Which TLD's are the Best for SEO?

If you’re developing you domains then you’ll most likely find that some of your domains rank much better than others – and oftentimes the TLD can play a major role. Two major factors in SEO are the keywords in your domain and the content on your website, however most SEO-experts gloss-over TLD. Over the past two years I have experimented with over twenty different TLD’s and found that TLD has a lot more to do with SEO than I had initially thought.

So what TLD’s have I found to rank the best?

.com, .net, .org, .info, and .us are by far my top-performers with .us being the strongest TLD for me. I’ve heard a lot of people say that .com will always outrank everything but this just isn’t the case – even with the exact same keywords. Just search on Yahoo for “Stimulus Check” and you’ll see that my site – StimulusCheck.us outranks StimulusCheck.com. I’d be interested to know if this is the same outside of the US as well.

This is not to say that .com doesn’t rank well – it ranks very well, I’ve just found that .us is a great TLD for SEO. I’ve also had great luck with .info but find that the resale value of these domains is very low so prefer to use these to generate passive income rather than structure for a sale. .net and .org have always been great TLD’s and I’ve had good success getting solid rankings with these domains even though their resale value is far less than their corresponding .com domain.

On the flip side I’ve found a few TLD’s that just don’t rank well. Some TLD’s that have definitely given me SEO trouble are .tv, .cc, .mobi (no big surprise here), .me, and .ws. Now it should come as no big surprise that search engines do take TLD’s into account when ranking a site – however how much emphasis they put on TLD has always been a mystery, especially when it comes down to our favorite 10,000-pound gorilla – Google. One thing I have noticed is that since I moved my blog from a .com to a .tv domain my search engine traffic has fallen considerably. Now it has still been less than 6-months since I switched domains so I may have to just give it more time but this was a big loss for me when moving to .tv.

So why am I using .tv for my blog? I’m a firm believer that there is a fundamental change going on in society. More and more focus is being put on watching rather than reading content. In twenty years I think our kids will looks at us like we’re crazy when we tell them we used to go on the Internet to read articles. This does not mean the death of reading but instead the growth of watching. I don’t think this means that we’ll all be mindless drones with no intellectual skills – television or broadcast media will continue to evolve as well. So while I do miss-out on the search traffic right now – I’m drawing a line in the sand and making a point to show everyone where I stand. Hey – I love writing just like the rest of us, but let’s face it, video is the future and .tv is the TLD for video.

I would really like to hear from YOU! What TLD’s have you found to rank the best? Worst? Do you love or hate .tv? Share your opinion and let your voice be heard!

{ 20 comments… add one }

  • Leonard Britt July 15, 2009, 8:24 pm

    There are many factors which affect search engine positioning but I am seeing better results from my .net sites than .tv. Some of my best keyword domains are .tv but if you can’t get traffic….

    Reply
  • jp July 15, 2009, 11:37 pm

    I’ve always found that google favors the country you are using to do the search. For example if you search using google.com from a US IP address a .us domain might trump .com, however try going to google.co.uk and do the same search, I doubt that .us domain will even make the front page, but a .co.uk, or .eu might. Often times when I’m traveling I will specifically go to google.us, because going to google.com will redirect to whichever country’s google you are currently in. I like my familiar search results.

    Reply
  • Troy July 15, 2009, 11:41 pm

    Society, for the most part, is getting more efficient not less. While I think that there are people that would rather watch your blog then read it, I hardly think that you (or any of us) will see some huge shift from efficient reading to non efficient watching.

    Most people can read faster then the average person talks in a video, therefore they can aquire more information in a shorter time with reading then with watching.

    Again, I don’t think that there is no one out there that wants to watch, I know there are, I just don’t think that we are really going to be getting less efficient as a society.

    I have not watched any of your videos ever, not that I don’t like you, but why spend ten minutes watching you talk when I could read the same amount of info in 3 minutes (like this post)?

    I know we feel differently about this but I really think that you are looking at things incorrectly.

    I appreciate your advice on .us, I will try some of those.

    Reply
  • BG July 16, 2009, 3:39 am

    I’m from Australia and I couldnt find your StimulusCheck.US page on the first 10 pages of Google, so it may be based on location on how it ranks.

    Reply
  • OnSpec July 16, 2009, 5:12 am

    .Tel is the newest sponsored TLD and is supposed to be very SEOfriendly as all information is stored directly in the dns.

    I’d be interested is hearing the results if you incorporate .tel into your mix.

    An example is my http://condos.tel.

    Cheers,

    Reply
  • Jeff July 16, 2009, 6:22 am

    That is interesting that you say .info names rank well for you. I had always heard .info did not rank well because they are so cheap that is the extension spammers use.

    I have never bothered to build a site on a .info because of this fact, but I will have to give it a try.

    Thanks for the tip.

    Reply
  • Chris Robbins July 16, 2009, 7:08 am

    In all fairness, StimulusChecks.com is a parked page. If developed, it would possibly outrank the .us. My current blog is a .me but it’s new so the only interesting this I can say about that is when I type my website name into the Bing SE “chrisrobbins.me” it comes back with no results. However, “chrisrobbins me” with the space does. It’s as if it ignores the extension. With .tv I’m a firm believer that if you go with one and you can secure it you should also get the .com version which in your case would be domainvestorstv.com.

    Reply
  • Anthony July 16, 2009, 7:19 am

    I have some interesting .TVs but the aftermarket is no where near the .COM aftermarket … for example I can not even get a $100.00 offer for Bogota.TV while the .com sold for over $150,000 4 years ago.

    http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/domainsales/2005/domainsales11_29_05.htm

    Reply
  • Sathees July 16, 2009, 8:17 am

    Your site might rank better due to other factors than the TLD.

    There is no general rule regarding that. If and when then the ORG should rank top as all org sites provides legit information.

    Reply
  • OnSpec July 16, 2009, 8:32 am

    ML….

    There is a way to monetize .Tel. We have examples on our condos.tel site that include display advertising (header, footer and custom text) as well as paid directory listings in the contact section.

    YorkRegion.tel also has the first interactive ability for users to post their own events, services etc.

    The real challenge is traffic and how to charge for the listings. We’re on that as well.

    Cheers,

    Reply
  • Ozie Jackson July 16, 2009, 5:21 pm

    It looks like there is an advertising service for .Tel although I have no experience with them; http://dottelads.com/advertise. I may keep my .tel for a little while after all.

    Reply
  • Alex July 16, 2009, 8:30 pm

    I believe your location has much more influence on your rankings rather than the TLD. Matt Cutts himself recently said on their GoogleWebmasterChannel (on YouTube) that they take into consideration the IP address of the website when measuring rankings. So .US ranks the best probably because the site ranks well in American searches and therefore converts well because USA clicks are worth far more than many countries around the world. I do however think .COMs are better in the long run for establishing domains as they will rank well not just for a particular country, but globally.

    Reply
  • victor July 16, 2009, 9:38 pm

    Better than Dot Net and Dot Tv is Dot FM. look up most names(generic) and dot FM has been taken. Eeven websites built with that name.

    Reply
  • Drew January 2, 2010, 1:29 pm

    Belated Comment, but I totally agree with you Morgan about more and more focus will go towards watching vs reading content. I would bet the farm on that.

    I totally disagree with Troy’s comments above. Its obvious he has a personal preference for reading – but he is way off in regards to the masses. Video has been the ultimate mode of communication for decades and until we create something even better, it will be for future decades. Its an effortless, efficient form of learning and entertaining.

    Reply
    • Morgan January 3, 2010, 1:40 am

      Thanks for your comment @Drew! The web is changing in amazing ways and I am certain how we access content now will change dramatically over the next 3-5 years!

      Reply
  • Nigel April 21, 2010, 1:25 pm

    I agree with your comment “I’m drawing a line in the sand and making a point to show everyone where I stand. but let’s face it, video is the future and .tv is the TLD for video.”

    The same can be said for mobile, “.mobi is the TLD for mobile.”

    Reply
  • sunu mariam@ christian wallpapers July 12, 2010, 9:21 am

    What about the .in TLD? Are they good in Seo point of view?

    Reply
  • Ted August 14, 2010, 11:22 pm

    Regarding tlds Morgan, your research made a great point in that .us is a strong ranking tld. If you follow the logic and the growing up of the internet you can see the trend. First off, Google’s job is to return the best search results. In the beginning, it was .com, .net and .org. for everything. These covered the world. As billions came on line, one of the next step was country specific. So logically, why wouldn’t .us be a great tld for the USA? Especially if the business is located in the US. Just as .ca is for Canada etc etc etc. I’m sure one could do well with .info if the site is optimized well with great content, activity, backlinks etc. It’s just that the spammers have wounded that tld due to their .99 cost at the time.

    My 2 cents…

    Reply
  • The Company Warehouse August 16, 2010, 3:10 am

    “…StimulusCheck.us outranks StimulusCheck.com. I’d be interested to know if this is the same outside of the US”

    Yes it does. Nice article, quite useful, thanks very much.

    Reply
  • CJ September 20, 2011, 10:53 am

    Hey Morgan,

    In a related topic something I am experimenting with.

    Do search engines account for the tld letters such com .org .net .co.in .in

    when they play a part in the domain name for a keyword.

    Just some examples cyb.org bit.co.in del.icio.us tele.com and many more

    clever ones.

    Are the search engine spiders or bots programmed to spot a keyword the extends into
    the tld and how much does it affect seo ?

    For example would Cyborg.com have an advantage over Cyb.org or not

    How could we experiment for this while eliminating all other factors including advantges of cc tlds on their home turf?

    Reply

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