According to numerous studies, search engines don’t consider the domain name and extension as independent ranking factors. This means that the issuance of links to a greater extent depends on the information value of the site and its popularity. But does this mean that you don’t have to pay attention to the choice of domain extension?
Key Facts About Domain Extensions
First of all, what is a domain extension? Imagine the site mybestshop.io. So, the .io domain is also called the domain name extension, the first level domain, or the root domain. There are more than one thousand root domains registered today. The question arises: are there any criteria used to choose the appropriate domain extension for making a site?
Let’s start with the fact that modern search algorithms use such advanced analysis methods as self-learning neural networks. They analyze user preferences and habits. According to research by Q-Success company, by the end of 2021, 52% of all domains registered in the world had the .com extension. It is one of the oldest and most authoritative root domains in the world.
It is an abbreviation for the word “commercial.” When searching for a corporate site, users assume it will have a .com extension. This extension gives the site credibility and reliability. This opinion is due to the fact that the sites of the largest and most powerful companies have this domain extension.
There is another not-so-popular but also frequently used domain for creating business websites, the .biz domain. Other traditional international root domains are .gov (government) and .edu (educational).
Organizations and companies that are primarily of regional importance are more likely to use country-specific domains (for example, .co.uk – the UK). If the user is located in a given country and makes a request in the language of that country, the search engine will first look for links to sites with national registration.
So, the main advice is: when choosing a domain extension, think about why you are creating your site. If its purpose is to represent your business, .com is the best choice.
Are There Any Problems Choosing a Good Root Domain?
Unfortunately, many convenient .com domains are no longer available or are too expensive. If you get creative, you can usually pick up an easy-to-remember combination of letters. However, if you still fail, you can use some other domain name endings: .net, .org, or .info.
These are also very popular and desirable domains on the market, but they are more affordable in terms of price. To check if a particular domain is available, you can use the instantdomainsearch.com service.
It allows you to choose available domains with the selected extension and find out which extensions point to the country you are interested in. You can also find the price of the domain you like and make a request to buy it. After that, you will receive a link to one of the trading platforms where you can buy your domain.
If you need to create a business card site or a personal blog, you will have a large selection of domain extensions. Perhaps the best advice is to pick a root domain related to your country. Most of your new visitors will search for your site in this Internet zone by default. But now, there are plenty of new .io domains especially recommended for startups.
Usually, only paid providers offer the best hosting quality. A lot of novice bloggers are tempted to cut costs and opt for free domains with exotic extensions like .cc. This is a mistake because search engines usually mark such pages as spam and do not link to them. The register of spam Internet resources is maintained by an international non-profit organization called Spamhaus.
How Can Spamhaus Help You Choose the Perfect Domain?
If you visit the website spamhaus.org, you will find there the so-called spamhaus block list (SBL). These are sites marked as spam. They also provide the reasons why a particular site was included in this list.
At the moment, .fail, .viajes, and .exposed domain extensions are leading in SBL. More than 70-80% of all pages with such extensions are classified as spam. This means that if you try to create a site with such an extension, you will most likely fail.
It doesn’t matter to the search engine which root domain the site is located on. Even if a non-profit organization has a .com page, it will eventually be found. And yet, when analyzing keywords and other information, the search engine will primarily focus on a special branch of activity.
For example, if you make a query using the keywords “education,” “diploma,” and “specialty,” pages with the .edu domain name endings will receive priority in the links queue. No matter how useful and structured an institution’s site may have been, if its extension is .com, its page is likely to be closer to the end of the queue.
The domain price is important only in terms of the potential buyer’s solvency. This is a purely market-based criterion; there are no search algorithms to analyze it. In addition, the cost of an Internet resource is a subjective indicator. If you sort the criteria for choosing a root domain in order of decreasing importance, you get the following list:
- The scope of the organization or company, the subject of the blog
- Scale; the significance of the activity of the domain owner (international or regional)
- SEO factors (correspondence of the root domain to the subject of the future site)
- Analysis of spam factors
- Price (the criteria are very vague and inconsistent)
As you can see, choosing a domain name extension for your future site is a responsible task and not as simple as it might seem. Much depends on the aims for which you need a website. Price also may be an important factor, but what you save in price, you later miss out on in profit many times over.