These days, choosing your business domain name offers a lot more flexibility than it once did. Thanks to a wider variety of top level domains (TLDs), you are no longer limited to the traditional (and also typical) .com. Let’s back up for a moment, though. First of all, what is a top level domain, exactly? Secondly, why should you considering straying from the .com path in favor of something newer and more inventive?
What is a Top Level Domain?
To begin, it helps to know what the three parts of a domain name are. You have the:
- Second level domain.
- Top level domain.
These three segments are separated by periods. So, the subdomain is what comes before the first period: www. The second level domain is the piece in the middle. If your business domain is www.johnsplumbing.com, the second level domain is “johnsplumbing.” The top level domain is the third segment — in this case, “.com.”
You likely know .com to be the most popular, while .net is another somewhat common alternative. Did you know, though, that you can now find far more unique TLDs? For example, if you have a business in Las Vegas, .vegas is a TLD available to you.
Here’s why you should consider something outside of the .com box.
1. More Unique TLDs Are Likelier to be Available
How many times have you checked your desired domain name only to find .com was already taken? It’s in the highest demand, which means the odds of your first choice being available aren’t always in your favor.
Something more specific, on the other hand — like .vegas — is far likelier to be open for use.
2. Help Establish Your Brand
With the release of the new top level domains, The ICANN (the International Corporate for Assigned Names and Numbers) has transformed the internet from that of the whitepages, to the yellow pages. Now your top level domain can be a part of your brand. No longer do you have to settle for a .COMmon; now you can get a domain extension that enhances your brand. And lets you stand out.
3. They Make for More Personalized Domain Names
If you live and work in Las Vegas, how touching would it be to have a TLD that reflects the city (and the people) you love so much? .Vegas offers a much more personalized experience, both for you and your online visitors. It can also help give people a better idea of the website they’re clicking on.
4. Using (or Switching to) a New TLD Won’t Hurt Your Rankings
One of the most common arguments against new TLDs has been Google favors .com and won’t rank other TLDs nearly as well. Furthermore, it’s often believed businesses who switch from a .com to a .vegas web address are guaranteed to tank in rankings.
However, this is simply not the case.
In a blog post, Google said they mostly treat old and new TLDs the same. In other words, a .com website won’t inherently rank any higher than a .vegas website.
Now, when it comes from moving from an old TLD to something newer, there is more work involved — something Google offers help with. The only thing to be aware of is it might take some time for Google search results to process your new domain. However, it’s doable.