TLD's and SEO: Three Lessons from the Last Year

As many of your know my business is focused on creating SEO-optimized sites with strong-keyword domain names across a number of different TLD’s. I found-out early-on that I could hand-register strong keyword domains and use the power of SEO to get those sites ranked well in search engines quickly. Rather than trying to find the .com of my dreams – I focused on finding the keywords of my dreams, in a different TLD. Now about a quarter of my entire portfolio is actively developed and making money – and I have a few observations from the whole experience.

First – it takes a LONG time to really do a good job developing sites that will in the end not only generate traffic, but convert that traffic to revenue. In the end it isn’t enough to throw-up a one-page mini-site and expect the traffic and revenue to come rolling-in. Instead using keyword tools like the Google Adwords keyword tool, and taking the time to analyze your competitors and understand what they are doing to generate interest in their site can go a long way. You want to make sites that actually contains information that users are looking for – once they are on your site, they are not going to be paying attention to the TLD – in fact they most likely won’t even notice it!

Second – some TLD’s seem to rank better than others. Looking at my portfolio I was surprised to find that my .us names seem to rank better than my .info names. This was evaluated using a direct-comparison of .us and .info names with the exact same keywords and very similar content. Particularly I’ve found that Yahoo seems to have a lover-affair with .us names. This is not to say that .info names are poor performers, some of my biggest money-makers are .info – however the trend I’ve seen with .us is intriguing and I think there is a lot of potential in this TLD. I’ve seen similar trends with .in and domains which seem to have strong type-in traffic.

Third – update, update, update. No matter how great your site is search engines (and people) like fresh content. As Google has evolved over the last year they have continued to give users easy ways to filter content based on when it was last updated. Blogs in general rank well because they are constantly updating their content. One great way to put-together a quick site is by using a tool like WordPress to build a nice-looking site that is easy to update.

My goal is to finish 2009 with half of my portfolio developed and happily monetizing. Since I only work on development during the weekends this makes my Saturday and Sunday pretty full – but I absolutely love Domain Investing so really enjoy this weekend work. Also – as more and more passive income keeps rolling-in…it’s a pretty good motivator!

Feel free to share your experiences or ask any questions! If you want to see some of my top-performers feel free to visit my company’s homepage.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Leonard Britt June 13, 2009, 9:28 pm

    I always enjoy reading your posts as they normally contain quite usefull insight into the development process. I recently started developing some of my domains and realize I need to study the topic of SEO more closely. If your site isn’t on the first two pages of Google or Yahoo for some search phrase, forget about organic traffic! Anyway, I look forward to future posts…

  • Reece Berg June 14, 2009, 1:17 am

    I think the .us traffic boost has to do with you residing in America (or using — I get the same thing here in Canada with .ca domains and Google seems to be placing more weight in the SERPs on where the person doing the search resides versus where the domain is hosted (or where you told Google through Webmaster Tools that your site was targeting).

  • Koh Phangan June 14, 2009, 1:43 am

    It has been well known for a long time that .info doesnt perform as well on google as it is a spammy extension.

    Goggle is actually harder on .info. Probably only in the short term until it gets some history and link strength.

    But if a spammer is going to choose an extension, they are most likely to buy .info because it is so cheap.

    Im experiencing the same difficuly

    Seems to be in the sandbox for a long time and needs a lot more link strength than .com

    It still ranks, just not as easily.

    I guess its because its a ccTLD masquerading as a TLD.


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