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What are the gotchas to optimizing SEO for a domain on an exotic TLD (in my case, .st)?

For example, should I tell Google the actual geographic target of the website?

One more thing: I want to rank well on my domain name concatenated with my TLD (like instagr.am ranking for "instagram", for example). Any way I can do that?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

One more thing: I want to rank well on my domain name concatenated with my TLD (like instagr.am ranking for "instagram", for example). Any way I can do that?

You can do that just like you'd do things to rank for any other word or phrase. I doubt your domain name will help you rank for it, but everything else will (title tag, headings, keyword usage, anchor text used by other sites linking to you, etc.).

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Hum. Kind of bad for Google not to concatenate, at least for TLDs that are frequently used as parts of words (.am, .st, .us, .it, etc.) –  julien_c Apr 8 '11 at 13:54
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I disagree. That's not what TLDs are intended for. Granted, people do use them that way. –  tnorthcutt Apr 8 '11 at 18:13
    
It's often not by choice that one chooses such a domain name, but because the .com full name has already been snatched up ;) –  julien_c Apr 13 '11 at 9:13
    
Then one should 1) choose a better name, or 2) not expect to get any SEO benefit from one's domain name. –  tnorthcutt Apr 13 '11 at 12:43
    
Just to clarify: I don't want to gain SEO benefit from my domain name. I do, however, want to rank first for my name (domain+TLD) –  julien_c Apr 13 '11 at 15:06
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Yes, it would be worth telling Google which country the site is targetting. You can do this via. Webmaster Tools. Other than that, extension makes no difference, so do your SEO like you would for any other site.

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Thanks! However, I went to Webmaster Tools > Site configuration > Settings, and it seems that they won't let me change it.. They say : You can only use this feature for sites with a neutral top-level domain, such as .com or .org. Country-specific domains, such as .ie or .fr, are already associated with a country or region. São Tomé and Príncipe is not a really relevant target for me, unfortunately ;) –  julien_c Apr 8 '11 at 11:29
    
One more thing: I want to rank well on my domain name concatenated with my TLD (like instagr.am, for example). Any way I can do that? –  julien_c Apr 8 '11 at 11:32
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