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The Impact of Domain Extension in SEO

Jan 13, 2022

The Impact of Domain Extension in SEO

Domain extensions impact SEO in a positive or negative way depending on how the online business uses the extension. For example, domain names with .com tend to rank higher than domain names without it.

Three reasons why businesses pick a particular domain extension are

  • To communicate the nature and purpose of the domain (by domain extension) to users in search engines like Google;
  • Branding/name recognition; and
  • Using an additional word in the domain name that reflects something about what is offered in terms of products, services or information content. [For example, this article includes “domain” as part of its name.

Although domains help marketers reach more people online, they can also create confusion if not chosen carefully. For instance, if the domain is easy to confuse with other domains, it may result in poor performance in search engine rankings due to user experience issues.

By contrast, marketers can use domain extensions to inject more meaning into domains and make them easier to understand by users. For example, domain extensions like “ista” or “story” for this article’s domain (http://www.domainnamewire.com/, which include “domain”) are much clearer than the commonly used “.com”, “.net”, or “.org”.

domain extension

One common misconception about domain extensions is that they are limited purely to branding purposes because consumers have come to associate domain extensions with certain types of businesses. However, brands should take note that domain extensions now have the capability to convey much more information about their business, products, and services.

Because many consumers are now well aware that domains are not limited to use by brick-and-mortar businesses only, websites should leverage domain extensions to better communicate the nature of their online presence (e.g., “goods” or “services”) with users in search engines like Google. Consumers understand domain extensions intuitively and what they say is largely consistent with how search engine algorithms view them. For example, industries like finance tend to rank higher with domain extensions like “.bank” or “.financial”.

Different domains can be used to help marketers reach different audiences for similar products or services. For instance, using domain extensions like “.review” or “forum” for reviews may help reach more people online. Similarly, domain extensions like “.chat” or “video” may help marketers attract a different set of users to their blog or website.

Because domains are now seen as more than just web addresses, marketers should explore the many ways they can use domains to communicate with consumers and stay ahead in search engine optimization (SEO).

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