The Importance Of A Domain Name In SEO

The 2015 ranking factors report is now out. There were a handful of things that look interesting and important, but one thing stood out for me…

Excluding Wikipedia (a .org), 81% of the domains in the top 30 for all tracked SERPs are .com, 84% of which can be found in the top 10. This is an increase from previous years. Top Level Domains are not generally considered a ranking factor.

In other words, if you are starting a new project and cannot find an appropriate .com domain name and instead move on to something more funky like a .co or a .io, you are telling the current version of Google that I do not want to rank highly.

The importance of having a good .com domain name is something that I have written about before (here and here) and it seems that the issue is becoming more, not less, important.

That makes a lot of sense though. In the last year or so there have been more than one hundred new extensions launched from .xyz to .agency and .beer, .ninja, .brussels and on and on. How are users supposed to figure out what is real? Google seems to think that the way to do this is to focus on the .com extension.

And why not? If you can buy a .ninja for $20 and get started and the same .com would cost $5,000 it sends a clear message that one has a more serious owner or backer than the other.

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