Andy Beal is one of the most well known and respected Internet marketers in the world today. The owner of Marketing Pilgrim, he is also a recognized expert on reputation management. He recently wrote that he purchased a dot ME domain name. Specifically, reputation.me.
This is important for a number of reasons, but primarily it says that domain name extensions don’t really matter for rankings. Now, Beal hasn’t proven that with a high Google ranking yet, and he may never, but the fact that he is willing to endorse the .ME domain says a lot. He says as much in his own words:
In the meantime, Reputation Dot Me serves two purposes:
1. Provide anyone with a constant stream of online reputation management data.
2. Shows how easy it is to put a $20 domain name to workÃ¢â‚¬â€œeven a .ME one! 🙂
If it’s so easy to make a lower-level domain name extension work for you then why aren’t more people doing it? Everyone seems to be so interested in dot com and dot org. Not much else.
I think it stems from a misunderstanding. Most high ranking websites are either dot com or dot org. That leads some people to believe that you have to be a dot com or dot org to rank well, but that’s a myth. The reasons so many dot coms and dot orgs do well in the search engines are:
- They’ve been around longer than most TLDs
- Optimization practices were set on .coms and .orgs
- Widespread community support for the major TLDs
- A misunderstanding of SEO tactics related to TLDs
I think it is more important to have your primary keyword in your domain name, no matter what the TLD is, than it is to have a specific TLD extension. I also believe that it is just a matter of time before a minor TLD achieves high rankings in Google for important keywords often enough that the myth will be busted by best practices alone. You can high rankings for minor TLDs in Yahoo! and MSN a lot quicker than you can in Google, but I think Google is realizing that they can’t put a fence around minor TLDs forever. Eventually, they’ll have to let in some minor TLDs and established and influential folks like Andy Beal taking a chance on them will be the reason why.
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