A very common SEO myth that is perpetuated all throughout the web is that .com sites naturally rank higher than other domain extensions. There are all sorts of variations of the myth: .edu and .gov sites rank higher, .org sites rank higher than .com sites, .info and .biz sites rank the worst – they are all nonsense. The fact is that your domain extension does not have an effect on how your site ranks. There is no best domain extension for SEO.
There is no reason that a .com should rank higher or lower than .org and .net sites. Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s web spam team, has said many times on his blog and elsewhere that domain extensions do not affect SEO. It’s people selling .com sites for a fortune that spread such contradictory information. Often times, you can find a .info for very cheap that would cost a ton as a .com, .net. or .org. Don’t be afraid to go for the .info!
You have probably noticed that you don’t see a lot of .info or .biz sites in the SERPs. Many people will take this to mean that sites with these domain extensions don’t rank well. However, it is actually only evidence that people believe that sites with .info and .biz extensions don’t rank well. There aren’t as many of these sites ranked highly because people don’t choose to use them because they believe that they will not rank as highly. We are simply observing our own perceptions rather than the reality of the situation. This is the reason that this myth is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Similarly, people believe that .edu and .gov sites rank higher simply because of their domain extension. We see these sites ranking highly somewhat often in the SERPs. When you see a .edu or .gov site ranked highly in the SERPs, I have to ask, what kind of site do you see? Is it a small niche site? I’ll take initiative and tell you it’s not. These are always large authority sites with many powerful backlinks. So what’s surprising about these sites ranking highly? Nothing. They are exactly the type of site that should rank highly – large and authoritative with a great link profile. The fact that they are also .edu or .gov sites is happenstance. It is not the reason they rank well.
While all the before mentioned domain extensions don’t affect the SEO of your site, there is one type of extension that does. Country code domains will not rank as well in other countries. For instance, a .us site will not rank as highly in other countries. Country codes are the only exception to the fact that domain extensions won’t affect the way your site ranks.
The reason for choosing a certain domain extension should be based on other non-SEO factors. For instance, .com sites are easier to remember because they are the standard extension. However, .org sites are sometimes viewed as being more trustworthy. Don’t base your decision when choosing your domain extension simply on some SEO misconception. Rather, focus on getting your keyword in your domain, purchase the more affordable option, or the one that you believe your visitors will trust and like most.