Snap! SEO: Consider getting your domain in different countries?

Alexis Wilke's picture

I'm sure you've noticed that Google has a country code domain name for each country in the world. This goes for Yahoo! and Bing and that's an important Snap! SEO trick for any product that can be sold internationally1.

For instance, British people search using:

http://www.google.co.uk/

Similarly French people use:

http://www.google.fr/

ccTLD table from Wikipedia.orgThis goes on for each country in the world and there are currently 246 such country code top-level domains (ccTLD). Although all are not in use right now, there's still quite a few to choose from2!

Speaking of that, the .com domain is not specific to the US. It is considered international, at least on paper (it is part of the gTLDs or global top-level domains.) As you know, the Internet started with the .com, .net and .org top-level domain names and it was American so most American people and companies have a .com and not a .us domain for their website3.

So... Why do you think it is a good idea to have different top-level domain names for your Snap! Website? Some people will tell you: that's to protect your brand! That's true if you have a big brand like Google or Nike. But for you and your small business, forget that aspect. No, really! The correct answer is:

When you have a .co.uk and all your competitors have a .com, you'll appear #1 in Google.co.uk, Yahoo.co.uk and Bing.co.uk searches.

Yes! In a country, Google, Yahoo! and Bing all privilege the country domain names to the .com or other domain names. It makes sense since if you are sent to a website with your country TLD it is likely to (1) be in your language and (2) be a local company4.

This being said, only purchase domain extensions in a language you can write5 Now, if you speak English, you can already get the .com, .us, .ca, .com.au, .co.uk, and .co.nz.

Note that unless you have the money, I do not recommend that you get all the .org, .net, .biz, .info, etc. unless you are creating a long term website (10+ years,) otherwise it is just useless.

And don't forget, once you are done with your domain name, you can always sell it at an auction for $100 or more.

Oh! And something to know about, if you're unsure about your domain name and just want to try one... You can get a free domain name from South Africa 6.

  • 1. Even if you limit your product to English speaking countries, there are many of those in the world!
  • 2. Note that some ccTLDs cannot be used unless you have a physical presence in the country. In some cases you actually need to be a citizen of the country.
  • 3. Any American entity has the right to get a .us but only a very few of us do have one. It's just not in trend, but that's still the official US country domain name. In fact, http://www.google.us redirects you to the .com!
  • 4. Obviously, the definition of local in international market is skewed... A .us may be in New York and if you live in Arizona you won't consider that quite local.
  • 5. Obviously, you can always hire a translator to translate all your Snap! Website pages for each domain name extension your purchase. This is a good idea if you have a large market: Chinese and Spanish are the largest languages, way ahead of English and French...
  • 6. Note that the nom.za domain names are limited to only individuals. Company names will not be accepted. But it's free and you do not have to be from South Africa!