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Dot com or Dot com.au?

by seoservices on November 27, 2012

We get asked this question a lot and the answer is, it depends.

Firstly, it depends on which market you are planning on targeting. If you provide a service which requires face to face dealings (and you have no interest in traveling for the work), then purchase a dot com.au.

For example, if you are a plumber in Sydney, there is little point trying to rank in the US or UK search engines. So, an obvious choice would be to purchase a dot com.au domain.

If you are a company which is not trying to target a specific country (for example, any global brand or a company which sells something online and ships worldwide), then go with a dot com. However, we do recommend (where possible), to buy both domains, that is: dot com and dot com.au and then redirect dot com.au domain to the dot com.

Does that make sense?

If not, speak to one of our SEO consultants in Sydney.

How to target Australia using a dot com?

Now, you can tailor your dot com to target Australian search engines and you do this through Google Webmaster Tools. When you have a neutral top level domain (TLD) such as .com, .net or .org, Google Webmaster Tools gives you the option of telling Google which country you are targeting.

Below is a picture of where you go within Google Webmaster Tools and what to select.

geographical target setting Dot com or Dot com.au?

If you don’t target a specific location in Google Webmaster Tools, Google will use other signals such as address, currency on your website, spellings and other information in the site to try to work out what area is best targeted. To save you the chance of Google getting it wrong, best to use the tool they provide (Google Webmaster Tools) and just tell them what area you are trying to target.

It is also worth mentioning, in our experience, it makes absolutely no difference which hosting provider you use. For example, it will make no difference to your rankings in Australia if your website is hosted in the US. We recommend using HostGator has a hosting provider – we find them to be extremely reliable with fantastic customer support.

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