TLDs: What They Are & Why They Matter
TLDs are what comes after the dot in a site’s URL. The acronym TLD stands for Top Level Domain, & they’re important because they’re essentially the highest rung in the internet’s domain naming hierarchy (yes, there’s a whole system!).
For those of us who pre-date Microsoft Encarta, it’s sort of like how all the ‘A’ words were in one volume of an encyclopedia, so when you needed to look up ‘Apple’ you always knew which book from the set to grab. A TLD is like one specific volume from a gigantic, computer-y Encyclopedia Britannica.
There’s a lot more to it than that obviously, but if you’re interested in getting technical I highly recommend starting with the internet Domain Name System Wikipedia page.
Most people have a site the ends in ‘.com’, ‘.co’, ‘.org’, or their country code —’.jp’, for instance, is Japan. But the standard TLDs aren’t the only options.
New URL Endings Are All Over The Place
There’s a whole world of alternatives out there these days, & new TLDs get added frequently.
Here, off the top of my head, are just a few domains you could buy right now:
It’s really fun to come up with silly website names, but the thing about having a quirky TLD at the end of your URL is that people have a hard time remembering which part comes after the dot, & word of mouth often gets jumbled.
So if you buy ‘inmy.zone’, it’s also wise to purchase ‘inmyzone.com’ & put a redirect there to your site. Otherwise, you’re 100% gonna have confused people enter the wrong URL or end up on some completely different site.
Wikipedia has a list of all the TLDs currently in use, & I highly recommend looking through it, if only for your own entertainment.
Why There’s No Competitive Advantage With A New TLD
So if you just enjoy having a novel-looking URL, go ahead & choose any quirky TLD you want! But anyone trying to gain an edge with Google won’t get anything out of it.
One Important Reason Not To Shift A Site Over
It’s not hard to re-point a site to a new domain, but traffic often takes a big hit. It’s temporary — just a month or two typically — but while Google is in the process of reindexing the site, search traffic usually dries up.
If you’re just starting out, this isn’t really a big deal. But if you’re more established & search traffic generates a big chunk of your ad revenue or shopping conversions, that can often mean weeks of lost income.
Have any more questions about TLDs? Or maybe just funny domain names? I’m all ears!