Looking for the perfect domain name but can’t find it in .com? Want to give a new twist to your tech startup? Read on!
We recently wrote a post on what a TLD is and how you should choose one for your website (read more here).
Today we will be discussing a more in-depth part about TLDs and why you should get a .io TLD domain. Let’s start by discussing why the TLD is important.
The TLD (Top-Level Domain) is simply the combination of characters that appears after the period (.) symbol to the right of your domain name in your URL (read more here). The most common TLD on websites across the internet is the .com TLD. Over half of the registered domains on the internet have .com TLDs, with .org being the second largest with less than 5% of registered domains. This means that .com TLD ownership has almost reached saturation and finding the .com domain of your choice is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Then come the ccTLDs (country-code Top-Level Domains) – the .com TLD is a gLTD (Generic Top-Level Domain). These are TLDs that are specific to countries across the world like .uk for the United Kingdom, .cn for China, .fr for France etc. The Chinese ccLTD leads the rankings for the most widely used ccLTDs across the globe with .tk being a close second. One of the fastest-growing ccTLDs these days, the .io TLD, is registered with the British Indian Ocean territory.
Some of the most popular .io websites on the internet are slither.io and agar.io web games. The .io domain although a ccTLD is not restricted for use in a specific country. Yes, you or anyone you know can register a .io domain and use it for your website. So what is it that makes the .io TLD for your domain so special and is it worth it to get one?
Most ccLTDs, no matter how popular or widely used they are, suffer from a major problem that you wouldn’t want your website to get into. Since these domains are registered for the purpose of being available in a country, Google and its SEO system employ a technique known as Geographic Targeting to make sure they show up in the results searched from the host country. For example, a person searching on Google from Australia is highly likely to see .au domains. As a result, most ccTLDs appear very high in searches performed from the origin country and perform rather poorly on searches performed internationally.
Luckily, there is a fix. The .io domain is not Geographically targeted as the Google Domains team realizes that most of these domains are international registrations. This basically lets you enjoy the same SEO rankings, search results, and domain features that otherwise a normal gTLD would enjoy. Keep in mind that Google still prefers .com TLDs to .io TLDs.
There are a lot of people wanting to register their own domains for their websites these days and there’s not much left that is up for grabs when several hundred million people have pre-existing domains. Yes, we are talking about the saturation that affects .com TLDs. Since over half of the registered domains in the world belong to the .com TLD – which is a number of over 170 million – there is not a lot that you can choose from without going into a court dispute.
Choosing a .io TLD allows you the freedom to, in almost all cases, have your brand’s name as the name of your domain too. The usage of .io is relatively new to the web industry and there will be plenty of options for you to choose from including some variety of your brand’s name. For more on how to choose the perfect domain name, read our article here.
When you look at .com TLDs, most of them are some form of the brand’s name with the TLD stuck at the end. Take a look at facebook.com, twitter.com, amazon.com, ebay.com, etc. With .io domains and even with other LTDs, you can choose a TLD that is part of your brand name or an extension of it! Sounds great, doesn’t it?
BMW does this in some of their web pages e.g next100.bmw, finance.bmw and more. In this way, the TLD becomes just as important as the domain name, and it also helps your audience to remember it while giving you a unique outlook. Sky TV, for example, has the .sky TLD which redirects to their sky.com website. Microsoft’s search engine Bing also uses a search.bing TLD which redirects to bing.com website. Cheerios could also possibly acquire the .io TLD in the form of cheer.io which would be a great marketing tactic.
In computers and technology, the I/O symbol or combination of characters represents a very integral part of computers; the ‘I’ stands for Input and the ‘O’ stands for Output. The recent surge in the popularity of .io domain names can easily be attributed to tech startups and companies that want a unique identity; one that resonates with the modern times. It is also an act of rebellion for many tech startups that refuse to play by the rules set by corporations in the 90s. This is their way of saying they wish to make their own rules for their age.
In an industry where people want rapidness and speed with each click they make, every single typed letter makes a difference. The .com URL format is short, however, if you have to make your domain name long and specific to make it stand out then your audience might become frustrated. In .io domains, not only can you choose a more specific, shorter domain due to the wide availability but you also get to have a shorter URL. Plus, the ‘I’ and ‘O’ keys are located right next to each other on the QWERTY keyboard layout so it saves even more time. You can thank us for that one!
Did you find these reasons convincing to choose a .io domain? Let us know down in the comments below!
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