Domain Name Hierarchy 11 September, 2006 — Stuart Brown
The pecking order of preferential domain names (UK biased)
I've been buying a few domains lately, and what with the scarcity of a good .com domain I've been forced to consider what the alternatives are. For us in the UK, the .co.uk domain has just as wide acceptance as the .com - but what about the other TLDs?
Here's a rundown - in descending order of desirability. Something to consider before you go ahead and register the domain for your next killer site!
- The granddaddy of the internet boom, .com is the TLD to have - assuming it's not already been taken, of course!
- .net & .org
- The two other non-country specific TLDs are always nicec to get, if you can - they lack the familiarity of a .com, and for some sites that simply won't do, but for certain applications or audiences a good, short & easy to remember .net or .org address can be very effective.
- If you're targeting a UK (or any other relevant country, for that matter), then the country specific commercial domain is another good choice - good enough for Modern Life, in fact - and in the UK at least, the .co.uk domain has a similar level of saturation in the commercial sector as the global .com.
- Although relatively new, the .org.uk domain is quite desirable - not as much as .co.uk, nor .org, but compared to the rest of the newer TLDs- this one has potential.
- Made popular by del.icio.us, the .us TLD is great for those targeting a primarily US-based market, but lacks the appeal of a good .com.
- Although not in widespread use, the newer .eu domain is limited in usefulness to countries within Europe - but if your business trades exclusively in this region, the .eu TLD is short and easy to remember - and it's a lot easier to get hold of a good .eu domain than a half-decent .com!
To recap, the domain you choose has more ramifications than just search engine performance - in theory, SEs view all TLDs equally. The problem with strange TLDs is that:
- They can confuse visitors
- They're more difficult to remember than the ubiquitous .com
- They can make you look less reputable than you actually are.
All of which certainly can affect your long-term site rankings. Stick to the good domains, if they haven't all been taken.