Understanding different domain extensions
While most people think of .com first (as it is the most widely used one across the web), you have hundreds of options. Keep in mind not all extensions are equally appreciated by search engines, nor can all of them address your needs. Let’s go through some of them:
.com: A frequent choice of businesses and companies, .com has built a solid reputation as the oldest one among other extensions. It’s also easy to recall and– adds credibility to your website.
.net: Typically used by Internet service providers or networks, also by online businesses.
.org: The most common extension used by non-profit organizations.
.edu: This extension is not accessible to everyone. It is reserved for academic institutions.
.travel: Pretty obviously, .travel is customer-oriented and suitable for the travel industry.
Similar are .photography, .bike, .ski and other domain extensions that are centered about a service or a community you are part of.
Country based domain extensions (such as .us, .au, .uk): If you’re focusing on a specific country, it might not be a bad idea to choose an extension accordingly.
.me: is all about you. Along with other ccTLDs (such as .co and .tv), .me acts as a hybrid domain. Webmasters saw great creative potential in these ccTLDs when it comes to branding possibilities and coming up with unique domain names.
They’ve started using them as generic web addresses. Google adapted to this practice, treating them both as ccTLDs and general top-level domains. You can use .me to build your personal brand online, make it a part of your business name or come up with a call-to-action.
It also gives a different feeling to your brand. Take a look at join.me, for instance. It would just not be the same with any other domain name.
There are a lot of extensions you can use, this is just a tiny part of the possibilities. Extensions indicate what kind of work you’re doing. Before deciding on a certain extension, make sure to ask around, to find out what reputation it has and whether or not it’s SEO-friendly.
When it comes to the importance of domain age for ranking, some give it more, some less weight. Those who advocate the SEO impact domain age can make, usually underline the connection between age and trustworthiness. It’s pretty much like fine wine.
Domains get more appreciation the older they get. The conclusion by most is that, if a certain domain has been there for a while – it implies it’s not a spam website, but one that offers a certain value to its visitors.
The fact is, you cannot influence your domain’s age directly. It is considered to be a ranking factor, but it plays a small role among hundreds of others. What you should focus on is providing quality content and getting relevant links – something Google sees as far more important. However, we’ve got three useful tips:
- It’s good to register a domain and put up a placeholder page, so as to notify your visitors about what’s coming. By the time you actually publish your website, a couple of months will pass, and you’ll already be around for a while. It’s a nice way to kickstart your SEO, right?
- Do be careful when buying existing domains. Google does give weight to previous ownership as a ranking factor, so you need to look into the history of a pre-used domain name before deciding to make a purchase.
- Take your time to figure out the best domain name. Switching to a different domain means starting from scratch when it comes to domain age.
Domain age can influence your ranking, but it’s only a small piece of the puzzle. Plus, there’s not much you can do about it. Rather focus on your on-page optimization and quality content.