Domain Names: Why You Should Always Stick With .Com

Domain Name Game: Why You Should Always Stick With .Com

Why You Should Always Stick With .ComAs Shakespeare once said, "What is in a name?" Although he wasn't exactly referring to a domain name, we're going to go ahead and apply a 21st-century twist to this classic idiom by adding, "that which we call a domain name by any other extension than .com, could be detrimental to your business." Okay, it's not quite as romantic as the poetic love story between a Montague and Capulet, but at least we offer a happy ending.

It can be challenging to find the right domain name for your business. By the end of last year, there were more than 300 million domains registered in the world -- in a world of fierce competition, not only does it make it hard to pick one that's not already taken, it makes it hard to stand out.

In fact, if you have a fairly common business name in the U.S., you may find that most variations of your name are already in use. For example, if you're operating under "My Company, LLC", and you search "Mycompany" on a domain registration website, you'll discover that your domain name is taken in the .com format; however, mycompany.rocks is available. You sigh with relief as you can still register your desired domain name with a different (and catchier) extension.

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but...

.rocks doesn't rock--at all. Recently, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) added an entirely new list of top-level domain names (TLDN’s) for consumers to choose from. When choosing a domain name, it can be hard to resist choosing a .biz or .co domain name if your preferred .com extension is taken, but before you decide to invest time money and effort into a domain name, allow us to point out a few issues with every domain extension other than .com.

Any domain extension other than .com can be more expensive to register.

Domain extensions other than .com are usually more expensive. This is especially true for the newly released extensions, like “.gift”, “.cool”, among others. GoDaddy.com offers a .com extension for $10.99/year while specialty extensions range from $17.99 upwards to $129.00/year!

The .com domain extension is what people first try when looking for websites.

Fact of the matter is, .com is deemed more reputable than .biz, .co, and even .us. Keep this in mind for branding and marketing purposes. Having a .com makes it very easy to advertise as it is a widely recognized extension, and it’s usually what consumers will enter into a search query if they aren’t sure of the exact spelling of your brand or website. Having a “.software” domain extension (yes, it does exist) might be cool if you have a software development company, but it's safe to assume that users probably aren't searching via that extension. Consumers are more likely to trust a .com domain name over a .net or .biz domain name anyhow.

Google usually sorts search results starting with .com.

Although their ranking system is constantly changing, Google has a tendency to filter websites based on importance and which sites are most trusted – .com is at the top of the list, so best of luck getting a .xyz domain to rank. If you want your website to focus on people located in the United States, then in makes sense to have a .us extension because Google.us will add more value to the search based on location. However, that is really the only scenario where it may be worth it to have a country-specific extension. If that is your intention, you should be sure to read the Google Webmaster Help Page prior to securing your name.

Of course there are exceptions to these rules, the specialty domain extensions were released for a reason, but for purposes of SEO, reputability, Marketing, and Google Rankings, you should stick with .com when you can.