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Suppose I want to register a domain name but the .com TLD is unavailable and is being used by someone, would a .net domain be able to compete in terms of SEO?

For example, if stackexchange.com is unavailable and I get hold of its .net domain would I be able to compete against the main site?

Also if the keyword stackexchange has an average monthly search volume of 12,000 searches per month, would the domain keyword help me "ride on the wave" of the existing competitor site using the .net TLD?

  • It doesn't make a difference, Also, you might have trademark or copyright issues if you copy someone else's name. – John Conde Apr 28 '16 at 13:56
  • Thanks, John. I understand the trademark/copyright issues but I didn't catch what you meant by "it doesn't make a difference". Can you please elaborate? – Zishan Apr 28 '16 at 14:00
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    Between .com and .net - there is absolutely no difference on a sites performance choosing one gTLD over another. The only caveat is that people may remember .com easier than any other. – closetnoc Apr 28 '16 at 14:31
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There is no advantage to choosing a .net over .com or any name over another in terms of domain names. But for best results, keep the following in mind:

Make sure that you choose a name that does not break any law or corporations interests, for example, don't name your domain as burgerkingisbad.com or alldrugsarelegal.com, etc.

Also, to help make your site indexed, make sure your domain name contains the title of your site or at least refers to it in some way.

For example, if you are running a car lot online and you want to indicate they're all antiques, then you might want a domain like jacksantiqueautomobiles.com or even johnsantiquecars.net.

Having something like donaldtrumpsfreshfruit.com on an automobile site just would not make sense at all unless you were showing cars with fruit loaded in them and you have more fruit than cars on your site. The point is, try to make the domain name as close to the subject or company name as possible.

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