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I want to create a personal webpage for info about myself (potentially for employment or other contact purposes), but the .com extension for my intended name is already taken. The name I want ends in the letters 'in', to which I have noticed I could shorten the name and use the .in domain extension, which is not taken.

Would this be a bad idea? I am not Indian, or have any affiliation to the country, but using this would match my other means of contact perfectly (an example would be if my email were puffin@example.com, and I made my domain name puff.in).

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3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Generally considered bad for SEO due to Geotargeting, Google search about ccTLD since .in is not a generic domain, additionally you should find this information useful:

A warning to ccTLDS:

Domain hacks is a popular reason for choosing ccTLDs, combining the domain name with certain ccTLDs to spell out the full name of the website, i.e. goo.gl, fold.it, youtu.be. The obvious choices are .AL, .AS, .CO, .IN, .IS, .IT, .ME, .US, but remember; Google only considers three of these as generic, .ME, .CO, and .AS. Generic TLDs have the Geo Targeting feature enabled in Google Webmaster so a site is able to target a specific country, i.e. a .DE website cannot target France.

This isn't to say you can't but for easier SEO its best to avoid.

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Good to know. Is there any risk that employers might see it as unprofessional? I don't really know the general attitude toward domain hacks, so you might know better than I would. –  Ari Mar 24 '13 at 1:12
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Will be fine if you don't care about SEO value, wont look unprofessional at all. –  bybe Mar 24 '13 at 1:39
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If your ccTLD is .in, but your content is entirely in English, Google will still geotarget your site to English-speaking audiences. ccTLD is just one of many factors google uses, of which includes server location, the webmaster tools geotargeting setting, and content indicators such as language, local addresses/phone numbers/currency, and your link network. Additionally, many vanity ccTLDs or overbroad ccTLDs like .eu and .asia will simply be treated as gTLDs. So it's unlikely that simply using .in will be bad for SEO. –  Lèse majesté Mar 24 '13 at 10:55

Putting aside the SEO issue (which has been well-covered by bybe), some country-specific top-level domains require that the registered domain be for a native of, or resident in, the given country. On a parallel for businesses or organizations, such domains must be for orgs located in the given country or be targeting the given country.

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It would be a better choice to make difference from all CommonName, so the question is: what is significally different in your message.

Or use some personnal interest: Dr-CommonName, MyTown-CommonName (if you aim to live to your dead int it :)), CommonName-nn (your year day), or with pass-time, activity...

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