New domain zones: some myths and rumors

Started by, Aug 10, 2022, 05:15 AM

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Choosing a domain name for many companies and usual webmasters is a difficult task. For companies, it is complicated by the fact that in most cases the domain should be part of the brand, a kind of support. Some experts argue that a domain name means nothing, absolutely nothing. But there are still more of those who believe that a domain is important for a company.

In the past, things were a little easier - there were not so many domain zones, and the choice was mainly limited to gLTD or national zones. Now things have gotten more tricky with new types of TLDs including ".store", ".tourism", or even ".sеxy". Among the new zones, there are those that are not subject to general registration - they can only be used by certain organizations or countries. There are many misconceptions, myths and almost fairy tales regarding domain names. There is no point in listing them all, let's just look at the main ones.

.com is a key area for SEO

This myth has been around for a huge time. Its supporters believe that sites in this zone are a priority for search engines, and therefore you need to select only .com and nothing else.

Actually, it is not. Google has long been talking about how new gTLD search service algorithms are valued on par with old, traditional domain zones.

In other words, if we take two sites of equal rank and other parameters, hosted on a traditional domain and a domain in a new zone, then the algorithms will rank them in the search results in approximately the same way.

In addition, the same Google says that the content of any word in a domain zone (.business, for instance) does not give any advantages to a site located on such a domain. It will not bring any pluses or minuses to the resource.

Users do not trust new domain zones

Sometimes you can hear the opinion that Internet users do not trust websites located in new zones. That is, a user is more likely to go to a site in the ".com" or ".org" zone than to a site in any other zone of the new type.

In fact, numerous studies show that the quality of the website and its information content is more important for the user than the area where the site is located. Often no one pays any attention to this at all.

Sites on domains in the zones '.ly', '.co', and '.tech', as well as on any other domains, can be no less successful than resources on domains ".com" or ".net".

You can always change the zone

Actually, this is a myth. Yes, changing a domain name to a new one is as easy as shelling pears, but for Google and other search engines, a site transferred to a new domain will be considered new, despite redirects and other tricks. And its evaluation by search algorithms will definitely take some time, and this can be a rather lengthy process.

However, sometimes it makes sense. For instance, Slack moved the help section from their site in the regular zone to the ".help" domain. Some food companies have migrated their websites to ".organic". The same can be said about travel companies, the sеx industry and all the others.

.com is dying

Another myth that does not stand up to scrutiny. Of course, there are quite a lot of new domain zones. But now 39% of all registered domains are located in this zone. And this percentage is only increasing, because the number of sites is growing.

.com will always dominate

This myth is the opposite of the previous one. But it is also not true. The fact is that new domain zones are becoming more and more popular. And this, in part, is due to the fact that they are easier to use for branding.

In just two years, the number of websites in new gTLDs has grown to 42 million. This is an increase of 1000%, which is very significant. Even though ".com" is also a popular area, growth here is measured in percentages and fractions of a percent.

Old brands don't work with new gTLDs

In fact, they are working, and very actively. For instance, Microsoft uses the .tech zone. Financial institutions like Barclays and BNP Paribas have registered their own gTLDs. Real estate websites thrive in the .estate zone. And there are many such examples.

.fm is for radio, .tv is for TV, and .dj is for DJ sites

Probably, most readers of Habr are aware that this is not so. But just in case, remember that all these are the domain zones of Micronesia, Tuvalu and Djibouti, respectively. Your CO.

Yes, many telecommunications and media companies use these zones for their own purposes, and they do it right. Why not?

A young site can be placed in any zone, but then you need to move to .com

There is also such a misunderstanding. Some companies register domain names in any zones, and then, after they grow, they move to .com, believing that it will be better for business. But no, this is a delusion.

Yes, .com is still the most popular zone in the world, as mentioned above. But, since search services rank all zones almost equally, it makes no sense to "expand" into the .com zone. Even though, in some cases this can be done - for national companies whose sites exist in only one language in national zones. This is where you can move to .com.

Be that as it may, a lot of international companies have already chosen new domain zones for their main site or side sections. This is Google (remember that .xyz story?) with Microsoft, and Barclays with Marriott Hotels, and CERN, and The Consumer Electronics Show (CES). There are tens of thousands of these companies and organizations.

So don't be afraid of new domain zones, test it, maybe you'll like it.


New domain zones are also good since it is easier to choose a domain name, because in the old zones, the percentage of taken domains is higher.
Sometimes even a part of the domain name can be displayed in the name of the domain zone, which will reduce the length of the domain.

Mark Walker

In fact, domain zones play a very minor function, if we are talking about SEO. But the same cannot be said about reputation. Let's take the same .xyz and .com. Which company do you trust? Most will choose .com, and they will be right (a large % of scam sites prefer cheap domain names). Of course, many prefer young domain names due to their uniqueness - they are easier to resell, and it is easier for sites to get into the TOP of search engines.