Why I picked a .info domain for my site

Many people have asked me, why I selected a “.info” TLD (top level domain) for my site? It’s a good question because it is still an obscure and sometimes awkward domain extension, so I thought I’d address it today.

The simple answer is given the fact that my name is short and somewhat common, the obvious choices like chrisking.com/.net/.org/ have been taken for years..info top level domain car

The more fun answer (depending on your definition) is being a specialist in SEO and having previously worked in the web hosting and domain registration industry I am always interested in how search engines treat some of the newer top level domain extensions (Others you may heard of include .biz.me, .tv.) So that said I decided a couple years ago to use a “non-traditional” domain on my personal blog as an ongoing experiment and challenge.

A lot of SEO consultants would advise you to never to build a site with a domain extension other than the big 5- .com, .net, .org, .gov, or .edu (if targeting the US)

Part of the reason for this recommendation is based on the realities of working with a website that uses a newer domain extension or even a new domain period. Even though people now generally understand that SEO is a long term process rather than something that can immediately generate high volumes of traffic overnight, anyone who is making a significant investment in search engine optimization services is many times not prepared to deal with the notable extra time required to get a website with a obscure domain extension to start ranking. (understandably so)

The .info domain in particular has gone through deep discounting over the years and because of which it has been popular among spammers and other nefarious businesses, but it is also home to sites that clearly rank for competitive terms.

Here is an official quote from Google on the matter:

“This is no preference between TLDs like .com and .info in ranking, Google’s focus is on the content of the site.” Kaspar Szymanski, Search Quality Strategist, Google –  March 15th 2010

While I don’t believe that quote is 100% true since Google clearly focuses on many other factors than just the content of the site and Google/MSN/Yahoo seem to require more time for .info names to build trust and authority; this much is:

People & organizations overcome handicaps everyday in many different ways.

If you find a quality domain name that you want to register that makes sense for your business, hobby, or personal blog then do it. Certainly I would recommend you consider a .com domain before you start looking at other extensions but don’t let that stop you.

Ranking well in natural search results is based on many different factors, but nothing is more important than being passionate about the topic of your website and developing quality content over a sustained period of time.

We are likely going to see new domain extensions being introduced at an accelerated pace over the next few years, as all variations of .com continue to be snapped up and I anticipate this question will continue to come up even more often as it pertains to SEO. Delivering on the core SEO tenets of content, site architecture, and link popularity will continue to be far more important and effective than what domain extension you have.