me for TLDs other than the dot com one.

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