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Domain name extensions and SEO – Can you rank without a .com?

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Not so long ago, there were only domain names available with the extensions .com, .org, or .net. But the past few years have seen lots of new extensions available.

Back in 2015, in Google’s own webmaster blog, the company was asked “How will new gTLDs affect search? Is Google changing the search algorithm to favor these TLDs? How important are they really in search?” Their answer: “Overall, our systems treat new gTLDs like other gTLDs (like .com & .org). Keywords in a TLD do not give any advantage or disadvantage in search.”

It is evident that some of the new extensions “seem” better for branding and SEO than others. For instance, .contractors is not bad at all if you are a general contractor and all of the good domain names with .com are already taken. There are also extensions that are not very good and even have bad reputation on the Internet. Some even have been identified as bad because spammers use them to register quick domain names and do their dirty work. Some examples of extensions with bad reputation are: .men, .top, and .stream.

As Internet marketers, we are hoping that Google will adjust its algorithm to give importance to the domain name extension used and compare it to the content of the site for relevance. This could be a great advantage for site owners who want to compete online with well established websites in their industry. We know that content will always be the number one criteria for good ranking. What we are hoping for is that a site with great content and a relevant extension would get extra points with Google and other major search engines.

We recently launched the project This site focuses on vacation rentals on Maui as well as the best activities, tours, vendors, businesses, etc. available on the island of Maui. Content has been a great focus with many pages filled with genuine copy writing optimized for each page. Even though we did not use .com, the site is moving up in ranking quickly and it is using .best extension. So far, the new site has moved up quicker than other similar sites we had launched in the past. We are continuing to monitor to see if the extension choice “.best” and having the one single keyword domain “maui” are making the difference.

We feel strongly that having a good keyword domain name with a relevant extension cannot hurt you. It is a great option when the keyword empowered domains you want are already registered. We can help you assess the value of a new domain so do not hesitate to contact us if you need assistance.

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Domain name extensions and SEO



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