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Will a .com always better than other TLDs?

     
7:11 am on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Hi everyone:

Suppose you want to rank well for the keyword "widgets" in the USA, but widgets.com is taken.

Would you either:

1) Stick with a .com TLD but add another word (e.g., widgetsshop.com),

2) use an alternate TLD (e.g., widgets.us or widgets.biz or widgets.net, etc.,)

3) Or do something else entirely

Also, please suggest which one you think would have a better click through rate in the SERPs.

Thanks in advance.
1:32 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Google's algo doesn't care about the TLD - really they don't! But users often assume any domain is a .com so there's a slight minus factor for your market.

I've never seen a study on clickthrough rates. If I had to guess, and it is a big guess, I'd say that .org, and .net have no negative stigma attached to them that defers clickthorugh, but .info and .biz have just a bit. I'd personally rather go for a .tv or a .fm -- even a .co -- before I take one of those "slang" TLDs like biz or info. They're way too casual for a serious business, IMO!
1:39 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)



Tedster - I was under the impression (and perhaps incorrectly) that Google assigns less serious weight to .info and .biz domains due to the fact that they're just that cheap, and so many spammers abused them. Am I wrong?
2:00 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Google doesn't need to use the TLD as a ranking factor. The site speaks for itself with regard to "cheap and spammy" qualities, without Google needing to use a "shortcut" factor like the TLD.
3:05 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)



Google's algo doesn't care about the TLD


Hmmm...I might have to disagree with that as a blanket statement, certainly Google's algo does not seem to have any bias against other gTLDs however ccTLDs is another thing altogether.

Whilst it may be possible to get a .us to perform well in the USA it's very unlikely to perform well outside of that geographical region.

I am referring to new domains here, older and well-established sites seem to have different rules applied.

Whilst I have a few .biz and .info names I only used the companyname.info as the direct link for our legal pages for all sites, this make things a lot simpler when updating legals etc. All the other names were bought for trademark protection.

As for which name and extension to go for? If you're in the US personally I do like .net however US Jo Punter is so brainwashed that realistically only a .com is what they comprehend therefore be imaginative, there's certainly nothing wrong with exampleonline.com, that is used by a lot of very big companies, exampleshop, tradeexample, retailexample, what about taking all the first letters of the business name if applicable?

Think slightly outside the box and ye shall find:-)
3:43 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Thank you for the replies, everyone.

I should clarify that this wouldn't be my main business site - just sort of an auxillary site dedicated to one particular type of product, and I don't intend to put TOO much effort into it. So I am just hoping to get whatever easy search engine traffic I can out of it. I will probably use some free eccommerce software on their (like oscommerce).

Tedster:

Could you elaborate a little bit about this statement:

But users often assume any domain is a .com so there's a slight minus factor for your market.


Since I won't be advertising the site, I think that my main concern would be that people might like this site and decide to link to it, but end up linking to widgets.com instead of widgets.us, just out of habit, because people are so used to thinking about web sites as "dot-com, dot-com, dot-com."

HuskyPup:

Whilst it may be possible to get a .us to perform well in the USA it's very unlikely to perform well outside of that geographical region.


I am not so concerned about ranking well outside the US. But I am concerned by the fist part of your statement, namely:

Whilst it may be possible to get a .us to perform well in the USA
(emphasis mine).

By your use of the word "may," I am getting the impression that you feel it most likely would be difficult to rank well even in the US for a .us domain - is that right, or am I reading too much into it?
3:59 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)



Not really, I have seen others do better however at times Google does prefer a keyword.com/.net/.info for a query.
4:01 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)



is that right, or am I reading too much into it?


Yep:-)

I'm being subjective in saying that whereas it is possible to get a .us to perform extremely well in the USA it most probably will not perform at all well outside of that area unless loads of marketing dosh is thrown at it...del.icio.us comes to mind.

The "may" is subject to having a good quality and relevant site.
4:10 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Tedster: Could you elaborate a little bit...

Many people remember the unique token for a website, but they do not remember the ".net" or whatever TLD is used, if it's not .com. They just type in .com automatically, and that shaves off a little bit of traffic.
4:21 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Thank You, tedster:

Many people remember the unique token for a website, but they do not remember the ".net" or whatever TLD is used, if it's not .com. They just type in .com automatically, and that shaves off a little bit of traffic.


that's what I thought.

I guess my question though is whether having an exact match in the first part of the domain name before the .tld part would by default rank so well in google that it might make up for the lack of a .com TLD.

I guess that the bigger question is this:

Are sites with an exact match for a keyword in the first part of the URL still getting a big default boost from google in the SERPs (simply because it is an exact match for the keyword)?

I am not planning on spamming but, are you still seeing examples of where a site would have a URL like widgets.TLD rank well for the keyword widgets even though the content might not even be related to widgets, but might be about gizmos or foobars or winky dinks?

(Again, I plan on keeping my site content on topic - just trying to get an accurate picture of how much value having a keyword in the URL matters - I think it is a lot, personally.)
5:57 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Here's a current discussion that is highly relevant to your question: Why does Google give so much weight to keyword domains? [webmasterworld.com]
7:17 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)



@ Planet13

Just a thought on the domain name. I was looking for a specific keyword name last night, a 6 letter name for which I just so happen to own the Delaware LLC name.

The example.com/net/everything was not available however EVERY examplellc.com/net/everything was available therefore could you live with an exampleLLC, Inc, Ltd etc?
7:28 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Tedster:

Thanks for the link. will check it out.

HyskyPup:

...therefore could you live with an exampleLLC, Inc, Ltd etc?


While personally I could live with widgetsshop.com (or exampleshop.com to use your example), I just wonder whether by default, widgets.us or widgets.info or widgets.net would rank better by default than widgetsshop.com
7:56 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Ok, I'm an idiot...

I just realized that ALL of the TLD's that are available for the US are gone. the only three left are .tv, .ws, and .cc

would it make sense to use any of those? It seems like they are all country specific (Tuvalu, Western Samoa, and Cocos) and I want to rank well in the US...

thanks in advance.
8:03 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I'm pretty sure all three are treated as international by Google.

I definitely know that .tv is international and can be geo-targeted in WMT to any country or just left international. Registrars charge a premium for a .tv domain and it's often targeted for heavy video content - as in TV or television.

A .ws domain is being marketed as w[eb]s[ite]. I don't work with any, but I'm pretty sure they're international too. And .cc were also an early country to sell their TLDs on the open market.
8:11 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Ooopppsss... forgot to mention that .me is available too

Registrars charge a premium for a .tv domain and it's often targeted for heavy video content...


yes, it is $39.99 a year, while the other two are $14.99 and $19.99 a year, respectively. and the .me is only $8.99 a year. Apparently google treats .me generically. Will that mean I can geo-target for the US in WMT?
8:27 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)



While personally I could live with widgetsshop.com


Do I assume this is not available?

Is it actually a shop an office or warehouse, a retail or wholsale business, an actual producer or a reseller, maybe an exclusive agency?

I'm pretty sure a great name could be found on the .com:-)
8:34 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Hi there, HuskyPup:

Is it actually a shop an office or warehouse, a retail or wholsale business...


It will be a retail shop selling widgets. but it is kind of a "throwaway" web site, meaning I already have a few main ecommerce sites and this one I don't want to spend much time or energy or money on getting it to rank.

The widgets page on my main ecommerce site used to rank well, and had one of the earliest links from wikipedia on that subject to it. But it has decreased in traffic.

So I thought that a cheap fix in the short run would be an inexpensive keyword.tld and rewrite my current text and rename my current photos and slap them up there and see how it does.

I will probably have a one way link from my main ecommerce site to the new widgets.tld site.
11:58 pm on Aug 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Not that I know much , and indeed i was asking for inputs here - [webmasterworld.com...]

But here's my take for what it's worth. Firstly i think this question needs to be answered in two different contexts.

1. Retail / usability appeal
2. SEO / Ranking advantages and disadvantages

A ccTLD may be beneficial with higher click thru's, if the subject matter relates to that country and the localisation is seen to be supportive of it's credibility. It's largely a value versus service perception IMO.

The SEO ranking position is not really clear. There are many variant influences such as where ccTLD's inbound links are coming from, how they match to the target's ccTLD , Google's treatment of ccTLD's in different geographic areas ( e.g. .in is less likely to appear in .cn , or .co.za in .co.nz ) , language etc etc .

Content may play a big role with ccTLD's in the considerations as well. Over at Bing they provide some insight into how they might consider content for localisation factors , and mapping is becoming a part of that consideration.

.... determines a few location-based aspects of user's intent, including "what", "where" (target location), local intent and travel intent. It then displays the target location on the map and also provides the location-based or topic-based query suggestions. [adlab.msn.com...]

For me it's puzzling because I see totally different sets of results for the same query on different Google ccTLD's involving results from different website ccTLD's.

Perhaps the answer may lie in where your inbound links are from to the greatest degree - but really I'm not sure.
12:27 pm on Aug 27, 2010 (gmt 0)



It will be a retail shop selling widgets.


In your situation I would be very tempted to go for, if available, widget(s)online.com/.us, maybe widget(s)discount.com/.us or a real good puller is usually something like budgetwidgets.com/us

What do you think?
 

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