Can Some Domains Extensions Hurt your SEO?

There’s a great thread over at, reacting to the news that ICANN, who control top-level domains on the Internet, have decided to create yet more extensions. After the runaway success of .aero, .coop, .museum and .name, people are clearly desperate for more. DomainState offered their ideas in the form of a fake press release:

  •  .SPEC will be limited at the registry level for registrations by speculators only and actual content of any kind will be strictly monitored and forbidden. Value will only be based on resale value. Any .SPEC domains found associated with actual sites will have their registrations revoked.
  • .KITE will also serve a limited market niche, in that only free registrations for 5 days will be allowed. Permanent registrations of .KITE would be inconsistent with the intent of the .KITE namespace.
  • .SHELL will be offered on a priority basis for individuals and companies who create complex corporate structures and register trademarks in remote countries. It will be restricted only to organizations without any real assets that have been created in the last two months.
  • .AUC will help to strengthen the infrastructure of the internet by bypassing registrars and registries, and going directly to a auction registration model whereby our new for-profit subsidiary will auction off keywords and all proceeds will be funneled directly to us. We appreciate the attention generated by recent auctions and, from our perspective it is time to cut out the middle men –including registrars, registries, and the like.
  • .IMO. Based on the growing number of mobile devices that access the internet. We think that the days of .COM are numbered and that a clear distinction must be made. This will be done by the new .IMO extension which will be specifically targeted for the unique technical and market characteristics of the immobile device market — such as desk top computers, mainframes, and the like.
  • .EBAY all names on sale for $100,000,000.000 but no-one actually owns the name they’re selling.
  • .ADSEN all names may only contain articles 500 words long, written in Indian English.
  • .SCRPR all names may only contain articles 500 words long, written in disjointed, mechanical English.

Will Unsusual Domains Extensions Hurt your SEO?

There are clearly too many useless top-level domains already, before we think about adding more, but can these domain extensions actually damage your SEO?

No. Google treats .com just the same as .coop. Plenty of .info and .biz domains rank well and even if you go off the reservation and use .aero or .name, you can still rank.

However – unusual domain extensions will hurt your conversions. Credibility matters a great deal and like it not, the reaction of most customers to .info and .biz is still, "You what?" Heaven knows what their reaction would be if they ever heard of .coop. Using an unusual extension will make it more difficult to sell advertising and keep people coming back. It won’t make it impossible, but it will make it harder. 

.com and the country code of the country you live in might not have an advantage in Google’s rankings, but they do in people’s minds.

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