More often than not, we can see the question “ what is the difference between domains”, asked by people who are thinking about registering a domain name for their business or personal website but can not decide which domain is right for them.
Many people, that are not involved with working on the internet, cannot name another domain besides .com, .org or .net as most commercial ads and company websites are using those domains. However, the domain name industry is expanding at average 9% per year rate, and recently we have witnessed a domain market expansion with hundreds of new domains. The new explosion in growth is imminent, as general public stands ready to embrace new trends in domain names.
The “old” and most recognizable domain names – generic top-level domains.
Almost anyone can name a .com, .net or .org website domain name, as they are the oldest general use domains. First .com domain name was registered back in 1985, but it still is the most recognizable and popular domain name, and especially with international business and company websites. Best choice for an online community website is the .net domain name, while the main intent for .org use is for non-profit organization website.
SEO benefits of country code top-level domains or internationalized (general purpose) cTLDs
Very common are the country code domain names, though their use can vary depending on their general purpose use. Some ccTLD are used exactly they are intended – as a top-level domain regional for a country or a region, and the websites that use them are favored in the local search ranking, which is their main benefit (for example .uk, .us, .rs, … etc.). In contrast, a few smaller country ccTLD did not have much local success, but they are accepted internationally as an IDN ccTLD – general purpose domain name and in part because of their brandability (for example .tv .me .co).
Big bang of 2014 with +500 new generic top-level domains
While the most popular domain names are getting saturated, and it has become increasingly difficult to find a free valuable, but suitable domain name, in 2014 we have witnessed the arrival of more than five hundred new generic domain names (.xyz .click .shop .online … etc.). They are delegated by ICANN to different interested parties and are intended to fill the gap in demand and availability of domain names. One of the main flaws of the ngTLD is that they have been marketed by a very low first-year registration price, making them a target for short-term scammer or phishing websites, which has hit hard their already non-existent reputation. Recently, with Google parent company registering their main website domain with .xyz, some part of their reputation has been restored. Indeed, with some of these ngTLD, it is possible to create a memorable and intuitive domain name for a certain niche website. Some of them have a promo-price from time to time, so you can grab one for as low as 1 or 2 dollars.
As a final note, I must say that some specific domains, not discussed here, are a very good choice for certain niche websites.It is always good to make a thorough research about which domain would suit your needs best. If you are thinking about registering a domain name, it would be best to pick a registrar that is focused on that particular kind of domain you are looking for, as that could bring additional benefits.