Knowing how to choose the best type of domain will help get you that much closer to choosing the best domain name for your company.

What is a TLD?

The letters TLD stand for Top Level Domain and refer to what you see after the dot when you type in the name of a web site. If we take the website, the TLD would be the .com part. The same thing is true with any other TLDs such as .net, .org and a seemingly endless list of others. The TLD is just one part of your website’s URL. What’s a URL?

Why are there so many TLDs?

TLDs are created because of human demand. More and more people want custom TLDs. ICANN continues to release new TLDs and consumers continue to buy them. TLDs are also specific to country or type of business. (See TLD list)

Which TLD is best for SEO?

Despite numerous examples of .com sites taking the top spot from presumably more qualified site with a .info or .net, there is no real proof that Google or other search engines have a preference for one TLD over another. What is clear is that most consumers prefer the standard .com for most of their uses.

Google has not made any statements about TLDs being part of their algorithm, yet online businesses usually prefer a .com domain. One reason for this might be the fact that Americans tend to prefer the .com and since America represented the largest portion of the online consumer world for so long, businesses tend to go where the money is. Now that online retail spending has become popular in most countries, more regional specific websites are starting to take hold. Of the most popular websites in the world, only one of the top 10 ( is not a .com. Even though some of those sites are not primarily US companies, number 12, 13 and 14 used a regional TLD specific to their locations.

While there is no rule that says “Use a .com if you want to make money!” it is still pretty good advice.

The best advice is always to try to work with the system, not against the system. When .org and .net were created, there was clear motivation behind the creation. While the clarity of purpose has not remained in force, the original point of these other TLDs still deserves our respect. In other words, use the TLD that best meets your needs and don’t try to outguess the search engines and gain an advantage.

.com stands for commercial. These include commercial sites and sites you want people to find. Most retail sites will fall under this category.

.net stands for networks. Usually .net is not for customers, but employee tools such as a company intranet or a network of sites working together.  Websites such as Internet Service Providers would qualify for a .net.

.org stands for organizations. Non-profits, churches and websites that are reaching out to their members rather than customers would use a .org.

I hope this helped you understand TLD’s, and .com’s a little bit more. Let us know if you have any questions!




Colton is the former Director of SEO Strategy at Boostability testing and defining the products and processes that make Boostability's customers successful. He was part of Boostability for over 8 years. Colton loves hanging out with his family and gaming. He runs a personal blog over at where he discusses gaming, life, and SEO.