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Ask HN: is having the .com domain for your business important?
5 points by alexjeffrey on Jan 14, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments
I've been putting off starting a business because I can't find a name that I like with a reasonable unregistered .com domain that I can use. For example, if I wanted to use "perplex" as the name I'm looking for perplex.com, perplexit.com, perplextech.com, perplextechnology.com, etc.

Nothing seems to be available, but I have noticed a rise in new startups liberally using boutique extensions like .ly and .io, and am wondering whether this will make any discernible difference to my business? I'm starting a security product business, which I suspect is important.

It's getting harder and harder to get brand-able .com domains. I think that it's a nice to have from an seo point of view but from a branding standpoint I prefer the shortest possible variation. If the TLD lends itself to that why not. You just need to be smart about how you market it and do whatever you can to reinforce the domain's unique TLD at every stop. I have AppLa.bz and Zi.lk both of which I would prefer for their shortness over the .com equivalent. Sure it's a bit of a fad, but I foresee noncom domains becoming more and more valuable in.

First of all it depends on the type of business if the .COM is important. You are starting a "security product business" but who exactly are you targeting?

If you are selling to the "general public", or even large organisations etc then the .COM should be your only choice. Consumers have grown to believe that all .COMs are reliable and trustworthy - which is something you want your brand to leverage.

Having said that .COMs aren't as important as they once were and if you aren't targeting the "general public" then you can consider an alternative domain such as .ly etc

The main issue people think about is that .com is the best for exposure on Search Engines but what they don't realise is that because of this EXACT reason is that Google puts .com to the top. Because they still believe that the community at large values a .com domain.

As time passes, people will adopt more different domain types and I'm sure Google will notice and adjust its search algorithms accordingly.

So, why not? Start the .whatever revolution!

I have sites like calendarme.in and des.sk and they're working great.

".com is the best for exposure on Search Engines but what they don't realise is that because of this EXACT reason is that Google puts .com to the top"

This is wrong.

Domain extensions do not have an effect on how your site ranks

The .COM extension is considered a "global" domain thus when ranking in search engines (without telling them who your website is targeting via Webmaster Tools) it will naturally rank higher on a general basis.

For instance if you have a .ly (or any other country specific) domain extension without setting your global settings, search engines such as Google and Bing will consider that website to be useful to people in Libya (yes they do consider language too). Likewise the .ly will struggle to rank (compared to the global .com) as it is considered to be a Libyan domain unless you tell the search engines otherwise.

I suppose the concern I have is that I'm starting a B2C security company. This means I have to (or at least feel like I have to) balance the requirements of having a short, trustworthy domain and making it accessible to less-technical users by making it a .com. I may well be overthinking this particular problem though.

>"I've been putting off starting a business"

Not having the perfect domain name sounds like an excuse, not the cause. If there was a burning desire, it wouldn't matter.

it's far from an excuse, I've been very active in other areas related to the launch of the business - I just want to turn as many odds in my favour as possible pre-launch.

Check out http://stylate.com/. They've done the work for you.

Very cool. Like 99designs but a step further with the domain. The inventory isn't the most amazing, but I could still see hacking out a MVP on a couple over a weekend. Thanks for the link.

this seems like a good service, but they seem to mainly provide cutesy and modern names whereas I'm looking for something more traditional, similar to what I put in my origin al post.

how about prplx.com its available.

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