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I have two problems with my current domain choice:

  • it is com -ending (all related sites are under edu or org)
  • it is meant for all people around the world but it contains a word that is different in different dialects of English

How can I judge whether I should make a change to other domain? The domain is about 5 years old.

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2 Answers

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  1. Don't change your domain name. You might think .edu sounds more professional but other people get confused by anything other than .com. You'll get little benefit form the name change and many problems.

  2. You don't say what the word is, but I wouldn't worry about it. English people can read and understand American English and vice versa. Choose the dialect of English that you are comfortable in writing and be consistent.

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The TLD does not give a website any advantage in search. Some people will tell you that .gov and .edu get special treatment but it is not true. There are no arbitrary bonuses in search. A crappy .edu will rank the same as a crappy.com. (In fact most .edu pages are not even published by universities).

If you have been using a particular domain for five years I definitely would not change it unless you were able to a new domain with better keywords in it. Even then they would have be almost exact matches for the most popular terms you are trying to rank well for to be worth making the change.

If you change domains you have to make sure you do 301 redirects from the old URLs to the new URLs and that will cost you some PageRank. Additionally, there will be a transitional period where your rankings will drop or disappear as Google completes the process of indexing the new URLs and processing the 301 redirects.

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