Local Domain Name Suffixes are Second Best – Fact or Fallacy?
To anyone with the foresight to plan their SEO approach right at the start when they think of a website concept, it has to occur at some point to them to wonder – should they go with an international domain name suffix, a .com or the like? If they choose a local domain with their own country’s suffix, will they forever sound to all visitors like they are some kind of a provincial loser? People have been wondering about this for about ten years now; even if the rule has always been clear. A local domain name beats an international .com hands-down any day. If it is all that clear, why do people constantly look longingly after a .com suffix for as if they couldn’t believe they’re really on the Internet until people get to type in a .com to reach them?
Let’s say you live in Madrid, and you are looking for a classifieds publisher where you can put up your used computer for sale. You just type ‘computer classifieds’ into a search engine, and you get results like ‘loot.com’ and also ones like ‘loot.es’. If you didn’t know anything about either site, which would you choose? Since a classified ad is really all about your local region, surely you would think that the .com sites were just too generic to waste your time on. People do tend to gravitate towards local offerings over the generic, because they feel that there would be more relevant information there.
In link building endeavors, other local sites in your region are likely to be better disposed to linking to you if you have the same local domain name as theirs. What is more, there are many local directories that won’t approve of indexing your name, unless you’re local. And basically, search engine algorithms tend to reliably rank you, if you’re local. Sites of the same dot com linking to one another are not all that valuable. Having really different websites linking to one another is. If you split your dot com into many different countries with different suffixes, you stand a better chance. Moreover, it is quite common these days to find hosting in a country other than your own. You would be virtually guaranteed a proper listing and ranking in your own country if you used a proper local domain suffix getting your site served there. And in hours too.
So why do SEO experts still continue to think that a .com suffix is somehow more equal than the other suffixes? It could be that they just use English keywords in their research to test sites they design for search availability. The language barrier is just too great. If people could just move out of their comfort zone and research all the parameters that actually matter, language and others, the local domain suffix, or the ccTLD would always come out the winner.