MrSavage - 11:09 pm on Sep 6, 2011 (gmt 0)
To clarify a couple points.
I'm not saying I have any evidence of preferred TLD. It's simply that it would not surprise me if Google is saying that the .com is the authority and the .org is more likely a freeloader.
My example of CNET. It's this way. If you have a site about "waterproof pink plastic laptops", you may enjoy some traffic for those searches of "waterproof pink plastic laptops". Even better if you own the exact domain. However, if Google sees increased volumes of searches (popularity), it will lump that search phrase into laptops, and your niche is out, and now the CNET's and Engadget's of the world reap that new popular keyword phrase. With popularity of a phrase, the bar gets raised to a point where your niche site is suddenly going head to head against the CNET's of the web. That's when your site is dead. Sure you can keep building it up, but at what point would you be credible enough when going up against CNET? How many lifetimes?
I've been monitoring my points of interest and guess what? Slowly but surely those niche sites are giving way to CNET, Engadget, etc. Afterall, you may be asking Google about sites on "waterproof pink plastic laptops", but Google interprets your search as meaning laptops and therefore you want the best laptops site, not the best site covering that particular topic.
I'm just suggesting that if you think buying a keyword domain will allow you to compete in remotely competitive or soon to be competitive searches, you are in my opinion, wasting your time.
I think of it this way. Sports. Imagine that high school team going up against a NFL team. That's you vs. them. Keyword domains were like you getting to add a few extra players (okay maybe more than just a few extra) to your team so that you could actually make the game competitive. That was then.
It makes sense right. Domains aren't telling Google very much anymore. Afterall, a keyword phrase domain means quality? No. Sure it might mean relevance, but Google doesn't need a domain to determine that. Perhaps they did use it heavily in a relevance ranking, but they are putting much more stock in other factors. That's my opinion.
I'm not saying I like this. Afterall, keyword domains should have high value. No schmuck is going to get a high volume .com unless they have paid for it and are serious about having a legit site. I consider the domain aftermarket as part of the fabric of the internet. If this is truly the way of Google now then they are really turning the egosystem on its head once again. All in the name of search quality?
edit: I should mention that I'm not so pig headed as to think I know everything regarding this subject. If I see reverse trends I will certainly update those also.