February 6, 2016

What’s in a (Domain) Name? Here’s Everything you Need to Know

Last month nerdy netizens were up in a flurry over the release of the TLDs .forex and .broker. The excitement was swiftly dampened when the majority of avid finance bloggers who may have considered purchasing the TLDs, were deterred by the eye-watering prices quoted: $1000 and $700 per year respectively.

Most people registering for their desired domain name, whether setting up a fresh site or migrating to a new domain, are most likely not going to be seeking TLDs that come at such high prices. Yet a handful of factors beyond money still need to be considered when registering a domain name.

Importance of Domain name

Upon typing the desired domain name into a domain name checker, if and when the name is available, besides the standard .com address one will be offered the chance to purchase the domain name with additional TLDs such as .org and .net. Although the benefits of any given TLD depend upon the kind of site being set up and the intended audience of that site, there are some principal guidelines that all should take heed of whatever the site.

What is a TLD?

Best to start at the beginning. TLD stands for Top Level Domain; it is the segment of a site address that comes after the ‘dot’ symbol. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the body that manages the assignment of domain names and IP addresses for sites across the web.

TLDs are principally separated into two distinct categories: generic TLDs or gTLDs (e.g. .com, .org, .net) and country specific TLDs or ccTLDs, (e.g. .in, .au, .de).

Domain Name- TLD

In 2010, ICANN changed the long held strict policy upon opening up new TLDs and the internet saw the introduction of TLDs such as .shop, .travel and .london. This naturally allows domain names to be that much more specific both in terms of subject matter and locality. It also opened a Pandora’s Box of headaches for reputational management departments with the introduction of the TLD .sucks. Large brands were quick to cough up $2, 500 to avoid their name being tarnished by cyber-squatters.

Which TLD for my Site?

Though these new flashy TLDs are attractive and can lead to your domain name being instantly recognizable and readable to your target audience, it is advisable not to be forced into the purchase of such a domain name when the .com TLD is already taken. In order to maximize direct traffic to your site, it is recommendable to purchase the .com TLD first, and then any others if you so wish.

TLD for a website

If considering SEO factors when buying your domain name (and one should always consider SEO factors when buying a domain name), it is a good idea to avoid using TLDs such as .info, .biz, and .name, as these could be considered spam indicators by search engines.

On the whole, when looking to gain wide-spread global visibility by ranking highly on Google and other search engine result pages (SERPs), it is best to opt for one of the traditional gTLDs. However, if you are principally looking for traffic from within a specific region such as India for example, a .in Indian domain name as offered by 1&1 will be the best option. This is essentially a signal to the search engine that you are only looking to promote yourself within India, and that your goal is to rank highly on Google India.

A .in TLD will give you greater visibility in the Indian marketplace, and clearly define yourself to the country as operating in that specific region, reinforcing your desire for relevance with an Indian audience. Be sure to note that a .in TLD will result in your site only ranking on Google.co.in.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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