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Montenegro .me domains ranking well

     
8:14 pm on Nov 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Finding information about how well the montenegro assigned, US dominated .me domains will perform in Google isn't easy but it's becoming clear that if the site is english with a US host it does well localy.

Entering generic terms which are inherently going to return massive numbers of sites show montenegro results in the top 10 out of tens of millions of results.

Now that the dust is settling I think .me domains are extremely viable in the US despite being assigned to Montenegro because they are being registered here in mass numbers. Montenegro has voiced wanting .me to become generic, I feel that it will happen in time further raising the .me tld value.

What do you think? Like em or hate them - how will they do long term in US google serps ?

[edited by: tedster at 8:22 pm (utc) on Nov. 2, 2008]

8:28 pm on Nov 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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So you're saying .me now joins .tv and .fm as a ccTLD that can rank on Google outside the country targeting that affects so many others. Do you own a .me domain and have a WMT account for it? If so, does ity give you the ability to set country targeting?
8:32 pm on Nov 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Of the million or so pages from .me domains visibly indexed [google.com], I think performance looks pretty poor so far for the .me crowd. But that's likely a reflection on who has registered the domains and what they've done with them, rather than anything inherent in the domain itself. A lot seem to be additional domain names for existing sites that are not redirected properly.

I also didn't see much that indicated .me is seen as geographically generic, with (for instance) only 30k or so results for .me sites in the US [google.com].

So, I'm sceptical ;)

10:58 pm on Nov 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You've got to remember that there are very few established .me domains, the QUALITY sites that were built in June and July are getting pagerank as well as showing up prominently.

No, you can't target geographically, they are set to Montenegro in WMTs but since a large percentage (the majority?) are registered and hosted in the US and return english US header information they are in local serps.

I don't have any established .me domains yet to provide stats for, I did however launch a site last week and will know in a couple of months for sure.

Worse case scenario - I purchase a .com later on and transfer all content over and permanently redirect.
Best case scenario - they become generic as the Montenegro suggested they should and I own an exact one word match with many millions of searches per month.

I realise that may anger the .com domainers and Google may permanently look to .com before .me but in reality you should take those odds anyday... it's not like you're going to get the same quality keyword in a .com without spending enough to buy 5 new cars.

11:07 pm on Nov 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Receptional Andy - they aren't generic. WMT follows ICANN rules, and ICANN has them listed as for Montenegro so the WMT geo targeting option is off. Google seems to go by Whois information in serps however and so a locally hosted english site does reasonably well if it's of quality regardless of tld.

The question is - Would you grab an impossible to get .me version of a short, searched for term... or would you use an obscure .com and try to brand it? I'm leaning towards the .me simply because I see too much local interest and too little indication from Google that top spot is impossible for .me's.

[edited by: JS_Harris at 11:11 pm (utc) on Nov. 2, 2008]

11:29 pm on Nov 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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they aren't generic

Some domains fare better than others though, and are treated as more or less generic. For the same tests I ran above for .tv domains, there were 43,900,000 results for US-targeting, with 79,000,000 total results - 55% vs around 2% for .me. It's not a perfect test, but indicative.

I don't believe WHOIS has much impact on geo-location (witness the many sites with "privacy protected" WHOIS information that are seen to target a different location.

Would you grab an impossible to get .me version of a short, searched for term... or would you use an obscure .com and try to brand it?

Theoretically, any TLD can grab a worldwide-hotspot, but if you have a location-specific TLD that seems slightly harder. I always go with one of the big three for a new domain, unless it has a regional audience in mind, and then I'd go for the ccTLD. But then, I prefer a branded domain to a keyword-based one anyway, and I have an aversion to TLDs I don't see as often ;)

There's also the potential for issues if you build up a site on a "non-standard" TLD, with your audience potential going for .com.

12:17 am on Nov 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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WMT follows ICANN rules, and ICANN has them listed as for Montenegro so the WMT geo targeting option is off.

But as I mentioned above, Google does make exceptions. ICANN says that .tv domains are for Tuvalu. However, in deference to widespread usage for other purposes, Google does allow geographic targeting for .tv domains.

When that happens for these top level domains, that's when I'll know that the ship has come in for .me. In the mean time, it will be interesting to hear reports about this from webmasters who are testing the waters.