Is .net, .com, or .org preferred by Google?

30 replies
  • SEO
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I have the option of buying an exact match domain with .net (untaken domain) or a .com that's for sale for a little bit more money. Does Google prefer one of these in the rankings? And what's the technical IM word for these site suffixes?
Thanks
#google #net #org #preferred
  • Profile picture of the author ryanman
    I have seen all kinds of domains rank for different reasons. But as everyone knows .com seems to be the most common preference for most people out there.
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  • Profile picture of the author ddshosting
    I would look at the .com most keenly. If it already has backlinks and what they're relating too. Look at the domain age too and when it stopped being used by it's previous owner. You could piggy back on any hard work they may have done if it is soon after they let it expire.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      For ranking/SEO, all the TLD's (and three "national" ones) are exactly the same.

      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post5841064

      Of course, there can be many other advantages of using a .com (but SEO isn't one of them).

      Originally Posted by bathunter View Post

      And what's the technical IM word for these site suffixes?
      They're called "domain extensions".
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  • Profile picture of the author HTG
    I have been told ".com all the way" by a few experienced SEO folks. But I am starting to question that for a new site or new niche. I understand that .com is the most common out there, but I will ask as well does it really matter? And why?
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  • Profile picture of the author James Gladwell
    Yep, go with the .com if possible as it lends more credibility to the site, as people see that type of domain name as the original and best (even though it makes little difference).

    I'd buy both, build the site on the .com and then have the .net point to the .com site, especially if you're building a brand and want to be known for that brand (you don't want someone building a site with the same name on a .org for example as it might harm your brand).

    Don't think there is an official IM word for these suffixes.
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  • Profile picture of the author DannyO
    Dot com seems to be preferred by users....
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by DannyO View Post

      Dot com seems to be preferred by marketers who assume their customers prefer them, but haven't actually asked ....
      "Fixed that for you".
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  • Profile picture of the author SARahman
    Domain extention has nothing to do with search engine rankings. What gets your site ranked is your content and quality backlinks to your pages.

    I am not saying that the era of .com is over but there is something more sweet about .co extention. Which is why Go Daddy is running expensive TV commercials starring famous people during prime time.

    Mostly, big companies buy all the "top" extensions and redirect them to their _main_ domain just to prevent impersonating sites drinking their juice

    Thats all,

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  • Profile picture of the author jdkesler
    AFAIK the .com extension doesn't gain you any favors for search. I have read that when people are trying to remember a web addess that they often defaut to .com

    So if you have a website that is abcd.net and people are trying to remember it they will often type in abcd.com. If you have competition in the niche (which is almost 100% of the time) then your competitor gets the hit.

    If you are looking at an existing domain with .com then I agree with the poster who said you might be able to gain from the work/traffic already in place.
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  • Profile picture of the author Abby Haukongo
    Google has no specific preference when it comes to domain extensions according to Matt Cutts. Domain extensions have more importance in the eyes of the customers, and .com's are the preferred choice.

    Abby
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  • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
    Banned
    Google and other search engines don't care one iota what the domain extension is. In one respect, they don't actually index or serve up domains in their results - they serve pages.

    When a result of hxxp://somedomain.com is returned, it's because the search engine found relevant content on the default page for that domain.

    There was a time, long ago, when the COM extension actually stood for "COMmercial" use, just as NET was reserved for "NETworks" and ORG for 'Non Profit ORGanizations".

    I think (haven't looked this up in a while), that only EDU, GOV and MIL extensions are still tightly controlled.

    I have yet to see any studies of preference in domain extensions. You can probably assume that a COM extension has some credibility to it, but that is rapidly changing as more and more extensions are opened up.

    In my experience, ranking well with non-COM domains has never been a problem. I've done it easily enough with NET, ORG, INFO, ME and PE, GR (Peru and Greece country level domains).
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      There was a time, long ago, when the COM extension actually stood for "COMmercial" use, just as NET was reserved for "NETworks" and ORG for 'Non Profit ORGanizations".

      I think (haven't looked this up in a while), that only EDU, GOV and MIL extensions are still tightly controlled.
      Mike nails it.

      The .com extension is the most overwhelmingly popular extension on the internet because through most of the 1990s, it was the only domain extension you could get.

      If you wanted a .org domain, you had to have a legitimate nonprofit organisation and submit your 501(c)-3 to Network Solutions for verification, or you could not have one.

      If you wanted a .net domain, you had to demonstrate a certain level of service capacity - roughly what ICANN now requires for a domain registrar - or, again, you could not have one. (There was actually a short window of time when having a .net domain was considered evidence of being a "real" internet company.)

      And it was not all that long ago when .com domain registration required you to submit identification and licensing documents to the registrar that are now only required for EV security certificates.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan Joseph
    In my experience we as humans are just SO used to the '.com' extension.

    Google of course LOVES '.gov' and '.edu' since they're traditionally used for legitimate educational/ federal websites.

    However when it comes to domains I usually always purchase a '.com', '.org' and even '.info'.
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    • Profile picture of the author fin
      I'd go with .com if it's a big project.

      Go with the .net if it's just a little niche site.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Google does not have a preference in top level extensions. I can rank an .org as easily as a .com with the same SEO techniques. It's the content, backlinks and social proof that matters, not the extension, so basically choose the one you want or can afford.
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  • Profile picture of the author UMS
    The only thing I'd add is that the only real case where the domain extension matters is if you are targeting a specific country.

    For example, if you are targeting the UK, then a .co.uk, .net.uk etc will generally do better than .com, .net etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
      Originally Posted by DannyO View Post

      Dot com seems to be preferred by users....
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Dot com seems to be preferred by marketers who assume their customers prefer them, but haven't actually asked ....
      "Fixed that for you".
      Alexa beat me to it and I just had to hit the thanks button. The only people who "prefer" a dot com are internet marketers. I have no idea why.

      If you are designing a site whose sole target market is internet marketers then maybe, just maybe, a dot com might be better. I'd doubt that - I know that content would interest me far more than the domain extension.

      The greater public couldn't give a **** what the domain extension is. They have no idea what they mean or how they came about. Their aim, as mine, is to find the information they are looking for. They have no interest in the domain extension.

      Before you ask, I'm talking from my own experience. I've been teaching adults for 15 years as well as troubleshooting their computers and more recently designing websites. I have never yet come across a user who has looked at the google search results, or picked up a business card with a web address on and who has said anything remotely approaching "oh, I don't want to look at that site, it isn't a dot com".

      UMS has a good point. I think Google say they do take a country specific domain extension into account when serving local search results.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOExpert999
    It really depends on the type of site you are building. You really want to stay inline with what the intention of the .extensions. A .com and .net is used for businesses and marketers. The .org is really for non-profit organization but can be used for other things and you can get delisted if you start using them wrong. Know your customer and choose the 1 that fits.
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  • Profile picture of the author Trehee
    I personally don't think it matters. What you should be focused on is the content for your site! Google isn't going to care what domain extension you have as long as you have quality content.
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  • All 3 are good domain names. But I wouldn't suggest starting a serious website on a .net or a .org. Maybe an affiliate site but not a website that has the potential to go far. If you succeed you'll probably end up paying the .com owner a fee just to add a link to your website.
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  • Profile picture of the author cbnet
    What about .co
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by cbnet View Post

      What about .co
      .co is treated as a top level international domain. They rank fine if you do the SEO. The only thing I don't like about them is their cost and the fact that I often automatically type the .com instead of .co because that's what I'm used to.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by cbnet View Post

      What about .co
      As Suzanne says.

      .co domains were originally geotargeted for Colombia, but (together with .me domains, originally for Montenegro, and .tv domains, originally for Tuvalu), Google has announced that they're now treated for all SEO/ranking purposes as identical to all the generic top-level domains.

      A .co domain has no intrinsic ranking/SEO disadvantage at all compared with a .com domain.

      It may, of course, have several other disadvantages, but SEO isn't one of them.

      You won't often see them ranking as highly as .com domains, but that's because (a) they haven't been around for so long, (b) there aren't so many of them, (c) they were originally geotargeted, (d) they're overpriced, and (e) some people don't use them when they want to rank well anyway, because they think Google is - for some strange reason best known to themselves - deliberately lying about it. :p
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  • Profile picture of the author cbnet
    @sbucciarel: Hi, What you mean by "..their cost.."

    Can I ask you some thing, is it your real pic & are you smoking a real cigar in the pic........
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by cbnet View Post

      @sbucciarel: Hi, What you mean by "..their cost.."

      Can I ask you some thing, is it your real pic & are you smoking a real cigar in the pic........
      They're more expensive to buy (around $28-$32) so I would really have to want the domain a lot to pay that year after year for a domain.

      As for the avatar .... I'll keep you guessing.
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  • Profile picture of the author HalloweenKing
    SEOmoz did a great post about exact match domains, even when its a post from Oct 2010, you can still find valuable info here - Are Exact Match Domains Too Powerful? Is Their Time Limited? | SEOmoz
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  • Profile picture of the author cbnet
    @Suzanne: Now you arousing my inquisitiveness . We want to see real you
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