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Do I Really Need a .COM Domain Extension ?

Is Your Domain Extension Important For SEO Reasons?

Do you really HAVE TO buy a .com domain extension for your site?

Yes and no is the answer...

If we are to look at the question of whether to buy .com, .net, .org or any of the many other domain extensions purely from the perspective of whether or not Google and other search engines will reward us for picking one or the other, then there appear to be some clear guidlines... mostly clear, anyway...

There is no doubt that the domain name that you chose for your web site is very important both for SEO purposes as well as enabling your visitors to find and remember your site. But what about the extension?

Do you hold our for a .com despite the fact that you probably can't get the exact name that you want?

Or do you consider other possible extensions during your domain registration and go for a country domain (such as .co.uk) or any other available domain? 

Somehow it does not seem so good to get a .tv or a .info when you had your heart set on the .com.

Generic domain extensions never seem as valuable as the prized .com extension.

Also, will your new site get muddled with an existing .com and will it cause you copyright and legal problems to have the same site 'name' but with a different extension?

You might like the idea of buying the domain microsoft.net but Microsoft may not be at all impressed and could theoretically sue you for infringement of copyright...

If there appears to be no copyright issues, the good news is that from an SEO point of view, you can go ahead and register the domain and get on to the first pages of Google even if your site DOESN'T have a .com extension.

Many SEO experts believe that the majority of major search engines will treat any domain extension the same.

The only reason that more .coms seem to come up in the search engines is because there are more of them and they were the first domain extension released.

Put simply, the .coms have had longer to become established, so there is more of them.

When should I avoid .COM ?

There are a couple of exceptions, where you really need to look for a country specific or non .com domain name.

The first of these is if you are producing a web site that is specifically designed for mobile phones (so choose .mobi) or tv based applications (choose .tv).

The second is when to choose a geographic domain as opposed to an international domain.

Choosing a domain extension that represents your country such as .co.uk or .ca can be important, particularly if you only really want web site visitors from a specific country.

Google, the mother of all search engines, tends to give preference to local based domains.

So if someone is searching on google.co.uk or searching for UK based businesses then any web site with the domain ending in .co.uk will be sorted to the top of the rankings.

Secondly the internet is a scary place for some people and for others there is a feeling of information overload.  In fact Bing has been running a TV commercial emphasising just this fact.

When searching for a local business, many people are comforted by finding a business web site with that comforting country based extension.

So if you are a local trades person, a builder, plumber or only want to sell your wares in your own country, then a country based domain is for you.

When is .COM best?

On the other hand there a certain prestige to owning a .com domain and it is definitely the one to strive for if you want to build a strong brand, attracting international customers and surfers.

From a SEO point of view though it is the content of the domain that means the most to the success of your web site.

You need a good descriptive domain name that contains a fequently searched keyword related to the topic of your webste.

Try to keep the name as short as possible so people can remember it easily and so the nature of your site is clear.

There are some exceptions, such as when you are building a brand (example: clickbank.com) or promoting yourself as a brand or as a well known person in a particluar field (example: mikeauton.com)...

But on the whole including a SITE RELEVANT heavily searched keyword in your site name is the way to go (example: internetmarketingtips.com)

If you are not looking to create a brand, the good news is that you don't need to buy the coveted domain extension .com or create a long and/or impossibly complicated .com domain name.

Most people prefer .net and .org as acceptable alternatives, but it seems that from Google and most search engines point of view, it just doesn't matter.

If your site is set up right - and that's a big IF - you have the same chance of ranking highly on Google with ANY domain extension.

Purely from an SEO perspective, newly created, competing .com domains on the whole have NO ADVANTAGE over domains with a different extension ....

Coming soon... my recommended domain buying tactics for maximum effect in the search engines and with potential buyers.

Mike Auton is the creator of Hard Cash Hijack, which removes SEO worries completely by driving hugry, targeted traffic to any site or affiliate offer you like... even if you don't own a product or site...

Comments (27)add comment

Frank said:

Very informative Mike i hope the info keeps coming.It is nice to read right to the point stuff instead of oh buy this and you will learn that.Thanks again
 
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September 12, 2010
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autonmike said:

Hi Frank

Glad to be of service :)

I'll keep the tips and advice coming...

Mike
 
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September 12, 2010
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Stephen said:

Great Stuff Mike, i will definitely return, nice clean Blog theme also. You're making me jealous, i think i have too many images on my site.
http://internetmarketingresearch.org/wordpress
 
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September 12, 2010
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Richard Duke said:

How do you feel about having a .com site as your main sell site and then having a .info as a blog site about your main sell site?
 
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September 12, 2010
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autonmike said:

Hi Stephen

Glad you like the site :)

Hope to continue to help in the future.

Mike
 
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September 12, 2010
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autonmike said:

Hi Richard

I'm not a huge fan of the .info extension as it has a lot of negative associations with it being used for many spam sites in the past.

In reality it probably doesn't matter, but I'd be more tempted to call my money site xyz.com and my related blog site as xyzblog.com

I always try to get .com first and prefer this strategy - the name 'blog' in the URL tells the user what they're getting and the URL is still short.

Mike
 
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September 12, 2010
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Tony said:

Hi Mike

Not only is the information here very good but it is also easy to understand for anybody fairly new to things

http://tonyclingan.com
 
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September 12, 2010
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autonmike said:

Thanks Tony :)

I think because I struggled with internet marketing to begin with and I've worked for quite a few years as a teacher, I'm always thinking from the learner's point of view...

I like to help people finally 'get' it :)

Mike
 
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September 12, 2010
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David M said:

Great site[s] and Hard Cash software is very good. Your teaching methods and videos are also OK [except the one on your HC site, that is far too long I feel].

Have a great holiday.
 
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September 13, 2010
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Philippe Moisan said:

Hi Mike,

I keep asking myself that question when I buy a new domain name, and always play with words a little to make it a dot com. Thanks for the great info. I might change my strategy.

At IMfaceplate, I have an article where I simply put links to informative articles I find about Internet marketing. I just put the link to your article here.

If you're interested, my username is phmoisan over there.

Have an electrifying day !

Philippe Moisan
 
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September 13, 2010
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autonmike said:

Hi Philippe

I wasn't familiar with IMfaceplate, so thanks for the headsup :)

Glad you found the article useful.

mike
 
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September 13, 2010
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FRED said:

thanks I dont have a website fred
 
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September 13, 2010
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autonmike said:

OK Fred. But hopefully the advice will beof use to you in the future :)

Mike
 
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September 13, 2010
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Tommy said:

Hi Mike,Thanks for the tips,Please send all tips you have on clickbank I will continue to follow you on FB
 
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September 14, 2010
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Daniel said:

Great article, very informative. Quick question re "promoting yourself as a brand or as a well known person in a particluar field (example: mikeauton.com)..."

If my lastname.com is taken, is acceptable to go with firstinitial lastname? I feel like my full firstandlastname_dot_com is way too long?

Daniel
 
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October 02, 2010
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autonmike said:

Hi daniel

The good thing about using your name as a brand is you can control how you use and present your name.

It is often better to use the full version of the name you wish to be known by in your URL as it will be easier for people to find you on google.

Even if your name is very long, the this is what people will search for.

If you feel your name is WAY too long, you could consider using a different name or an initial instead but I'd normally recommend using a full name as this is what your followers will know you as.

Good luck!

Mike
 
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October 02, 2010
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Daniel said:

Got it. I'll take your advice and go with the full name. It's not way too long, about 13 characters.

Thanks again for all the tips!
 
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October 06, 2010
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Robert said:

Hello Mike,I'm the newwbie been trying the online business for many years now learning and losing,losing mostly but,I'm never gonna give up until I succeed in this business I believe there's something for me I have a site in early development which I like all your help in starting.You are very informative and helpful lots of valuable info.am connected to all your help thanks.
 
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April 26, 2011
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noah said:

would i have to buy a domain/site to generate money,i guess im asking is it really needed.
 
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April 27, 2011
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cecile said:

I still don't get how and where do i get a domain as i do not have one
 
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July 03, 2011
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autonmike said:

@cecile - you can get a domain at http://www.godaddy.com/
 
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July 19, 2011
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J Herge said:

Hello Mike !!! In my own words i consider dotcom Domain extension.
Hearing a dotcom sounds like that is an international Website. And this may be very good for growing a small business.
Choosing a Unique Domain name will Help you to Attract more people over the Internet
 
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November 16, 2011
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autonmike said:

@J Herge - dot coms are definitely the most prestigious but only important if you are building a brand... which most affiliates aren't doing.

the first step to getting traffic is a domain name that contains a popular and relevant keyword.
 
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November 16, 2011
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golgota18 said:

Mike thank for your informative articles..
Just wanna ask regards Domain optimization.

would be okay if I just use subdomain
http://backyarshedideas.golgota18.com

instead of

backyardshedideas.com/org/net ?

btw, your Mass Income Machine is Awesome pal.
 
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January 05, 2012
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autonmike said:

@golgota18 - you're welcome :)

subdomains are ok and if you have a low budget worth testing to see if you can rank well using them.

but google will generally prefer a domain name above a sub domain.

depends on the level of competition, if it's high, then consider buying the domain.

(just did a quick search of 'back yard shed ideas' and think you may get away with a subdomain, but i always prefer domains)

hope that helps

mike
 
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January 06, 2012
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Seo said:

My future site is designed both for desktop and for mobile phone as well. Should I go with .ORG or .MOBI ? net & com were taken
 
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February 10, 2012
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autonmike said:

@seo - great question...

the jury is still out on mobi - if your site is popular, consider getting both but if you are just starting out, get .org.

cheers

mike auton
 
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February 11, 2012
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