Is .com better than .info? Is EMD better than partial match/stop words? Here are MY findings.

19 replies
  • SEO
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OK, I set out to do a few mini-niche sites in the last couple of months, varying some of the parameters that normally get asked about all the time - is .info better than .com/.net/.org, do we really need an EMD or can we add filler words if it's not available, should it be a blog or that sort of thing?

Well, after moderate backlinking (I hate backlinking with a passion) here is what my results have been:

Site 1) .info - exact-match, trademark, 4 static pages - ranked the top 5 spots on page one, but for a low-comp keyword (that should pick up soon )
Site 2) .info - static one-page site - exact-match, fairly low-comp, trademark, just cannot get it off page two
Site 3) .info - Wordpress-based authority-type blog with VERY good content, some 20-30 pages so far, about 2 months old, exact-match. NOWHERE IN SIGHT, like, more than page 10 (bit shocked about that one, not sure what's happened there)

Site 4) .com - static site, partial EMD using ONE kwd, substituting synonym for the other to avoid trademark infringement. Something like plasticbricks.com instead of legobricks.com. Languishing on page 2 or 3 for the main kwp, though ranking page one for a couple of long-tails.

Site 5) .com - static, low-comp but kwds separated with HYPHEN - NOWHERE IN SIGHT!

Site 6) .com - static (Xfactor clone), fairly low-comp, stop-word before the EM keywords, like thegardenchair.com. NOWHERE IN SIGHT for the main kwp, though making page one appearances for some long-tails (and made some nice $$ too)

Site 7) .net - EMD, no hyphens, no stop-words, static - position TWO on page one within a month and consistently earning me at least $5/day in Adsense.

(I should point out that almost all these sites have earned me SOMETHING, but not always what I wanted, obviously!)

This never really set out to be an experiment, but I have done enough different types of site to make a decision on the ONLY type of site I will be doing in the near future!

Maybe these results are not for others (especially if you are a SEO wizz and just LUUUURVE backlinking!), and of COURSE this is not a scientific comparison and there may be many factors involved. But for me, if I want the low-hanging fruit, all other things being equal, it's:

- .com/.net/.org
- static
- low-comp keywords
- EMD, EMD, EMD (no stop-words, no hyphens!)

...all the way. You can take from this what you want!
#based #emd #experience #info #match or stop #partial #recent #words
  • Profile picture of the author Genesis1
    I found also HYPHENs names are hard to get on the 1st page
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    • Profile picture of the author markowe
      Originally Posted by Genesis1 View Post

      I found also HYPHENs names are hard to get on the 1st page
      Yeah, basically I am pretty sure exact match domains are STILL the easiest way to rank on page one for a low-competition niche keyword phrase, even though it is no longer a guarantee you will shoot up there within two days like used to be the case. You won't necessarily stay there either.

      So Xfactor/Clickbump is dead, partly, but in an adapted form still works great.
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    • Profile picture of the author 4morereferrals
      Hey great post ...

      Ive come to similar conclusions as of late after getting deep in my wallet for domain buying sprees and trying to rank them.

      I dont mind the backlink bit - so ... i can go with a few filler words ... or letters.

      .nets and .coms from now on and Im kicking the " - " approach to the curb as well.

      i think id prefer the filler words in the emd as longs as the kw phrase makes up greater than 90% of the letters in the dom. Will over come the shortcomings of filler words with more linking.

      but what I find is the .biz / .info enter the index in the high 100's 187, 177

      the .nets and the .coms - 100 - 77 - 87 - 75 range ...

      I can and have ranked them all - but the .biz and .info seem to be requiring far more backlinking resources and content [ and time ] to both maintain serps and rise ...

      Hate static html - so im sticking with WP
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  • Profile picture of the author Bribebox
    Sorry for offtopic, but what "static" means?
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  • Profile picture of the author WealthWithin
    From my experience, I've found this to be true too.

    EMD .com/net/org are far more easier to rank than any others. Now theorists will say .info domains are the same as .coms. Unfortunately they just believe Matt Cutts and haven't done any hands-on tests.

    Bribebox:
    'static' is regular HTML websites. Wordpress and other CMSs are 'dynamic' sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author markowe
    I think in the LONG-TERM there is not much difference between .info and com/net etc. because probably other ranking factors will gradually take over in importance, like age, backlinks etc. But for the quick-ranking effect, .com and the other 'top' TLDs still rule in my book. No, they don't rank overnight like they used to, but they still easily enter in the top 100 and can quickly work their way up. I have just had a .org EMD come in at 26 with almost no content, although I plan to build out an authority site with this one so am ready for the long haul - sort of goes against what I said in the OP, but this niche I am quite knowledgeable and passionate about so it's different. Garden chairs I can take or leave, I need quick rankings with those because there's only so much enthusiasm I have for outdoor furniture
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  • Profile picture of the author John Williamson
    Interesting stuff, I've had similar results.
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    • Thanks for your long writeup, markowe. EMD's are definitely still owning, no matter if it's a longtail or a competitive one-word keyword.
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      • Profile picture of the author markowe
        Originally Posted by BacklinkExcellence View Post

        Thanks for your long writeup, markowe. EMD's are definitely still owning, no matter if it's a longtail or a competitive one-word keyword.
        I think you pretty much said it. It might not be as powerful as it once was at getting you instantly to page one and keeping you there forever, but it's still the single most effective ranking factor for me and saves a shed-load of backlinking and all that stuff I hate!
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      • Profile picture of the author rich2
        stupid newbie question perhaps but here goes:

        found a kw that gets thousands of hits per month. The .com is taken but when searched there is no website at .com. Question? Would a .info site get much of the organic traffic?
        RichieG
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  • Profile picture of the author markowe
    By getting the traffic you basically mean can you hit the Google top ten with the .info as easily as if you had the .com. You will hear different opinions here all the time, some saying it doesn't make any difference. Based on my personal experience as described above, I would not go for the .info nowadays. With good SEO and backlinking etc you can rank a site on ANY TLD, .za if you want! But for that instant boost out of the gate it's com, net and org for me every time, and just about all the successful affiliate/Adsense niche site marketers will say the same (e.g. see the famous Clickbump thread round here, I see it resurfaced today).
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Good post... Everybody will have different results though. Were all these in the same niche? Targeting the same keywords?
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    • Profile picture of the author markowe
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      Good post... Everybody will have different results though. Were all these in the same niche? Targeting the same keywords?
      Sure, I made it clear from the start these are just my results. They are all completely different niches and different keywords so that hardly helps the comparison. However they are almost all up against the same sort of competition on page one
      - low PR, poorly optimised pages, so you would kind of expect them to perform similarly. I am sure there is still much more going on in this ranking business than we realise.

      One similarity between the really low performers (the effectively 'sandboxed' ones) is that the INDIVIDUAL words that make up the kwp, e.g. ONLINE DIAMOND CAMERA (erm, made-up example!) are each high-competition words in their own right. I wonder if that has any bearing, you don't hear that talked about a lot, but it's not the first time I have wondered that.
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      • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
        Originally Posted by markowe View Post

        Sure, I made it clear from the start these are just my results. They are all completely different niches and different keywords so that hardly helps the comparison. However they are almost all up against the same sort of competition on page one
        - low PR, poorly optimised pages, so you would kind of expect them to perform similarly. I am sure there is still much more going on in this ranking business than we realise.

        One similarity between the really low performers (the effectively 'sandboxed' ones) is that the INDIVIDUAL words that make up the kwp, e.g. ONLINE DIAMOND CAMERA (erm, made-up example!) are each high-competition words in their own right. I wonder if that has any bearing, you don't hear that talked about a lot, but it's not the first time I have wondered that.
        I have done a bit of experimenting with extensions, I've noticed that .info DOES get treated the same as any other extension by the search engines, but they don't get treated the same by people. Very interesting though, I am trying to rank my site, imakeyourwebsites.com for affordable web design, and am having a hell of a time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Condorr
    Thanks for sharing your findings with us. I've had similar experiences to you in regards to Exact Match Domains having a huge boost in Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Cole
    @Markowe

    Were all of the domains of the same age? ie.. new?

    You dont also mention the backlinking efforts you put into each site, did you give each site similar amounts?

    Another question, do you keep the sites fresh with content or just build the sites and leave them alone? - Many are of the opinion that a site which updates with fresh content helps rankings also.

    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author markowe
      Originally Posted by chrisc363 View Post

      @Markowe

      Were all of the domains of the same age? ie.. new?

      You dont also mention the backlinking efforts you put into each site, did you give each site similar amounts?

      Another question, do you keep the sites fresh with content or just build the sites and leave them alone? - Many are of the opinion that a site which updates with fresh content helps rankings also.

      Chris
      Chris, good questions, I didn't really get into that in my OP. I will try to update the OP soon giving info about my backlinking, but like I said, I really hate backlinking, so for most sites it's been little more than a few articles, a Squidoo lens, a Hubpage, a few blog comments maybe and that's about IT! A lot of people are going to say, "Well, there's your problem!" and I agree, that's why many of my sites bomb, but as I say, I want the EASY results, right?

      And guess which site I did the LEAST backlinking for (just one article on EZA, reposted verbatim to 6 or 7 others, maybe a forum sig or two just to get indexed and I think a dozen social bookmarks via OnlyWire)?

      You guess it, the .net EMD that is earning me $5 a day.

      So you can see why I have come to the conclusion I have, at least based on MY results, as to where to focus my efforts.

      Oh, and about content, most of the sites I have pretty much not touched since putting up the first 3 or 4 articles. Some I have thrown in a couple of extra related pages, some of them I have expanded the original 1-page article into 3 or 4 related ones. This new content DOES seem to have helped in one way or another (consolidating no. 1 position in the case of Site 1, getting some new long-tail traffic on site 4). But the .net, the best performer, I have just added a couple of related articles which to be honest get no traffic for the most part and I wonder whether they made any difference at all...

      Again, I will let people draw their own conclusions, but for me, I know where I will be focusing most of my efforts.

      Oh, P.S. About domain age - they are all new domains to the best of my knowledge. However there is one site, that I didn't mention here, that is an EMD.com and, it turns out, WAS registered previously, even though I didn't know that at the time. That site spent a little while on page one having gone in very quickly, but has now slipped to page two or three. I am looking at why that happened - my feeling is that my articles are a little short, like 150-200 words. The product in question isn't really out yet and does not get many searches (and I don't have much to write about!), so I will build that one out more when the time comes. Still, that does show that domain age / EMD / good TLD need not NECESSARILY yield results, but I can point to other factors with that site that could be causing problems, especially the content.
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  • Profile picture of the author esquiree
    I prefer com
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    • Profile picture of the author markowe
      Originally Posted by esquiree View Post

      I prefer com
      ...and..? More detailed comments, evidence, concrete experience? Or is it just personal taste?

      Failure to answer this question will constitute an admission of sig spamming.
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