You might be wondering if the domain name you choose will help boost your site’s SEO. What criteria does Google use in ranking a site? Do .com sites rank higher than their counterparts?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a major determinant of the success of any business today. For this post, therefore, we take a look at the effect of domain names in ranking a site on search engines such as Google.
Anatomy of a Domain Name
Domain names have two parts. The left part is the second level domain and the part to the right of the dot is the top level domain. In example.com, “example” becomes the second-level domain while “.com” is the top level domain.
The top level domain (extension to the left) comes in a variety of options. It might appear in the standard generic form like .com or .net, etc. Also, it may have the suffixes describing the kind of industry it represents. Perfect examples are .accountant and .contractors.
Can you depend on a domain name to boost your site’s ranking, then? Unfortunately, according to Google, a top-level domain name has no impact on the search ranking. Suppose you want to establish a site for your guitar shop. Choosing either .com or .guitar will not help your business to rank higher. Similarly, a charity organization consideration either .org or .help does not have much to worry. There will be no effect on the search engine results.
However, there are exceptions-country code domains. Domains aimed at or designed for particular regions are exempted. Therefore, a .ca domain in Canada will have an affect the search engine results. Thus, such a site would rank higher in Canada compared to other sites in the same industry but without the code of Canada. Google makes sure that those sites are at the top of results for people who search the web from those countries.
Generic Country Code Domains
Country codes are not treated equally in search rankings. Some generic codes get the same ranking as generic or universal. Hence, they have the same power as those ending with .com. There is a full list of country code domains that Google regards as generic.
Be Creative with Domain Names
As you can see, when choosing a domain, Google gives you the freedom to do as you please. If you’re looking for a domain name, GoDaddy offers hundreds of top-level domains to choose from. Be sure to register the one that suits your site.