How important is the extension on a domain name?

I’ve had to change the name of my App which was a huge pain, not least because I’d paid for the domain and now need a new one.
Thing is everything I want to use is taken or registered if I want a name with an extension that I recognise and I can only get them if I pay some kind of squatter thousands of dollars which isn’t going to happen.

So I’m wondering if it actually matters if I choose a random and somewhat obscure extension that’s available and affordable but that a lot of people won’t have heard of given that it’s not 1998 anymore and I don’t need a .com?

Hi there, @joefarrowsmith… from an SEO perspective, it doesn’t really matter, so I would try to pick one that “makes sense” with your app/brand or just pick one you can afford and don’t worry about it all that much.

Just food for thought there… hope it helps.



Thanks for this Mike. It’s reassuring to know that my thoughts eventually come kicking and screaming into the present day!
I’ll have a good look through the list on that link you posted. I don’t think I’d ever have found it without your help so thank you ever so much!

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It depends on exactly what you mean by ‘important’ (important to who, and for what purpose)…

As @mikeloc points out, a TLD shouldn’t affect SEO, but there are some other things to consider.

.com is the one that everyone knows, and will likely be the easiest to remember (and if people don’t actually know your TLD, they’ll probably use .com by default, or by mistake), so .com is still great if you can get it (even if you don’t actually use it as your main domain).

Obviously, if your app/website is aimed solely at a particular country then using the country’s TDL is probably better than .com.

Also, there are some TLDs that have associations with particular industries or app types, that may be better, and more descriptive of your service, than using .com, and some that just sound good with your domain name (some websites even use the TLD as part of their name).

Personally, I like .co (when .com is not available), but one thing to consider there is many people will either think it’s a typo (and type .com instead), or they will just add the ‘m’ out of habit.

So, ultimately, it’s important in the sense that it will become part of your brand and identity - so you need to be happy with whatever one you pick…

But it’s not really important at all in terms of how your app will rank or perform (I’d still avoid obviously spammy TLDs, or ones with bad reputations, so do your research) but other than that, just pick one that you’re happy with and go with it.

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Good points, well made. Thanks Adam.
It’s hugely helpful for me reading an answer like this because I don’t have anyone in my vicinity that I can bandy these thoughts about with.
I’m trawling the list Mike posted and I’m sure I’ll get there.
Many thanks again…

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