- Avoid cheap TLDs. They attract spammers, which impacts search rankings
- Matching keywords in your TLD doesn’t improve SEO
- Consider branding and marketing, not just SEO, when choosing a TLD.
Google ranking and SEO team were just interviewed on what to avoid when it comes to domains. I have compiled some takeaways for any company looking to use a subpar domain using price as an indication.
In the vast landscape of the internet, domain names are the digital real estate that companies occupy to establish their online presence. While many businesses opt for cheap domain names with generic top-level domains (TLDs) like .xyz to save costs, recent warnings from tech giant Google have shed light on the potential risks associated with this approach.
“My gut reaction is people should stay away from the cheapest TLDs, especially if they are free.”
The reason behind this advice? Spammers.
Illyes explained that cheaper and free TLDs attract more spam, potentially impacting your legitimate site’s visibility on search engines.
– Search Engine Journal
This article delves into the reasons why companies should steer clear of cheap domains, particularly those utilizing the .xyz TLD.
Poor Brand Perception: First impressions matter, and a domain name is often the first touchpoint for potential customers. A cheap domain with a less reputable TLD like .xyz can give the impression of a fly-by-night operation or a lack of seriousness about the business. Customers may question the credibility and reliability of a company using such a domain, leading to decreased trust and a negative brand perception.
Impact on SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for online visibility and driving organic traffic to a website. Google’s search algorithms consider various factors, including domain quality, when ranking websites in search results. Cheap domains, particularly those using .xyz, may not be viewed as favorably by search engines, resulting in lower search rankings and reduced organic traffic. In turn, this can hinder a company’s online growth and lead to missed opportunities.
Susceptibility to Spam and Phishing: Domains with less stringent registration processes are often more susceptible to abuse by spammers and phishers. A cheap .xyz domain can attract malicious actors who exploit it for deceptive practices, tarnishing the domain’s reputation in the process. This could result in email deliverability issues, security warnings from browsers, and potential blacklisting by reputable email providers.
Problems with .xyz Domain Extension [Spam, Malware, and More]
Limited Customer Trust: When customers encounter unfamiliar or unusual domain extensions like .xyz, they may become skeptical about the legitimacy of the website. Users are more likely to trust domains with well-established TLDs like .com, .org, or country-specific TLDs. The lack of familiarity with .xyz could lead to potential customers abandoning the website, causing a significant loss of business opportunities.
Legal and Trademark Concerns: Cheap domains are often registered without much scrutiny, leading to a higher likelihood of infringing on existing trademarks. Companies using .xyz domains might unknowingly adopt a domain that could be legally disputed by other businesses with similar names. This legal risk can result in expensive legal battles, domain loss, and damage to a company’s reputation.
Brand Recognition and Recall: A unique and memorable domain name is vital for brand recognition and recall. A cheap .xyz domain, being less intuitive and common, may not resonate with consumers as effectively as a more established TLD. This lack of memorability could lead to potential customers struggling to find the website or opting for competitors with easily recognizable domains.
While the appeal of saving money by opting for cheap domains with lesser-known TLDs like .xyz may seem attractive to companies, it comes with significant risks and drawbacks. Google’s warning about the potential pitfalls of using such domains should serve as a strong signal for businesses to invest in reputable, well-established TLDs.
A reliable domain with a trusted TLD not only enhances a company’s brand perception and SEO efforts but also helps build customer trust, protect against legal disputes, and improve overall online visibility and recognition.
In the competitive digital landscape, choosing the right domain is a strategic decision that can make a substantial difference in a company’s online success.