6

Given the exact same page with some real data for example a page for Bangkok Dog Cafe, would search engines prefer one of the following because of the top level domain?

singapore-dog-cafe.com
singapore-dog-cafe.info
4

Google places sites into the Google sites with various TLDs according to interest/performance and language. For example, there is not much need for Chinese language .cn sites in Google.com mostly because of the language. For this reason, many companies in China have begun registering and moving their sites to .com TLDs with English language sites to expand their business reach.

Since Google looks to interest and performance measures and much of that is not shared, the difference between .com and .info is not exactly known. My assumption is that there would be little difference. Given a choice between the two, it is a safe bet that the .com version in your example would exist in more search engines than most any TLD. This is simply because .com sites are well known and sought after through out the world. This would also be true for .net and .org TLDs. I get search traffic from the middle east on a .org site quite a bit where you would think English would not be as common.

Given the two and you were to ask my personal choice, I would chose the .com version especially if you are conducting business.

  • But if the only domain names available were singapore-dog.com or singapore-dog-cafe.info then would you choose the singapore-dog-cafe.info as your domain name? The reason I ask is because all of the .com domain names that seem to closely match my site are already chosen. – Melina Oct 22 '14 at 17:20
  • If your name is already chosen, then you do not have a strong brand. When naming your website (and business), try to choose something that is unique. – Stephen Ostermiller Oct 22 '14 at 17:33
  • I would prefer the .com TLD as much as possible. The .info TLD implies information and not necessarily commerce. But if your choices are slim, then the .info could be an option. But before I purchased the .info TLD, I would see if I could find another way to get a suitable .com presence. I find that sometimes when I think I am stuck, if I give it a few days, something more than acceptable comes to mind. That is not a guarantee of course. Just a suggestion. – closetnoc Oct 22 '14 at 17:37
  • Agree with Stephen. When someone grabs a non .com address just because the .com is already in use, (especially with a quality website already in place) then you likely won't rank well because its similar to piggy backing on someone else's trademark. – JMC Oct 22 '14 at 20:33
  • @JMC and Stephen make excellent points. If there is a trademark conflict/confusion, then it might be time to consider other options. Like I said, when I feel stuck on a domain name issue like this, I just wait a short while and a good one comes to mind that I kinda sorta like better than the original. It is funny how it works that way. Sometimes the best domain names are the hardest to figure out. – closetnoc Oct 22 '14 at 22:31
3

The only case in which I know that Google prefers some top level domains over others is in the case of geo-targetable country domains. Google has a list of generic top level domains. As long as the top level domain is on this list, Google will show the site globally in search results. For country code domains not on the list (eg .de, .it, .br), it will show the site much more often in the matching country and much less often elsewhere in the world.

Because Google uses inbound links to a site as a ranking factor, they don't need prefer one top level domain to another. They will prefer whichever site has the most inbound links, be that the .com site or the .info site.

Users may prefer the .com site to another top level domain with which they are less familiar. Because of this, the .com site will probably get more attention (and more links) from users. This means that it is usually easier to do search engine optimization for a .com site. Until users are much more comfortable with alternate top level domains, I would recommend going with the .com.

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