Battle of the TLDs – .NET vs .ORG

We all know that .COM is king, I don’t think there’s a person out there who would disagree, however when it comes to .NET and .ORG it really seems like there is a strong divide in opinions. When I recently attended Startup Lessons Learned in Santa Monica I asked a few people their opinions on .NET and .ORG as entrepreneurs starting businesses. The general feedback I got was:

  • “When I see a .NET I think that the person couldn’t afford the .COM, they had to go for their second choice and it definitely hurts their brand and makes them look less professional.”
  • “Isn’t .ORG for non-profit organizations?”

The people I spoke to definitely felt strongly that when you launched a startup having it on a .COM was important although not always possible. What was interesting to see is that there was some negative sentiments for .NET and for .ORG there was the honest feelings that this was really an extension specifically for non-profit organizations.

I personally think that it really depends on the keywords. For topics involving nature, exercise, health, etc. I think .ORG is often a better fit. For product, tech domains, and blogs I think .NET is a better fit. I think that .ORG generally has more trust with consumers, when they see a .ORG in a list of search results as I think they’d be more inclined to click on this than a .NET, however once again it depends on the niche as I think a tech blog on .NET makes way more sense than a tech blog on .ORG.

So what do you think? We all agree .COM is king but what is next in line, is it .NET or .ORG? Comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 21 comments… add one }

  • Joe June 10, 2011, 11:15 am

    .ORG wins hands down. Don’t forget that .NET has always been considered as .COM’s stepbrother, so I can understand the general feeling about it. However, there are certain cases in which .NET is by far the most fitting solution, IMO even better than .COM: I’m talking about Internet-related domains seen from a technical point of view, which is what .NETs were meant for in the first place. For example, Hosting.net, Email.net, Server.net, etc.

    Reply
  • John June 10, 2011, 11:27 am

    Definitely .ORG no doubt.

    The great thing about .ORG, is people don’t always see a site on it as a non-profit organization. They see it as a TRUSTED authoritative information site. Sometimes they see it as the “Association” of an industry as well.

    Lots of possibilities. If you play it right and don’t make it so e-commercy, the leads or membership building on a .org will payoff.

    Reply
  • D.Ray June 10, 2011, 11:29 am

    I def. prefer .org over .net. I think of .net as second class to .com,and .org starts in another, more trustworthy category of its own. There is a sophistication to .org that’s truely elite and stands out loud and proud!

    Reply
  • Bjorn June 10, 2011, 11:52 am

    i seldom aquire domains other than coms. but when i do i look for .org.
    like .com and .net, .org has today a far broader appeal than it had in the beginning. But it has nevertheless kept some of its authority.

    Reply
  • Olex June 10, 2011, 12:21 pm

    In most cases I would prefer .org than .net.
    More trust and more attention to name of domain than on not dot com extension.
    But for network projects there is .net is king. Sometimes it’s even better than .com.

    Reply
  • Gene June 10, 2011, 1:13 pm

    Agreed… dot-org wins, hands-down. In the 14 years that I’ve been domaining I’ve never once purchased or registered a dot-net.

    Reply
  • Morgan June 10, 2011, 3:44 pm

    Great feedback everyone! So far it looks like .ORG is the BIG winner here so far. .NET evangelists speak now or forever hold your peace!!

    Reply
  • PPC Ian June 10, 2011, 3:57 pm

    Man, I have a ton of dot orgs, but I’d far prefer the dot nets. I like building minisites and always have an easier time ranking the dot nets, but a lot of my stuff is product-focused. I’m personally a dot net fan. It always seems too like the the dot org is available, but the dot net is always taken for hand regs. Anyways, I’m a dot net fan even though I have a lot of dot orgs.
    Best,
    Ian

    Reply
  • kandyjet June 10, 2011, 9:47 pm

    in my experience with clients,
    .net is the winner after .com for commercial purpose. my client choose .org for all non profit websites. but its true that before they choose .net, they use to inquire about other extensions such as .biz, info,.co etc.

    Reply
  • John June 11, 2011, 3:16 am

    It’s like comparing apple to orange. Each one has it intended purpose. Asking “.net”
    or “.org” is just too broad of a question. It need to be specific. What is it for? What are you intended to build? If it’s non-profit, by all mean let me be the .org. But trying to use the .net for a non-profit project won’t do. It’s the same for using the .org for a technical or commercial project. I own an equal amount of com/net/org. It’s better to compare .net against .com which we all know by default, .com win hands down.

    my $.02

    Reply
  • RAYY.co June 11, 2011, 11:09 pm

    May be compare between .net and .CO
    Which one is better?
    Any comments?

    Reply
  • Danny Healy September 10, 2011, 3:32 pm

    Thanks for the post, interesting. I think that it’s a little trivial though. Whether a person clicks through to you site depends on the quality of their referral or how well optimized your site is. Once their on your site the quality of your content is what will keep them coming back. Having said this, I came to this site becasue I need to chose between a .net and a .org. SO I guess it’s not that trivial! I was definetly leaning towards .net but the readers are pretty fired up on .org. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    Reply
    • Morgan September 10, 2011, 10:14 pm

      Thanks @Danny – I would go with .COM if you can get it, and then pick the .NET or .ORG based on how much you can get it for. Don’t pay a fortune for the .ORG if you can get the .NET for significantly less, or vice versa.

      Reply
  • tamim adam October 22, 2011, 8:27 am

    Hello Morgan,

    I have seen for product related search query, Google hardly rank .net and .org domain in top ten. On that case .com always get priority. Why it’s happening? Can you please explain this?

    Reply
  • ScoDal November 11, 2012, 5:28 am

    In these comments it seems .ORG is winning.. sooo I asked on my Twitter (twitter.com/scodal) and .NET is winning. I’m thinking Danny Healy said it best above me… just bite the bullet, pick one, forget about it, and stick with it. I ended up here because I too cannot get the .COM and am now thinking about choosing between a .NET or .ORG

    My current Twitter results: .NET has 5 votes, .ORG has 1 vote, and ‘think of a new .COM’ has 2 votes.

    Reply
  • Alan Cox February 27, 2013, 11:56 am

    This just shows the stupidity of the average internet user. You “trust” .ORG’s more? Trusting something based off of a TLD is just dumb.

    Reply
  • Norman Risner May 12, 2013, 8:32 pm

    I read about a guy who switched his website from .us to .net or .org and got a better ranking with the same website content. I would personally prefer .com or .net

    Reply
  • Jon March 9, 2014, 4:02 am

    Good discussion. I guess the jury is still out. I’m contemplating either a .org or .net for a new education related site. I would prefer .org, but then with a .net, I could call my website “—– network” which is attractive! So .net fits with the “network” which kind of gives the site more credibility in the eyes of people!

    Reply
  • siamakch June 9, 2015, 2:36 am

    @alan cox
    This is not stupidity alan actually this is culture of the internet in early days of internet area the .net was mostly for the quacks wanred to cheat .com owners but at that time nobody cared about having .org domains and most of the people thought it is government oriented website ,and I cant talk enough about other tlds such as .biz
    Going to .biz site at that moment was equal to viruses porn related stuff ,unbelievable but true 😉

    Reply
  • josh April 13, 2016, 12:46 pm

    I use anything but .com’s and .org’s ….I simply don’t like them and I can and have ranked domains with .net and .info no problem over the past 5 years.

    Reply
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