Bias Against Certain Domain TLDs Extends Beyond Search Engines

As much as we talk about Google’s possible bias for or against certain extensions, such bias isn’t limited to search engines. The Australian business news site ITNews reports that Australia’s Department of Parliamentary Services has blocked access to 5.2 million websites on .info domains to its parliament members.

The comment about the reasoning behind it pretty much speaks volumes about the view of .info:

“The advice was that the domain is generally considered to be a source of more than its fair share of attacks and malicious software,” the department’s acting secretary David Kenny told a Senate Committee in Canberra today.

In a previous article, we’ve indicated how Google can indicate they’re unbiased towards extensions while their algorithms acts otherwise. Obviously the importance of that is that Google directs a massive amount of traffic online, and many sites that don’t rank highly for anything in Google never get seen.

The simple truth is that if an extension winds up being predominantly used (and abused) in a bad way, that pattern of use will be noticed.

It will be noticed by visitors who then either complain about the sites/extension, exit the site immediately and/or avoid the extension entirely. It will also be noticed by Google who monitors what visitors do and can see such patterns and take them into account in their algorithms (which lead to the banning of .co.cc which has since been reinstated).

Now, we have evidence that even governmental entities can see such patterns and decide to act on them – if not for general public safety then at least to save their internal operations from malicious sites. Certainly businesses and organizations can do the same. In fact, there’s a good chance businesses will soon or have already prevented internal access to .xxx websites.

Speaking of .xxx, one of the adult industry’s concerns about the extension is that inevitably, adult websites will be forced to use it, and ISPs may then decide to block access to .xxx websites. It’s a highly unlikely scenario, especially given the extension hasn’t proved popular for use by adult companies.

It all goes back to trust and expectations. There may be some malicious sites on .com, but especially now with the US Department of Justice taking down many piracy sites that are on .com, .net and .org, there’s a likelihood that such sites will move to country-code extensions that can prevent their shutdown. Ultimately, .com is where businesses are expected to be, and people have trust in the extension, especially in higher quality domains in the extension.

Consider this when you’re looking at .com alternatives for your business, both current alternatives and any new TLDs that come out next year. Bear in mind that “info” is a good example of a prime quality generic term, the kind that some expect to do well out of the new TLDs. So as our last article indicated, the quality of the TLD term itself is not necessarily an indicator of whether it will be a good extension to use.

At Domainate, we can help you avoid poor domains and find and buy the right domain for your business or organization to enhance your identity and empower your marketing efforts. Contact us if you need a domain.

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4 Comments on “Bias Against Certain Domain TLDs Extends Beyond Search Engines”

  1. Scott says:

    Wow… As it if were not tough enough for this domain extension to get a foothold now this…. Plenty of single word .info’s are going to get even cheaper. I blame Godaddy for offering these things as low as $0.49 a piece to register.

    • Steve Jones says:

      Price is certainly a big issue. One of our next articles will go into that a little more, but the low price point for first-year .info domains may have resulted in more registrations, but has hurt the extension as a result due to the rampant use by spammers and scammers given the low cost.

  2. […] of that, even visitors of those domains have become biased against them. They see enough poor websites and wind up assuming that there would be little if […]

  3. Sharon Hayes says:

    Reblogged this on Sharon Hayes Dot Com.


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