How your Domain Name and Domain Extension can affect SEO
How important is your choice of domain extension to your business’s SEO performance? Recent studies have shown that the domain extension itself doesn’t have a strong impact on your rankings. What does? Read on to find out.
Features like domain extension and domain-level keywords aren’t extremely important to search rankings, but they do have some impact. They have greater impact than social metrics like “retweets” at the very least.
The king of domain extensions, .com, is starting to see some strong competition. New domain extensions provide no ranking advantage over conventional domains like .com and .org, but the latter extension works a bit better than the former and much better than ones like .biz or .edu.
Can domain extension help conversions?
It depends on the person. Some people will perceive a .biz extension spammy and navigate away from URLs ending in .biz. Conversely, .edu is considered a universally reliable extension, but not associated with business, rather best as a reference or for academic purposes. The extension .gov is universally verified.
Some extensions cost more than others. This means a lower-quality site won’t be inclined to use these extensions. This means sites with them will be perceived as more trustworthy.
Does where you put the dot matter to rankings? Will organicfood.co rank lower than organicfood.com? Again, it depends on the user. A web site will ultimately rank better if it gets more visits due to its domain name keywords. This is particularly relevant for specialized websites like .pizza, .jewellery, or .news.
Finally, always consider the location you’re targeting. If you’re targeting France, then use the extension .fr. If Italy, then .it. If the UK, then .co.uk.
In sum, we can say the first ranking factor is site quality, but domain extensions do have an influence.