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Which domain name should my business use? .CC, .CO.UK or .COM

Hi,

I work for a business which has historically been quite comfortable channeling potential customers to a page ending in  .CC.  I have however always had doubts about the use of a .CC domain name for a company who strives to be the best in their field.  In short, a .cc is a bit 'My First Website' in my opinion, though I know I'll be challenged over this.

Given the option, what would you choose for an audience demographic of 12-22, female, alternative, not very tech savvy but ultimately very impressionable?

Lets say the business is called Isell.com and has been trading under this name for a few years.  The ultimate reason anyone visits the store is to purchase clothes although accessories and footwear are often bought in conjunction.  Google doesn't know that clothing is our chief provider though

isell.cc
isellclothing.co.uk
isellclothingamoungotherthings.com

I want to know what you think about this as Technical professionals, what Google thinks about the use of .CC domain names, the popularity of these niche domain names and any future benefits and pitfalls.
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chriscounter07
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chriscounter07
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7 Solutions
 
Ken FayalCommented:
I think that the people who sell the .CC's and the .TV's and so on and so forth believe that it's the wave of the future.  But personally, I would never buy one and I wouldn't ever recommend that to any of my clients.

I liked your "My First Website" analogy, but I also think it's like "We didn't get the domain we really wanted, so we're settling for .CC".
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Jason ThompsonSenior UX DesignerCommented:
I'm with you both.  .CC just exudes; 'we're not quite good enough for a dot com'.  The only way I can see using it is if it's cleverly part of your brand.  For example, a company named Crunchy Cookies might love to use the alliterative crunchycookies.cc.

A big however...if you've been branding your business under .CC for years (in print, in PR, in ads, etc), it may not pay to rename it now.  Rebranding always has its risks customer perception, and that perception may shift to the negative if you go changing the name (or domain) of a well established brand.  But if you're still small and believe your current brand is getting in your way, then changing it might be a good turn, especially if you can get a short, catchy dot com.  You can always redirect the CC domain to the dot com, though you might take a hit in Google positioning in the short term.

On the technical side, I don't think Google discriminates against you just for your domain.  And if it does, it's only a very, very small bit.  You can counter any Google bias by creating a well marketed, well designed site.

Hope this helps.
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chriscounter07Author Commented:
Both of you, this has helped heaps.  It's more of a discussion than a specific issue.  
As has been suggested, there are many variables than need be considered.  A .cc is remembered better.

What I've found is that our customer is happy to support the domain name but when it comes to actually laying money on the counter (buying online) these claims may fall flat.  It's about feeling insecure when the unfamiliar pops up on screen.

Any other thoughts?

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Jason ThompsonSenior UX DesignerCommented:
There are too many factors to offer specific advice, but generally speaking, most small businesses online should think globally and long term, and that usually means a dot com.

Going back through your question, you say "Google doesn't know that clothing is our chief provider though". I'm not sure what this means?  If your site sells clothing, Google should be well aware of it through your product descriptions.  

Having 'clothing' in your domain may help your listing a bit for searches for "clothing", but it such a generic term will still get buried under department store listings and other more popular clothing stores.  Unless we're talking about a very specific type of clothing (like kilts), and then people usually search for that particular item...not 'clothing'.
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Tony McCreathTechnical SEO ConsultantCommented:
domain names are used by Google to determine the targeted country of a website. This will be the country the website will perform best in.

So by rights a .cc or .tv website would be wasting its targeted country and loosing potential traffic. Unless you are targeting the Cocos Islands or Tuvalu.

However, I would suspect Google is being a bit cleverer. It has access to a lot more information than just the domain (where its hosted, who links to it, content) which it may use to boost these website in countries they seem most associated with.

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parevkezCommented:
The .cc domain suffix is the top-level domain (TLD) for the Cocos Islands. However, it is commonly used as an alternative to the ".com" suffix for commercial Web sites.

The .cc suffix is convenient because it is short and easy to say. However, not all Web hosting companies support .cc domains and they are not offered by many domain name registrars. Therefore, it is usually better to use an alternate domain name with a .com, .net, or .org suffix instead of selecting a .cc domain name.
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chriscounter07Author Commented:
"The .cc suffix is convenient because it is short and easy to say."

I think this is a very important statement that perhaps others would miss, myself included.  The whole idea of the aforementioned ISell.com is not so much the 'dot com' but the ISell that makes the brand memorable.  However, stick a 'dot co dot uk' on the end and even ISell, a memorable high value brand becomes a little flat, like it almost loses enthusiasm as it rolls off the tounge.

Interesting that, well done.

We've already established that the .CC domain name is in fact the Cocos Islands and that .TV is Tuvalu but what I found interesting here is that Google doesn't particulary care.  I'd think this especially apparrant for .TV, I mean how many .TV domains must be registered around the world.

What i've got then from all this are these points for the ultimate domain name:

It must be relevant to your market but unless you really have a fantastic niche product, keep the name simple (KIS).   ISell.com is much better than ISellClothing.com

However, if you use, say .CC, there is a chance that keeping it too simple might be detrimental to the business.  CC is a bit 'we're not good enough for a dot com' and (although no ones challanged or accepted it) there might be an element of insecurity if using the 'unknown'.  For example I would never buy a UK-made car from a website ending in anything other than .co.uk or .com.  I certainly wouldn't buy from a .RU.  There is then a fine balance when considering a domain name.  .CC, .RU, .XYZ are only to be used when your business attempts to identify itself through it's name.  ISell.cc is not right.  ISellClothing.cc is better.  It doesn't roll off the tounge quite so well but it gets the point accross.

.Com is the ultimate.  You are untouchable with a .Com and it doesn't matter what you sell, you will be better off with one than the others.  Keep in mind though that your name has to be easy to say, the dot com will only do so much.  As for search engines the argument is neither here nor there.



Tell me what you think.  If I could up the points I would.  Admin?
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chriscounter07Author Commented:
think this has increased the points
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parevkezCommented:
same thing as I stated above
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gwkgCommented:
.com is king and probably always will be.
.co.uk is good for targeting the UK market.  If your business is not worldwide, and you are trying to rank high in google.co.uk, I would recommend this extension.
.cc is way down on the list of viable domain extensions.  I wouldn't recommend using a domain that no one ever heard of.  Even if you tell them isell.cc, more people than you would like will forget the .cc by the time they get to their computer and go to isell.com
.cc might be good for Credit Card related sites, but I can't recommend it for much else.
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gwkgCommented:
No .cc domain made the top 100 ccTLD sales from last year
http://dnjournal.com/archive/domainsales/2008/ytd-sales-chart-2008.htm
And only one has cracked the top 60 so far this year.... HW.cc @ $6000
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chriscounter07Author Commented:
Some very good answers there that will a big help to everyone, not just me.
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