In THE END anybody got TESTED PROOFS that domain extension does NOT matter?

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Hello guys.

This topic has been debated a lot of times everywhere and many times in this same forum over and over. I went through most of the threads, but the answers all seemed to be either vague or just personal opinions.

I need someone who can provide me facts, it would be fantastic if you would tell me about your test results on this.

I'm going to make a few review sites, but most .com .net .org are not available even with a suffix like review, reviews. But I really want to get into these niches and I see most of them got .us available.

Now my target is United States.
And so I need someone to help me.

Does anybody have scientific test proof that .us or .com don't have a single difference in terms of SEO like google said? Or is google lying?

Thanks
Isac
#domain #end #extension #matter #proof #scientific
  • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
    Originally Posted by londonwarrior View Post

    I doubt there is any scientific proof and even if there was it could change over time. Test it yourself. That's the only way you will find out for sure.
    Hi there yea I thought of testing it myself, but then it will take me some money and some time which I can't afford right now. That's why I'm trying to find someone who tested the results themselves.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    I have no scientific proof, expect none and need none.

    It's hard to prove a negative, and little stands up to my scientific scrutiny anyway, in my capacity as a skepchick.

    I've decided to believe Matt Cutts and Caliban Darklock.

    Matt Cutts says repeatedly and vociferously that domain extensions don't affect SEO. He says it in writing and on video. He says it on his own blog and on Google's main blog. He says it in the fields and in the hills, on the plains and on the beaches, at sea, in the air and on the landing-grounds. And he invites people to quote him on it.

    Caliban, who has worked on the algorithms for several different types of search engine, has further explained it to me in a way which helped me to understand that domain extensions shouldn't, couldn't and wouldn't affect SEO.

    And then of course there's also been my own former, albeit limited testing (which actually came before I learned about either of the above), which has certainly never suggested or implied the contrary.

    That's good enough for me. I have bigger fish to fry.
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    • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      I have no scientific proof, expect none and need none.

      I've decided to believe Matt Cutts and Caliban Darklock.

      Matt Cutts says repeatedly and vociferously that domain extensions don't affect SEO. He says it in writing and on video. He says it on his own blog and on Google's main blog. He says it in the fields and in the hills, on the plains and on the beaches, at sea, in the air and on the landing-grounds. And he invites people to quote him on it.

      Caliban, who has worked on the algorithms for several different types of search engine, has further explained it to me in a way which helped me to understand that domain extensions shouldn't, couldn't and wouldn't affect SEO.

      And then of course there's also been my own former, albeit limited testing (which actually came before I learned about either of the above), which has certainly never suggested or implied the contrary.

      That's good enough for me. I have bigger fish to fry.
      Thank you Alexa for your reply.
      Very helpful.
      And that's the way I wanna believe it too.
      I want to believe in what Matt Cutts says and in terms of logic, there would be no reason for google to set a preference to .com's.
      But there are bunch of people who claim that com's rank better, get indexed better, etc etc... And I don't think all of these people are lying, so that's why I'm confused.

      By the way Alexa do you use .info's then? or us'?

      Thanks again,
      Isac
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by ca3s4r View Post

        But there are bunch of people who claim that com's rank better, get indexed better, etc etc... And I don't think all of these people are lying, so that's why I'm confused.
        No ... for sure. I agree with you: I don't think for a moment that they're all lying.

        I think that in some proportions, they're a mixture of people who:-

        (i) are just plain mistaken

        (ii) believe the urban myths of internet marketing, which are far more pervasive and influential than most people appreciate

        (iii) imagine they see evidence to the contrary.

        I think what happens, with the third group, is that some people see (for example) that not so many .info domain-names rank at the top of Google's SERP's, and they mistakenly imagine that that's evidence that .info domain-names intrinsically don't rank as easily.

        What it's really evidence of is that people believe that .info domain-names intrinsically don't rank as easily, and for that reason they don't use .info domain-names when they want to rank highly, which of course readily explains why there are fewer of them ranking highly.

        As so often, the perception has outgrown the reality.

        Originally Posted by ca3s4r View Post

        By the way Alexa do you use .info's then? or us'?
        I'm not eligible to use ".us" which is restricted to US-residents and/or people doing US-based business/activities.

        I use a mixture of .com and .info domains.

        For "information sites", I think that .info domain-names look better, but more to the point, so do my customers (I've asked them, and the majority of those expressing a preference went for .info for "my sort of sites"). The idea that "people think .com looks better" is a marketers' myth, which may perhaps be relevant if you're selling to internet marketers. People often project their own prejudices onto others, who often don't really have them at all.

        However ... there are other considerations, apart from SEO, involved in one's choice of domain-name: one doesn't want to lose future type-in traffic to the owner of the .com; one doesn't want to be disadvantaged in the event of a future sale of a site by its not being the .com; and so on.

        For these reasons, I typically buy the .com, redirect it to the .info, put my site on the .info and do my SEO for the .info.

        It works for me.
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        • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          No ... for sure. I agree with you: I don't think for a moment that they're all lying.

          I think that in some proportions, they're a mixture of people who:-

          (i) are just plain mistaken

          (ii) believe the urban myths of internet marketing, which are far more pervasive and influential than most people appreciate

          (iii) imagine they see evidence to the contrary.

          I think what happens, with the third group, is that some people see (for example) that not so many .info domain-names rank at the top of Google's SERP's, and they mistakenly imagine that that's evidence that .info domain-names intrinsically don't rank as easily.

          What it's really evidence of is that people believe that .info domain-names intrinsically don't rank as easily, and for that reason they don't use .info domain-names when they want to rank highly, which of course readily explains why there are fewer of them ranking highly.

          As so often, the perception has outgrown the reality.



          I'm not eligible to use ".us" which is restricted to US-residents and/or people doing US-based business/activities.

          I use a mixture of .com and .info domains.

          For "information sites", I think that .info domain-names look better, but more to the point, so do my customers (I've asked them, and the majority of those expressing a preference went for .info for "my sort of sites"). The idea that "people think .com looks better" is a marketers' myth, which may perhaps be relevant if you're selling to internet marketers. People often project their own prejudices onto others, who often don't really have them at all.

          However ... there are other considerations, apart from SEO, involved in one's choice of domain-name: one doesn't want to lose future type-in traffic to the owner of the .com; one doesn't want to be disadvantaged in the event of a future sale of a site by its not being the .com; and so on.

          For these reasons, I typically buy the .com, redirect it to the .info, put my site on the .info and do my SEO for the .info.

          It works for me.
          Thank you Alexa,
          I appreciate your help and got you loud and clear.
          So I'm guessing I can't take .us either since I don't live in the .us... mmm looks like most info's are gone as well... what am I left with then if not .us? lol
          Anyway thanks again and
          "The idea that "people think .com looks better" is a marketers' myth, which may perhaps be relevant if you're selling to internet marketers. People often project their own prejudices onto others, who often don't really have them at all. "
          this bit is really helpful since I was thinking that .com were more preferred by visitors.

          Thank you again!
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          • Profile picture of the author paulie888
            Originally Posted by ca3s4r View Post

            Thank you Alexa,
            I appreciate your help and got you loud and clear.
            So I'm guessing I can't take .us either since I don't live in the .us... mmm looks like most info's are gone as well... what am I left with then if not .us? lol
            Anyway thanks again and
            "The idea that "people think .com looks better" is a marketers' myth, which may perhaps be relevant if you're selling to internet marketers. People often project their own prejudices onto others, who often don't really have them at all. "
            this bit is really helpful since I was thinking that .com were more preferred by visitors.

            Thank you again!
            Ok, I hope it's been impressed on you enough that TLDs really do not matter when it comes to ranking in Google.

            Have you looked at any of the other extensions to see if you can pick up one with the keywords you want?

            Paul
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            • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
              Originally Posted by paulie888 View Post

              Ok, I hope it's been impressed on you enough that TLDs really do not matter when it comes to ranking in Google.

              Regarding the .us, you can buy it if you want to, there's no law that says you need to reside here in order to buy a domain with the .us extension.

              Paul
              That's some good news! thank you !!
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              • Profile picture of the author paulie888
                Originally Posted by ca3s4r View Post

                That's some good news! thank you !!
                I am a US resident, so I have to make it clear that I'm not entirely sure about the legalities here. All I can say is that I know of foreign marketers who have bought .us domains without any issues as far as I'm aware of - I'm not sure if they had to jump through any legal hoops or not.

                Paul
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                • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
                  Banned
                  Originally Posted by Rough Outline View Post

                  To anyone here who says that the domain extension doesn't matter, then given the choice what would they rather choose a .com or a .me? If it doesn't matter, put your money where your mouth is.
                  I do.

                  I am given the choice, and I choose to use .info, for all the reasons I've given above, including the fact that my customers prefer to see that.

                  I do have a couple of ".me" domains for other reasons, but they're very expensive.

                  Originally Posted by paulie888 View Post

                  I know of foreign marketers who have bought .us domains without any issues as far as I'm aware of - I'm not sure if they had to jump through any legal hoops or not.
                  Yes; I do, too. It depends what you mean by "hoops". You do have to certify (online) that you're intending to use it for US-specifically based business, if you don't live there, and you can forfeit the domain if that turns out not to be true, so I've never tried it (never actually wanted one that much, to be honest).
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                  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
                    Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post




                    Yes; I do, too. It depends what you mean by "hoops". You do have to certify (online) that you're intending to use it for US-specifically based business, if you don't live there, and you can forfeit the domain if that turns out not to be true, so I've never tried it (never actually wanted one that much, to be honest).
                    Interestingly enough, I've never really considered it either. It has just never entered my mind to use one; when it comes to domain availability, usually many of the choice ones are available with the .info extension.
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                    • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
                      Originally Posted by paulie888 View Post

                      Interestingly enough, I've never considered using it either. It has just never entered my mind to use one; when it comes to domain availability, usually most of the choice ones are available with the .info extension.

                      Yea I'm deciding my mind up to use info's for my purchases, they are also cheaper.
                      But I think I read somewhere that their price is more expensive after the first year... is this right? If that's true that's something that I'll need to think of as well... I plan to use my sites for long term plans..
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                      • Profile picture of the author paulie888
                        Originally Posted by ca3s4r View Post

                        Yea I'm deciding my mind up to use info's for my purchases, they are also cheaper.
                        But I think I read somewhere that their price is more expensive after the first year... is this right? If that's true that's something that I'll need to think of as well... I plan to use my sites for long term plans..
                        The .info will cost about the same as the other TLDs after the first year, so you could just treat it as getting a nice first year discount.

                        Paul
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                        • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
                          Originally Posted by paulie888 View Post

                          The .info will cost about the same as the other TLDs after the first year, so you could just treat it as getting a nice first year discount.

                          Paul
                          Oh I got it, thanks a lot! Appreciate your help.
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  • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
    I need some more people to anwer this. Please help me if you tested this yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
    Banned
    Isac,

    What Alexa is saying is that inasmuch as your site has good quality, fresh and regularly updated content, Google will fall in love with it irrespective of the domain extension. There's no preferential treatment.

    Your domain extension has nothing to do with your page rank. It has nothing to do with your being on the first page or not.

    You can have .com and not be found on the first 300 pages on Google Search while a .info or even a free blogger blog will be found on the first page.

    If you want to be there, you have to show some targeted commitment. You understand what I mean?

    Maybe I didn't explain it well but I think I tried my best.
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    • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
      Originally Posted by King Shiloh View Post

      Isac,

      What Alexa is saying is that inasmuch as your site has good quality, fresh and regularly updated content, Google will fall in love with it irrespective of the domain extension. There's no preferential treatment.

      Your domain extension has nothing to do with your page rank. It has nothing to do with your being on the first page or not.

      You can have .com and not be found on the first 300 pages on Google Search while a .info or even a free blogger blog will be found on the first page.

      If you want to be there, you have to show some targeted commitment. You understand what I mean?

      Maybe I didn't explain it well but I think I tried my best.
      Thank you King I did understand
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  • Profile picture of the author Lee Wilson
    Back when I thought it mattered, I tested .com vs .net vs .org. result = no difference.

    I also tested the various UK extensions. Result = no difference.

    Then I stopped bothering. Why spend so much time worrying about something so volatile. What works best with Google today might be your downfall tomorrow if you rely on it.

    Country specific domains definitely make a difference. If you are pushing for the UK market, for instance, then get a UK domain.

    The .com, .net and .org are generic and non region specific so are always a good choice but not essential. You can easily rank these top level domains for any country. In my experience, a top level domain will easily compete with a local domain but not the other way around. So in other words, if I'm marketing for UK then a .co.uk or a .com will do about equal. But using a .uk domain to get US traffic is much harder. Still possible though. I have a UK domain that gets around 50K visitors a month, about 35k of those visits are from the US.
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    • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
      Originally Posted by Lee Wilson View Post

      Back when I thought it mattered, I tested .com vs .net vs .org. result = no difference.

      I also tested the various UK extensions. Result = no difference.

      Then I stopped bothering. Why spend so much time worrying about something so volatile. What works best with Google today might be your downfall tomorrow if you rely on it.

      Country specific domains definitely make a difference. If you are pushing for the UK market, for instance, then get a UK domain.

      The .com, .net and .org are generic and non region specific so are always a good choice but not essential. You can easily rank these top level domains for any country. In my experience, a top level domain will easily compete with a local domain but not the other way around. So in other words, if I'm marketing for UK then a .co.uk or a .com will do about equal. But using a .uk domain to get US traffic is much harder. Still possible though. I have a UK domain that gets around 50K visitors a month, about 35k of those visits are from the US.
      Thanks a lot Wilson, I really appreciate it. Looks like domain extension does not have any effect then!

      Thank you so much!
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  • Profile picture of the author petevamp
    To me personally I would only use the top level domains. For starters even if it doesnt make a difference in the search engines it does if you ever plan on selling the domain. The top level domains will get you the best prices in the long run.

    I really do not think it matters too much though. For I have actually seen my .net domains do better then some of my .com domains. This however is not difentive proof. If you do a little more scrubbing through keywords though you should beable to find a few high target keywords that are not taken yet. Another trick you can do when looking for possible domains is simply add an e to the front or a letter at the end. I have found several good keyword rich domains this way. And since you are only adding an extra letter it does not hurt it one bit in the eyes of the serps.
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    • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
      Originally Posted by petevamp View Post

      To me personally I would only use the top level domains. For starters even if it doesnt make a difference in the search engines it does if you ever plan on selling the domain. The top level domains will get you the best prices in the long run.

      I really do not think it matters too much though. For I have actually seen my .net domains do better then some of my .com domains. This however is not difentive proof. If you do a little more scrubbing through keywords though you should beable to find a few high target keywords that are not taken yet. Another trick you can do when looking for possible domains is simply add an e to the front or a letter at the end. I have found several good keyword rich domains this way. And since you are only adding an extra letter it does not hurt it one bit in the eyes of the serps.
      yeah but Pete it doesn't like right in the eyes...
      I mean keyworde.com doesn't look good to me at least lol...

      Thanks anyway, maybe I'll try that one day.
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  • Profile picture of the author BarryOnline
    This was a question that I had trouble getting answered too but I thought about it & came to the conclusion that it shouldn't matter.

    Google's all about returning the best & most relevant results for a keyword or keyword phrase.

    Wouldn't it be silly if Google favoured a .com over a .info?

    Just imagine for a second that someone types into google “weight loss” & Google returns a .com on page 1.

    Lets say this .com has a crap 300 word article that's not very helpful on the subject of weight loss.

    But there's a site on “weigh loss” that sitting on page 10 of Google & it's the most Amazing 1000 word article ever written on the subject but it's been put on page 10 because it's a .info

    That wouldn't be to smart on Googles part - Googles just went against its whole purpose – to return the best results

    I think Great relevant content & quality back links are the most important things in getting ranked well.
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    • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
      Originally Posted by BarryOnline View Post

      This was a question that I had trouble getting answered too but I though about it & came to the conclusion that it shouldn't matter.

      Google's all about returning the best & most relevant results for a keyword or keyword phrase.

      Wouldn't it be silly if Google favoured a .com over a .info?

      Just imagine for a second that someone types into google "weight loss" & Google returns a .com on page 1.

      Lets say this .com has a crap 300 word article that's not very helpful on the subject of weight loss.

      But there's a site on "weigh loss" that sitting on page 10 of Google & it's the most Amazing 1000 word article ever written in on the subject but it's been put on page 10 because it's a .info

      I think Great relevant content & quality back links are the most important things in getting ranked well.
      Yeah I agree with all of what you said.
      Thank you. You added an extra to help me get this idea straight lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rough Outline
    People talk, talk, talk about this non stop. The proof is in testing and seeing results.

    Unless people have solid proof that domain extensions don't matter then I'd completely disregard their opinions.

    Through doing SEO myself, I've definitely seen difference in ranking between .com's, .net's and .org's. The difference isn't incredibly huge but it's definitely noticeable on the rankings.

    To anyone here who says that the domain extension doesn't matter, then given the choice what would they rather choose a .com or a .me? If it doesn't matter, put your money where your mouth is.
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    • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
      Originally Posted by Rough Outline View Post

      People talk, talk, talk about this non stop. The proof is in testing and seeing results.

      Unless people have solid proof that domain extensions don't matter then I'd completely disregard their opinions.

      Through doing SEO myself, I've definitely seen difference in ranking between .com's, .net's and .org's. The difference isn't incredibly huge but it's definitely noticeable on the rankings.

      To anyone here who says that the domain extension doesn't matter, then given the choice what would they rather choose a .com or a .me? If it doesn't matter, put your money where your mouth is.
      Thank you for your reply.
      Now I'm confused again.
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      • Profile picture of the author petevamp
        Originally Posted by ca3s4r View Post

        Thank you for your reply.
        Now I'm confused again.
        All he was saying is that there is a difference in the type of extension you choose. However the extension does not make a huge difference but you will almost always see a .com over a .net and a .net over a .cc but as I said if you simply ad e or i to the font it looks right in most cases and is normally always available as a .com .net or .org so locating a good keyword rich domain is not that hard. as an example Grow Taller 4 Idiots | Grow Taller Secrets | Grow Taller Exercises I just made that site less then a month ago and has been rankng rather well so far and I have not done too much linking for it so far.
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        • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
          Originally Posted by petevamp View Post

          All he was saying is that there is a difference in the type of extension you choose. However the extension does not make a huge difference but you will almost always see a .com over a .net and a .net over a .cc but as I said if you simply ad e or i to the font it looks right in most cases and is normally always available as a .com .net or .org so locating a good keyword rich domain is not that hard. as an example Grow Taller 4 Idiots | Grow Taller Secrets | Grow Taller Exercises I just made that site less then a month ago and has been rankng rather well so far and I have not done too much linking for it so far.
          Well Pete I found your site on yahoo and bing.. but nothing on google... it would be a goldmine if adding an e in front would not make any difference but heard otherwise for so long so many times..
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          • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
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          • Profile picture of the author petevamp
            Originally Posted by ca3s4r View Post

            Well Pete I found your site on yahoo and bing.. but nothing on google... it would be a goldmine if adding an e in front would not make any difference but heard otherwise for so long so many times..
            The site is going through a google dance right now. I was in the top 15 for grow taller secrets and have since dropped off. The page is still indexed so it should be back up there once i find the time to add links to that site again. Also remember as I said the site is only a month or so old as well and I have not done too much linking for it at this time in the game.

            I have done some and I will get it to the front page with no problems. It is better to add a letter to the domain then to add an entire word like review or reviews. Not to mention keep in mind when you use the word reviews in your domain if you plan on using press releases you will not be able to go to certain sites like pr.com For they will not allow you to post any press releases with the end of the domain stating review or reviews.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        Originally Posted by ca3s4r View Post

        Thank you for your reply.
        Now I'm confused again.
        IMO, the only reason to seriously feel the need for a .com is for branding and type in traffic.

        If you are looking to just rank and/or drive traffic via other means then the extension really doesn't matter.

        Simply, if I'm new to the internet and I'm looking for eggplants - I might use the search bar to search the term eggplants or I might just go to the address bar and type in eggplant.com

        The dot com is naturally known and most likely to get your type in traffic.

        Now, if the niche or the keywords you are targeting are somewhat obscure or not so ordinary then the .com extension is less likely to be typed in.

        There are cases where I'd rather go with a dot net or something else as opposed to putting in hyphens as well (for the sake of having a dot com).

        What I like to do:

        1. check to see if the dot com is available (as the added type in traffic can be a bonus)

        2. if it is not available, I check to see what is being done with it at the current time. Some of these sites are not developed and are just being sat on by domainers. If this is the case and the current dot com is not even ranking, you can easily rank with the dot net or what ever. But if the dot net is taken as well then you need to see what is being done on that site too.

        Also, if ranking is your primary goal you may encounter an even harder time trying to outrank sites that don't even use the keyword in the domain. All the competition needs to be assessed.

        It boils down to the popularity of the niche and how much content and links you will need to build your site as the authority.

        Do you need to own the dot com to just make some money? No. Do you need to rank on the front page of google to just make some money? No.
        Will people find your site naturally if you don't own the dot com? Well, you need to have something there I'm looking for and a reason for me to return. As a consumer, I don't give a rip if the extension is the whole alphabet. I want to see what is in your store once I get there - and if I like what I see I will find you again.
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    • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
      Originally Posted by Rough Outline View Post

      To anyone here who says that the domain extension doesn't matter, then given the choice what would they rather choose a .com or a .me? If it doesn't matter, put your money where your mouth is.
      I have a very desirable, two-word .me domain (one of a handful, actually) for which its equivalent across all other popular TLDs was taken. (And yes, I'm aware that .me is actually a ccTLD: the country-code for Montenegro).

      I've never had any problems ranking it for any keywords I've targetted. It ranks well in Google's US, Canadian, Australian, UK and all other English-language indexes in which I've regularly checked my rankings.

      I can't profess to having had the opportunity (nor the inclination, actually) to "scientifically" test whether it does in fact carry any "small disadvantage" in comparison to other TLDs, but to be honest I'm not even sure how I'd go about that. It's practically impossible to conduct these tests in a legitimate, fair manner.

      All I know is that when I carry out my keyword competition research, and target a particular term on that site, I usually rank for it on the first page of Google, just as I do on my other sites, whether they be .com, .net, .org, .co.uk, .info, or whatever else.

      If there is a discernable SEO disadvantage to using certain TLDs - which I don't believe for a second there is - then it's so miniscule (to me) for it to be an inconsequential factor in one's decision of what domain(s) to buy or avoid.
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      • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
        Originally Posted by DireStraits View Post

        I have a very desirable, two-word .me domain (one of a handful, actually) for which its equivalent across all other popular TLDs was taken. (And yes, I'm aware that .me is actually a ccTLD: the country-code for Montenegro).

        I've never had any problems ranking it for any keywords I've targetted. It ranks well in Google's US, Canadian, Australian, UK and all other English-language indexes in which I've regularly checked my rankings.

        I can't profess to having had the opportunity (nor the inclination, actually) to "scientifically" test whether it does in fact carry any "small disadvantage" in comparison to other TLDs, but to be honest I'm not even sure how I'd go about that. It's practically impossible to conduct these tests in a legitimate, fair manner.

        All I know is that when I carry out my keyword competition research, and target a particular term on that site, I usually rank for it on the first page of Google, just as I do on my other sites, whether they be .com, .net, .org, .co.uk, .info, or whatever else.

        If there is a discernable SEO disadvantage to using certain TLDs - which I don't believe for a second there is - then it's so miniscule (to me) for it to be an inconsequential factor in one's decision of what domain(s) to buy or avoid.
        Thank you a lot Straits. You definitely helped me. Now I know I can register any domain without any fear and just go on with the SEO.
        Thank you.
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        • Profile picture of the author wtatlas
          You only have to look at the results for different search terms and you will find a mix of domain name extensions on the first page. This isn't scientifically "tested proof" but it seems to me to indicate that the domain name extension doesn't matter.

          When you think about it, why should it matter to the search engines? If there is a site with a .co.uk extension which, in search engine terms, provides content that reflects a search term better than any .com, .org or whatever, it's in the search engines' best interests to rank that site higher than the rest, regardless of the domain name extension.

          As far as human visitors are concerned, does anybody care what extension a site has as long as it provides what they are looking for?
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          • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
            Originally Posted by wtatlas View Post

            You only have to look at the results for different search terms and you will find a mix of domain name extensions on the first page. This isn't scientifically "tested proof" but it seems to me to indicate that the domain name extension doesn't matter.

            When you think about it, why should it matter to the search engines? If there is a site with a .co.uk extension which, in search engine terms, provides content that reflects a search term better than any .com, .org or whatever, it's in the search engines' best interests to rank that site higher than the rest, regardless of the domain name extension.

            As far as human visitors are concerned, does anybody care what extension a site has as long as it provides what they are looking for?
            Absolutely agreed. And that's the way I hope the reality is as well.

            The reason why I asked this is because before I've read these replies here, I got onto many threads where there were lots of people saying that .com has a boost. But it looks like it doesn't so I decided to go for other extensions as well from now.
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            • Profile picture of the author Kay King
              I know of foreign marketers who have bought .us domains without any issues as far as I'm aware of - I'm not sure if they had to jump through any legal hoops or not.
              I've noticed many .us domain sites I've visited have clearly not been owned by someone in the US . Confusing as the info below was listed as the requirements when .us was first offered.

              It shall be a continuing requirement that all usTLD domain name registrants maintain the US Nexus Requirement.
              Restrictions were found, for example, here:

              .US Domain Name Restrictions - Domain Name Faq's

              So if you're:

              • American,
              • resident in America,
              • domiciled in America,
              • have your business incorporated in America, or /# linefeed #
              • your organization has a 'bona fide presence' in America,
              then you are eligible to register one or more .us domains.
              I got onto many threads where there were lots of people saying that .com has a boost. But it looks like it doesn't so I decided to go for other extensions as well from now.
              Don't go too far in the other direction. Given a choice, would anyone NOT choose a .com first? I doubt it. Doesn't mean it's the only choice. I don't use .info or .us only because of my personal perception of how those extensions are often used.

              No matter how many have "tested" - the decision is still yours to make.

              kay
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              • Profile picture of the author Lee Wilson
                Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                No matter how many have "tested" - the decision is still yours to make.

                kay
                To expand on that, this is one of those situations where most people's test results should be ignored, more so than many other kinds of tests because it's virtually impossible to know what has affected the result. Unless you create two test sites that are exact duplicates in all but the domain extension, you have no way of knowing what affects the result. If we do this, we have no way of knowing the effect of duplicate filtering. (Note I said filtering, not penalty )

                The sites have to be different to some extent which in itself doesn't make a scientific test in any way accurate. We would need to create a lot of sites, all as similar as we can makes them and take an 'average' just to get a probable conclusion, not a definite one.

                Much easier to go to Google, run a bunch of random search queries and see how many .nets, .org's, .info's etc. that are beating .com's. If you can't find any, look again! All the scientific evidence necessary to answer this question is staring you in the face on many thousands of Google search results! Edit: Read Alexa's response to this below!
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              • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
                Banned
                Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                your organization has a 'bona fide presence' in America
                Yes indeed: this is the slightly "vague" one, isn't it? My guess (and it really is only a guess) is that in the event of an argument, making sales through a US-hosted website to a US-resident customer would probably not be considered having a "bona fide presence" in America. It seems to me that what the issue boils down to is whether the hosting of a website in a location is a "presence" within the meaning of the rules. I don't particularly want to be the first to find out.

                Which is a shame, in a way, because there are plenty of interesting adjectives ending in "------ous" which are not yet registered as "------o.us". There's potential there, but not for me, it seems.

                And those .ly domain-names for all the interesting adverbs are "unsafe" now.

                And those interesting .me ones are expensive, by comparison (though I have indulged myself with a few entertaining ones to add to my collection, and it's a much cheaper "impulse buy" than shoes, of course).

                Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                Given a choice, would anyone NOT choose a .com first?
                Yes - I've sometimes chosen .info, for the reasons I mentioned above.

                (I've bought the .com as well, but I've chosen to use the .info).

                Choosing to use a .info in preference to a .com, when you own the .com yourself, is of course a totally different proposition from choosing to use the .info extension of a domain-name of which the .com version already belongs to someone else.
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                • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
                  Banned
                  Originally Posted by Lee Wilson View Post

                  Much easier to go to Google, run a bunch of random search queries and see how many .nets, .org's, .info's etc. that are beating .com's. If you can't find any, look again! All the scientific evidence necessary to answer this question is staring you in the face on many thousands of Google search results!
                  With respect, Lee, this simply isn't valid reasoning at all!

                  You've just fallen into exactly the fallacious reasoning (of the "third group" of people) explained in post #7 above.

                  Correlation is not causation. Your "logic" is (perhaps unknowingly) attributing a "reason" for something, and it's the wrong "reason"! :rolleyes:
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                  • Profile picture of the author Lee Wilson
                    Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

                    With respect, Lee, that's utter nonsense.

                    You've just fallen into exactly the fallacious reasoning (of the "third group" of people) explained in post #7 above.

                    Correlation is not causation. You're attributing a "reason" for something, and it's the wrong "reason"! :rolleyes:
                    Not nonsense at all, maybe I should have added the word 'analyse' to looking at the results staring you in the face.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
                      Banned
                      You've missed the point, Lee.

                      Some people see (for example) that not so many .info domain-names rank at the top of Google's SERP's, and they mistakenly imagine that that's evidence that .info domain-names intrinsically don't rank as easily. What it's really evidence of is that people believe that .info domain-names intrinsically don't rank as easily, and for that reason they don't use .info domain-names when they want to rank highly, which of course readily explains why there are fewer of them ranking highly.

                      It's not evidence of the fact for which you claim it as evidence: it's only evidence of people's BELIEF that it's a fact. In other words, it's self-fulfilling and it proves nothing.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Lee Wilson
                        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

                        You've missed the point, Lee.

                        Some people see (for example) that not so many .info domain-names rank at the top of Google's SERP's, and they mistakenly imagine that that's evidence that .info domain-names intrinsically don't rank as easily. What it's really evidence of is that people believe that .info domain-names intrinsically don't rank as easily, and for that reason they don't use .info domain-names when they want to rank highly, which of course readily explains why there are fewer of them ranking highly. It's not evidence of the fact for which you claim it as evidence: it's only evidence of people's BELIEF that it's a fact.
                        I do take your point and completely agree with you. I am guilty of presumption. I presume that people know how to (and want to) analyse this stuff. The evidence is there if you look for it, if you don't then it means nothing. You are dead right to point it out though so thanks. This is the kind of stuff that leads to mis-information if it isn't picked up on or misinterpreted.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Austin.W
                      Just my 5c worth on this...

                      I think the domain extention debate is all media driven, someone stated .info domains dont rank and it was repeated and repeated until it became a well known "internet fact" and has been taken as the correct advice by many. ( as many "internet facts" are these days)

                      If you Google SPAIN
                      (as in the country)
                      The top result (below Wikipedia) is spain.info

                      This isnt hard evidence supporting .info domains but at least it shows .info domains DO rank high.

                      My own opinion is always try to get the domain extension relevant to the country you want to rank - UK (.co.uk or .org.uk) USA (.com) etc..

                      Google does look at the extension for country relevancy IF you havent set your region in Webmaster tools.

                      Ultimately I am sure I can find as many people who say it does matter as I could find people who say it dont matter.

                      My best advice would be - Trust your own judgement and if you dont have one Experiment and try for yourself. This is what seperates the Guru's from the Followers - they experiment and findout for themselves.
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                      • Profile picture of the author myob
                        tweedle dum tweedle dee ... meanwhile we keep buying up .info for the TLD ... and on it goes ...
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                      • Profile picture of the author thecableguy
                        No recorded proof here and I seem to be in the minority, and yeah Matt Cutts says it doesn't matter, but I'll stick to the com, net and org, then hyphens before going to different extensions. Not going on what I'm hearing, but from what I've experienced. I've been registering EMD's from back in 2006 when they were magic (kinda) and I've tried (actually put up sites not just registered them) hundreds of .info, com, net and org (also biz, mobi, tv, us extensions, but not as much). And if you group them - com, net and org vs info, biz, mobi, us, tv the percentages of getting ranked aren't the same (yeah I know that's just me), but back in 2006 when EMDs were sorta magic I'd guesstimate around 15 - 20% (in non-competitive niches) of the com, net and org extensions were hitting page 1 or 2 of Google while the rest were in the mid to low single digits in percentages.

                        I've searched thousands of EMDs and almost 100% of the time the com and net is taken first followed by org and info. IMO the .info is largely due to the price if not why the huge difference in the other biz, mobi, us extensions, and why not register those as well. IMO if the extension wasn't a factor the EMDs for all extensions would be taken, but a large majority of the time it's only the com version that's taken.

                        Doing keyword research in the SERPs the com, net and org seem to take up the majority of the listings (yeah I know they've been around longer), but for Google I'd prefer a com. net or org (even if Matt Cutts says it doesn't matter), not so much so with Yahoo and MSN JMO
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                      • Profile picture of the author paulgl
                        I've said it before, I'll challenge again. Go and buy any friggin dot com,
                        and beat prchecker.info

                        Since pagerank is google's baby, wouldn't it make sense that if there is
                        some reason to discount a dot info, then CERTAINLY in THIS case google
                        would make DARN sure that no lame-a$$ dot info is going to rank for
                        their own product. (well, Stanford U.'s, actually, but it's still a google-baby)

                        But the dot info does. It has google love that many of us are envious of.

                        That site alone is proof, once and for all, that google loves dot infos as
                        much as anything.

                        People perceive dot infos as being not as good, soley on the basis of not
                        seeing them regularly in search engines. It stands to reason. More people buy
                        dot coms and more people SEO them. But the ones that people choose to do
                        the exact same stuff for, in their niche, see the same results that any dot
                        com would, all things being equal.

                        My host sells both dot coms and dot infos for the same $9.99.

                        There is no way that any test would ever be 100% valid. Nothing is
                        ever equal.

                        Paul
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                        • Profile picture of the author thecableguy
                          Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

                          I've said it before, I'll challenge again. Go and buy any friggin dot com,
                          and beat prchecker.info

                          Since pagerank is google's baby, wouldn't it make sense that if there is
                          some reason to discount a dot info, then CERTAINLY in THIS case google
                          would make DARN sure that no lame-a$$ dot info is going to rank for
                          their own product. (well, Stanford U.'s, actually, but it's still a google-baby)

                          But the dot info does. It has google love that many of us are envious of.

                          That site alone is proof, once and for all, that google loves dot infos as
                          much as anything.

                          People perceive dot infos as being not as good, soley on the basis of not
                          seeing them regularly in search engines. It stands to reason. More people buy
                          dot coms and more people SEO them. But the ones that people choose to do
                          the exact same stuff for, in their niche, see the same results that any dot
                          com would, all things being equal.

                          My host sells both dot coms and dot infos for the same $9.99.

                          There is no way that any test would ever be 100% valid. Nothing is
                          ever equal.

                          Paul
                          And I'll say it again, go take your .info a go beat google.com or ebay.com. What's your point? Try to beat a ranked site just to prove a point? You have your opinion and other people have their's. ANY ranked site would be tough to beat it doesn't matter the extension.

                          Identicle EMDs and pages gives some weight to the THEORY...IMO
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                          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
                            (I've bought the .com as well, but I've chosen to use the .info).
                            I've done that, too, for feeder sites - or to use in testing a potentially good niche when I don't know quite what I want to do with that niche yet.
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      Originally Posted by Rough Outline View Post

      People talk, talk, talk about this non stop. The proof is in testing and seeing results.
      The biggest convincers to me were the following sites...

      Beg The Question
      Noam Chomsky
      Regular Expressions (with a dash too!!! )
      Roman Coins
      Craft Ideas
      Google PageRank Checker
      New York City Transit

      ...as well as my own sites. (No, I'm not going to tell you my own sites because to do so here is to invite competition, bogus Webmaster Tools reports and other negative activity.)

      Originally Posted by Rough Outline View Post

      To anyone here who says that the domain extension doesn't matter, then given the choice what would they rather choose a .com or a .me? If it doesn't matter, put your money where your mouth is.
      The base GoDaddy price on a .me is $16.99 while the .com base price is $10.99. Why would I, as a noted cheapskate, have any desire to spend more? I typically buy .com, .info, .net, .org, .biz or .us domains. It's not that I have any SEO preference, but that I'm looking at the best value for my money. I most often buy .info when I'm buying a new domain because (a) they're inexpensive the first year and (b) most of the other extensions are already taken. I also do other research to determine if the domain is a good one to buy or not.

      Why would I buy a .com over a .info? It's because I found a good keyword match (rare these days) that's available or that I have a branding idea, such as for a new product, where having the .com would be an advantage, particularly selling to the prejudiced IM crowd.

      Also, I'm not a big proponent of "exact keyword match or die" domain buying. As I mentioned in another thread on this Groundhog Day topic, I've gotten where I prefer unique site branding over exact matches. I even have generically named and personal name sites ranking for some nice, profitable, searches.

      Another thing that's being seen recently are some changes to Google's algorithm that even more strongly favor long established sites with strong authority links and perhaps some other factors. This change has made things more difficult across the board. This is why you'll see people saying that ".infos won't rank" or "my new .com got sandboxed" more often right now. Google did raise the bar but they raised it for everybody, not just one extension.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Step back and look at this for a moment.

    Is their any logical reason why Google or any search engine would discount a domain and therefor by choice rank it lower because of its extension?

    No there is not! And any one telling you otherwise with any type of proof is only providing anecdotal evidence, which means squat.

    There simply is no reason to get into a huge discussion about this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Biggy Fat
    The IMUMF (Internet Marketing Unsolved Mysteries Firm) has an extensive breakdown on this matter. It is an unsolved mystery that they're looking deep into.
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  • Profile picture of the author Biggy Fat
    About the only .info that ranks well that I know of is for a term that gets 6,600 searches a month and is a PR4 when I checked. Thing is, the URL is SO true.
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  • Profile picture of the author Charles Harper
    Another way to look at this is that your content needs to be sticky any way if social media matters. Maybe all of this argument truly has a shelf life of 6 to 18 months. I believe that what is proven is that the SE will become less objective and more subjective due to 'competition' from Facebook, Diaspora and other networks. These networks already have in them a treasure trove of search-able results. As soon as somebody can make them available in a meaningful way, people will use them. Thus, the focus of .info vs. other stuff is really kind of moot for the long run anyway.

    Why is this relevant? Let me explain.

    I don't think Facebook and Diaspora will take visitors away from good SEO, but if you content is not sticky enough for somebody to share then you are probably leaving money on the table.

    When I share an article with someone on a social network, I am not looking at the extension. When something goes viral, it just has to not only be "good" and "fresh" but it should also be interesting.

    I can only guess that Facebook is working on its own search engine that will be social in nature. What happens when people begin searching for content on a subject that that other people in their network find interesting?

    Again, no reason to be alarmed, but just because you had the foresight to have some really boring content written by some folks in the Phillipines does not mean that it will meet the test of sharable.

    All that is to say is that being found in the search engines with a particular kind of extensions is and should be down on one's list of priorities. I think that as we step our game up as content marketers or information marketers, we need to get not only the search engine traffic, but that traffic that comes from having something worth somebody's time to read.

    Will Google kill made for adsense websites and content sites? I don't know and don't care really. If my website is properly structured, I will get my traffic. What I have turned my attention to is whether or not if somebody reads or sees something I write, would they or could they share it with somebody. Social networks have caused Google to retrench and you can bet that the SE will become more adaptable to that kind of model instead of a semi-objective process that they own of deciding what is worth reading. In that respect Google's monopoly has already been broken and at some point what they think will not be and should not be your only concern, yes?

    I realize this is off the topic a bit. I just think that if all of our focus is on this stuff, we could be leaving money on the table. Candidly, since my writing is my money, I don't want to leave any money that I could get, on the table.

    OK, back to your regularly scheduled debate and argument on search engine results.

    CT

    PS...to my point, you have no way of knowing how or whether or not your .info or .com shows up in somebody's personalized search results, which is just the first step in making search engines a little bit more subjective. So, to me, make your content findable, but also make it sharable.
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  • Profile picture of the author Biggy Fat
    And this whole discussion is why the .info matter will forever be an unsolved mystery.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    The biggest unanswered question I have on the subject is
    why anyone thinks Matt Cutts has any reason to lie about it.

    What motivation could he possibly have?

    On the one hand, I have a gaggle of anonymous posters on
    various forums making unsubstantiated claims. On the other,
    I have Matt Cutts saying it doesn't matter.

    Like Alexa, I think I'll go with Matt Cutts for the win.

    Tsnyder
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    If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
      There is no scientific evidence in the way that term is usually used.

      That would mean basically that a person had purchased a number of domains with various extensions and put up exactly the same content in exactly the same way at exactly the same time on exactly the same ip address and on and one with every other possible variable being the same except for teh domain tld.

      Like backlinks, fonts, meta tags, what time you put up the site. What font you used, really every single thing that could be diiferent would have to be the same and the only thing that could be different was the extension.

      And even then the only thing that would make the evidence of that experiement hold any weight in future situations would be if the experiment was repeatable with the same results (statistically speaking anyway) by anyone else anywhere in the future.

      If you don't do it that way, all you really have is a report of someone else's experience in a particular set of circumstances which may or may not have any relevance to your situation at all.

      I personally believe based on my own experience that ranking these various domain extensions is a process unrelated to the tld.

      As far as domains appearing to have some secondary meaning based on someone's opinion, you do not have control over what they think.
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  • Profile picture of the author Underground SEO
    I have to disagree with what seems to be the majority in this thread. I will always sticks to hyphens and .com's, .net's and .org's simply because that is what you see in the search engine results 9 times out of 10. Yes, .info appears sometimes, but .me and all of those other country code domains (exception .co.uk) rarely get a look in.

    When someone can find numerous examples of .me's etc ranking highly for competitive keywords, I don't mean ridiculous long-tail keywords then I may start thinking about other extensions, as I've never seem them in my experience.

    p.s. I'm not actually asking someone to do that!
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    To answer the seller's actual question, yes, here is one test which shows com vs net vs org vs info:

    SEO Test 11: .com vs .org vs .net vs .info | Search Engine Optimization SEO Empire

    They mysteriously finish in the order that "rumor and speculation" would place them in:

    fulldragon.com at pos 2 25th of July
    fulldragon.net at pos 3 26th of July
    fulldragon.org at pos 5 3rd of August
    fulldragon.info at pos 10 28th of July
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    • Profile picture of the author thecableguy
      Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

      To answer the seller's actual question, yes, here is one test which shows com vs net vs org vs info:

      SEO Test 11: .com vs .org vs .net vs .info | Search Engine Optimization SEO Empire

      They mysteriously finish in the order that "rumor and speculation" would place them in:

      fulldragon.com at pos 2 25th of July
      fulldragon.net at pos 3 26th of July
      fulldragon.org at pos 5 3rd of August
      fulldragon.info at pos 10 28th of July

      That's interesting. What's surprising is that Google has identicle listings on it's first page. I once had a similar result with Yahoo. I thought I was the only one that was silly enough to test the com, net, org and info against each other
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    • Profile picture of the author Underground SEO
      Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

      To answer the seller's actual question, yes, here is one test which shows com vs net vs org vs info:

      SEO Test 11: .com vs .org vs .net vs .info | Search Engine Optimization SEO Empire

      They mysteriously finish in the order that "rumor and speculation" would place them in:

      fulldragon.com at pos 2 25th of July
      fulldragon.net at pos 3 26th of July
      fulldragon.org at pos 5 3rd of August
      fulldragon.info at pos 10 28th of July
      thanks for posting this, confirms many people's thoughts
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave Rodman
    Banned
    Why test to see if other extensions rank as well as a .com, when you can just buy a .com in 2 minutes.

    If you plan on having the domain in 3 or 5 years, get a .com. Don't know if you'll have it for 3 or 5 years, then get the .com.

    .info and .us extensions are for throwaway domains. At least in my book.
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  • Profile picture of the author CaesarSEO
    Thank you warriors.
    I appreciate all your inputs.

    Now I'll need some more time to decide lol
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  • Profile picture of the author nelaffiliate
    My advice is that you use a country specific domain extension if you are targeting a particular country, but if not.... use any domain and simply make sure you do the right on-page and off-page SEO work.
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