SEO Benefits of .com Versus Everything Else

April 6th, 2015 | Analysis, SEO News 18 comments

SEO-Benefits com vs. orgShould you go with a .com, .info, .org or dot-something else? Except in very rare instances, it’s almost always best to go with a .com domain name. Sure, you might need to do a .gov or a .edu, but for the vast majority of businesses a .com in your URL is best—for the reasons you may not be aware of.

Domain names have a long history in search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. It hasn’t always been for the “best” reasons and over time Google has adjusted for spammy SEO domain efforts. Today, the top-level domain (TLD) can still play a part of an overall search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and helps move websites up in the rankings.

You should be aware that SEO encompasses many things including high quality content, organically placed keywords, link building, the speed of the website, and a host of other things. However, a .com—instead of other options—is also great SEO fodder. It helps with “brandability” because let’s face it: a .com looks more authoritative, is more common, and is more popular than any other option. It is memorable – our minds are wired to think “dot com”!

Building Your Brand

 Your website is the pillar from which you build your brand, and it starts with the URL. When users find you online, it’s the URL they remember, and it’s what they share with their friends on social media. It’s a rookie mistake to think that only links and keywords matter with SEO—the truth is that Google has an affinity for brands. This is evident in our Rankings Factors Study where we highlight the brand effect.

“The analysis shows that brands rank better, with the number of domains steadily decreasing from positions 2 to 10, with only position 1 showing different results.” Essentially this highlights that brands can control high position even more so when the keywords are generic. Brands and branding can vary between niche and global presence. Your domain plays a part in the brandability of your business.

Don’t Get Too Creative

 Excepting .org for non-profits, .gov for government sites, and .edu for educational institutions, .com should be your only option. It’s the norm, and it’s nearly standardized. Did you know that 75% of all websites in the US have a .com extension? It’s what people assume your website will end with, even when it is not using this extension. You want to be memorable in a good way, and getting too creative with the URL can cause trouble.

One goal of SEO is to link users with the best, most relevant websites out there. Unusual domains create a challenging dynamic, something which can be overcome with strong content marketing and media. However for every unusual domain that succeeds many more fail in gaining the necessary recognition. You’re basically signing up for a handicap and that’s the last thing you need (there will be plenty of other challenges in the SEO game, so choose your battles wisely).

Still on the fence? Ask yourself why you’re considering anything besides a .com. There’s a good chance the reasons don’t make sense—and ultimately don’t make sense with your online reputation and branding. Here is the data to back up this justification.

 

dotcom vs dotorg in search engine 

Dies ist nur ein Gravatar

Jordan Koene is Chief Evangelist for Searchmetrics, a SEO, social and content intelligent platform. He leads the growth of the Professional Services group which provides customers ongoing and custom solutions for using Searchmetrics data.Previously, Jordan was the Head of SEO and Content Development at eBay. During his time at eBay, Jordan focused on utilizing eBay content to improve user experience and natural search traffic. In this role, he lead development of millions of content improvements for the organization. Along with advancing eBay's content, Jordan produced numerous well-covered viral stories using eBay data.Prior to eBay, he worked at various e-commerce and tech start-ups. Jordan has grown and managed different Internet marketing teams and has a strong background in SEO and social media.
Show all articles from .

Comments (8)

Comments (18)

  1. 2015/05/05

    I agree with most of your data, however expanding on the concept of name and brand recognition there are a lot of opportunities to have a different TLD that is memorable. As an example join.me has done well with that combination of words. Options like .construction and .consulting allow for some memorable URL’s. Admittedly, the off web marketing will need to be a little more aggressive to drive the point home that they don’t have a .com, but it will stick better. I’m not a big fan of the .co because it is to close to .com and therefore people will just automatically add the m and get to the wrong site. However, in general I think having a creative TLD if for no other reason that print and other non-web advertising is a very good idea. The domain can just be a 301 redirect to the regular site. Then when the brand recognition is strong enough you can make the non-conventional domain the primary domain.

  2. 2015/05/12

    I would like specific answers, based on SEO experiments, regarding how much search engines use TLDs as a factor while ranking results.

    1. For informational queries, does a search engine like Google favor certain TLDs while ranking results?
    I think it is the content of the web page or the website as a whole that matters to Google rather than the type of TLD.

    2. What is the difference in ranking TLDs when it comes to transactional queries?
    I think even in case of transactional queries, the content of the web page can be optimized to rank well in Google, if Google discounts a specific type of TLD.

  3. 2015/05/15

    Good way to sum up the importance of a *.com domain, though I will also agree with Brad on this one, too. It doesn’t have to be an either/or decision–why not snap up both domains? Use your *.ly and *.me domains for branding, and then redirect the site.

    Last I checked, one domain’s just at less than $10 a year (cheaper if you get a longer term plan), so snapping up a novelty domain shouldn’t be a huge budget concern for all.

  4. 2015/05/18

    I definitely agree to your opinion about .com domains. However I think Brad has touched a good point. If you want to eypand your brand, you should take into consideration to use different domains to catch more customers. With a seo agency it is not complicated to launch a new page.

  5. 2015/07/09

    I’m going to take the contrarian position here. Though .com is king today, .com will be dead in the not too distant future for a few reasons. The new TLDs are here, and they are coming at such a blistering pace. Why would a company use a .com when they can use the entire domain to reinforce their brand or create a call to action. Here are 2 examples: http://www.enjoycoke.com and http://enjoy.coke.

    What creates more of a reaction with the brand? What is easier to type? What takes less room to print, or room in an ad, or room on a screen? Big brands are going to make the change.

    But, think about small businesses as well (you know, the ones that drive a huge % of the economy, and are constantly being created every day across the nation). Small businesses cannot get memorable .com domains. Whether because a larger brand has it, or domainers have it and are holding it ransom, it doesn’t matter. Small businesses want a domain that is as memorable and brandable as big companies’ do, but are forced to create long domains because nothing else is available. They are going to embrace the new TLDs.

    Finally, though we all think about .coms as the authoritative domain today, that wasn’t always the case. Can you remember when you first started using urls in a browser. We have trained ourselves to use the option that is unintuitive and cumbersome. But, people can undo that training pretty quickly (I know I have), and the upcoming generations who don’t know any better, will judge .coms versus the new TLDs by their merit… and the new TLDs will win in their minds.

    .coms are on their way out.

  6. 2015/12/22

    If your company buys a content management system, make sure that the system creates pages and links that search engines can crawl.

  7. 2016/02/29

    Ouwwhh!! Nice Post…. Well Done..Awesome…Thanks for the sharing..Wish you best of luckk… Tech Androiding

  8. 2016/05/24

    how if the case, another brand rank 1 with .ME and i buy .COM for fight with him? can i won this competition with .com and replace them rank?

Trackbacks (10)

Comments (18)

  1. 2015/04/09

    […] being found on a web is a prerequisite for your business (and it should be), a new investigate by Searchmetrics found customarily 11% of a web is indeed visible. They analyzed over 100,000 domain names, and 75% […]

  2. 2015/04/09

    […] being found on the web is a necessity for your business (and it should be), a recent study by Searchmetrics found only 11% of the web is actually visible. They analyzed over 100,000 domain names, and 75% go […]

  3. 2015/04/09

    […] being found on the web is a necessity for your business (and it should be), a recent study by Searchmetrics found only 11% of the web is actually visible. They analyzed over 100,000 domain names, and 75% go […]

  4. 2015/05/06

    […] your website will end with, even when it is not using this extension. See the source article with infografic that displays visibility of a domain depending on it’s domain […]

  5. 2015/05/18

    […] study by Searchmetrics recently analyzed over 100,000 domain names and revealed that only 11% of the web is actually […]

  6. 2016/01/15

    […] closely resembles their industry, product, cause and brand. Though some companies are skeptical on how well new TLDs perform for search engine optimization (SEO), they are becoming more and more important to […]

  7. 2016/01/15

    […] closely resembles their industry, product, cause and brand. Though some companies are skeptical on how well new TLDs perform for search engine optimization (SEO), they are becoming more and more important to […]

  8. 2016/02/15

    […] rate by at least 50% when pitching stories to journalists and reporters. The SEO benefits are immeasurable, as […]

  9. 2016/03/11

    […] SEO – .com domene imaju bolje SEO rezultate od ostalih vrsta domena. Iako Google službeno govori da sve domene na svijetu tretira jednako kad […]

  10. 2016/04/15

    […] to force things and include dashes in your domain name just to register the name you want. Also, it’s preferably to register a .com domain, but this shouldn’t stop you from considering other TLDs such as .xyz and .me. You can even […]

Write a comment