When creating your website, the choice of your domain extension, or TLD, is important as it can impact your SEO performances.

A new survey from Moz shows that domain extension has a slight impact on your rankings. Features like domain-level keyword and domain extension have a low correlation to search rankings, but they still have. And they are still in front of social metrics like Twitter “retweet”. The study has gathered the answers of more than 150 search marketing professionals and collected the information as part of a large correlation study.
The traditional .com seems to have over 500 competitors, not all of them as strong but still.

Does domain extensions affect SEO?

As the survey above stated that domain extension has a low effect on your SEO, the real impact of TLD is not sure yet. But here is what we know:

  • The choice of TLD is pretty wide, from extensions dedicated to countries, to ones for industry areas or catchy ones (like .pizza for instance!)
  • Site quality is still the first ranking factor and domain extensions won’t have any chance to be more important
  • Country extensions can be a smart choice if you are developing your business only in this country. It can favor your SEO strategy
  • Google has once again confirmed that the new domain extensions will offer no ranking advantage over traditional .com or .org domains. But let’s think it can have an indirect influence as we will see below
  • Moz study shows that .org extension works better than those like .edu or .biz and slightly higher than .com

Domain extension can help converting

People perceives differently a website depending on its domain extension. Some extensions can be seen as spammy ones whether others will be be considered as references or will be easier to remember. You should not underestimate people’s navigation habits.

Google favors better search results

By adding new domain extensions, Google shows user experience is still one of its first preoccupations. Let’s see what this might mean:

  • Some new TLDs are more expensive. This means spammy websites will be less likely to use these extensions to throw their hacks. So websites owning these extensions may rank better in trust.
  • It exists verified domain extensions such as .archi or .gov. It could seem fair to rank higher these websites since they are verified.
  • Even if keywords placed before or after the dot have no influence on rankings, they do have one on user perception. It provides informations, relevance and trust. As a matter of fact, if a website gets more visits thanks to its domain name keywords, it will rank better at the end. This applies especially for specialized websites like .jewellery, .news, .scubadiving, etc or location domain like .paris, .berlin, etc.