Top-Level Domain Survey (or what to do when your .com is taken)

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Recently I setup a survey at SurveyMonkey trying to gauge people’s feelings and impressions on the top-level domains such as .com, .net., .biz and so on. I purposefully left off .gov and .edu top-level domains because you’re not supposed to be able to get them as a small business.

I thought I’d share this completely unscientific survey with you:

Question 1: Imagine you visit a new site. Please rank the following top-level domains on the overall impression they give you of the site and company. (One answer per domain, please.)

There weren’t any surprises in the answers. Like a diagonal line through the chart, respondents ordered the domains as .com, .org, .net, .biz, .info, .name and .[any country]. The .[any country] result represented anything from .us to .de to .jp. (Like I said, unscientific.)

Domainsurvey1

Question 2: Please rank the following top-level domains in order of preference for your own Web site.

Again, no surprises. The only deviation from the diagonal line was .[any country] outranked .name.

Domainsurvey2

Question 3: For each top-level domain name, please enter your initial thoughts on what they represent.

This was an open-ended question, so I’ll just share some of the results with you:

.com

  • business
  • established/well-established
  • standard
  • official
  • commercial

.org

  • charity
  • non-profit organization
  • trustworthy, non profit
  • not a business [interesting]
  • government [?!?]

.net

  • internet related
  • a business
  • tech
  • 2nd rate site
  • second choice/first was taken

.biz

  • business
  • business selling online
  • rip off
  • not familiar with web at all. amateur [ouch!]
  • could not get .com
  • something new/entrepreneurial

.info

  • info business/info/informational
  • garbage
  • last resort
  • people actually buy these?

.name

  • personal
  • loosers [sp]
  • if own name, classy
  • non-business
  • amateurish
  • never heard it/never seen it

.[any country]

  • foreign .com or .org
  • only .tv is cool [how did I forget .tv?!?]
  • depends on country
  • generally ok, but hard for people in US to remember: we think .com and that’s it.

And that’s it for me. Hope you found this helpful.

If you have a .biz or some other non-.com top-level domain, take heart. We were never able to get flyte.com and we survived. In fact, when .biz came up we snagged flyte.biz and it’s treated us well. We get lots of incoming links, have a PageRank of 7 (not that it matters), a[n over] busy production calendar and a full pipeline.

In other words, you can overcome a less-desirable top-level domain with del.icio.us results.

Rich.Brooks.biz

 

  • http://healthywebdesign.com Dawud Miracle

    Thanks for the post Rich. I'm considering a rebrand myself and am certainly having trouble finding a .com. I know that message is key, but still hoping to find the 'right' .com. This helps me relax on that fact just a bit.

  • http://healthywebdesign.com Dawud Miracle

    Thanks for the post Rich. I'm considering a rebrand myself and am certainly having trouble finding a .com. I know that message is key, but still hoping to find the 'right' .com. This helps me relax on that fact just a bit.

  • http://www.kegkits.com Tom Hargrave

    Very dry article outlining the obvious.

  • http://www.kegkits.com Tom Hargrave

    Very dry article outlining the obvious.

  • http://brandandmarket.blogspot.com Chris Brown

    Interesting the "branding" of just the difference of a .com or a .net.

    Wonder what a .blogspot.com means to blog readers. "amateur" maybe.

    Well with real estate they say location, location, location… your address is everything. Maybe that's true in the blogosphere and cyberspace as well.

    Thanks for the post.
    Chris Brown
    Branding & Marketing blog
    brandandmarket.blogspot.com

  • http://brandandmarket.blogspot.com Chris Brown

    Interesting the "branding" of just the difference of a .com or a .net.

    Wonder what a .blogspot.com means to blog readers. "amateur" maybe.

    Well with real estate they say location, location, location… your address is everything. Maybe that's true in the blogosphere and cyberspace as well.

    Thanks for the post.
    Chris Brown
    Branding & Marketing blog
    brandandmarket.blogspot.com