Stephen: Is xyz domain good and trustworthy? I think you should have named your website as ‘www.edtech.com‘ or something like that.
Me: Absolutely, dot xyz domain is reliable.
Stephen: Don’t you think the dot com domains are given preference by Google during the ranking of websites?
Me: No. Only .gov and .edu carry more weight than any other gTLD.But these are not easy to get.
Stephen (looking puzzled): Then why do people mostly own dot com domains?
Me: That’s because dot com is one of the first Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) dished out to the people. Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google uses abc.xyz as its domain name.
Well, so goes the conversation on and on between me and my friend Stephen. Just like Stephen, there were several others who questioned me about the ‘dot xyz’ domain name extension of my blog. That’s when I decided to write why I purchased ‘www.anumbmind.xyz‘ from Hostinger and not ‘www.anumbmind.com‘.
1. Global Domain
.xyz is the 5th most popular Generic Top-level Domain (gTLD) available in 2019 after .com, .net, .org and .info. According to Domain Name Stat, there are currently over 3 million domain names registered with .xyz extension.
Getting a gTLD over a country-specific domain like .in, .de or .fr (also called Country Code Top Level Domain or ccTLD) gives an impression that the content can be consumed by any person of the world. Generic Domains (gTLD) have no country-specific or region-specific affinity.
On the other hand, ccTLDs are treated as local domains with specific geotargeting. For example, Google India (www.google.co.in) will show the web results of websites ending with .in as well as the websites ending with .com, .edu or .gov. However, it is less likely to pop up the results of websites ending with .fr or .de.
Since I wanted people from all over the world land on my website and not just from a particular country, it made a lot of sense to purchase a gTLD and not any ccTLD like .in, .io, .de or .tk.
Do you know you can target countries using a gTLD by using the Google Webmaster Tool?
2. XYZ Domain Popularity
In 2015, xyz domain popularity soared after Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, used www.abc.xyz as its URL. This was partly because, www.abc.com was being used by American Broadcasting Corporation while www.alphabet.com was used by BMW’s fleet management division (in fact, they still are). So, this brought the limelight on the .xyz domain.
Since many famous companies started using .xyz as their domain extension setting them apart from competition, I also realized that getting a .xyz is not a bad deal.
3. Intent of A Blog With .XYZ Extension
.edu specifies that the website is owned by an educational institute like Harvard University. Similarly, .blog, .guru, .photography, .ai have their intended use clearly defined.
Although I wanted to write on my travel experiences at the start of my blogging journey, I had other interests as well. I didn’t want to narrow down my experiences to just one particular area at the early stages. Since dot xyz has no such specified intent, it can be used to create a blog of any niche. This allows me to experiment with my content.
The scope of experimentation has led to the xyz domain popularity.
4. Cost of Buying XYZ Domain
In 2017, 2 weeks after heading back to India after completing my summer internship in France, I noticed that I had exactly €1.08 left in my forex card which I can’t use in India. I can’t even withdraw the amount from an ATM. Going to a foreign exchange store for one Euro is a lot of effort and the nearest store was 15 km from my hostel.
The domain name purchase cost me $0.99. After 1 year, the renewal costs me $12/year now. On the other hand, buying www.anumbmind.com would have cost me $12.
For me, the saving was a mere $11. However, there are certain competitive domain names or premium domain names like eengineering.com or medicalengineering.com which may cost you over $500. In such a case, buying .xyz domain can be a wiser move.
5. Search Engine Optimization
Today there several gTLDs like .guru, .blog, .how etc. available
Do you believe that Google’s ranking algorithm favors .com more than any other domain extensions just like Stephen?
Well, according to Google Webmaster’s Blog, Google treats all the gTLDs same while ranking.
Do you know that Google doesn’t take into account the keyword in your domain name in its ranking algorithm? That means, if there are 2 car rental websites with domain names as www.dumbgiri.guru and www.carrental.com, Google would not favor the second website on searching for ‘Car Rentals in Arizona’ just because it has ‘Car Rental’ as the keyword in its website name.
“Reward Google and Google would reward you.”Re-quoting the successful mantra of a SEO expert I follow
As Google’s ranking algorithm rewards only meaningful and insightful websites with content that is useful to the users, one should focus on the content and domain name more than the domain extension.
But Why Is dot com Still The Popular Domain?
Yes, people still trust the traditional TLDs like .com, .gov, .edu, .net and .int more than the fancy domains like .ninja or .biz. Since people trust new TLDs less, they are less likely to click on this website. This leads to lower click-through rates.
For people who are new to Search Engine Optimization, Click-Through-Rate means how many people saw your website link during a search result on a Google page and how many of them actually visited your website. For example, my website link pops up on the first page of Google for ‘Dermatoskeleton Exoskeleton’ and every 5th person visits the website. So, for this particular search result, my website has a click-through rate of 0.2 or 20%.
But many people may think fancy domain names as phishing pages and thus, your website may generate less Click-Through-Rate. Thus, your website will have less natural backlinks and ultimately lower rankings.
But Google as such doesn’t discriminate a website solely based on its domain extension (TLD).
However, as the popularity of new Top Level Domains is growing, .xyz is likely to be trusted by people over time. It’s just 5 years now that .xyz is launched. Currently, over 0.91% of all internet domains use .xyz extension leading to xyz domain popularity. If the need arises when I dish out services or products, I may switch to dot com. But overall I am happy with my traffic and I don’t think I have faced any SEO issue using xyz domain.