by Kathryn Good

Do I need to purchase this URL extension?

Key Question:

Do I need to purchase this URL extension?

Keystone Answer: 

We’ve gotten this question several times lately. Some companies try to own every URL and URL extension combination possible. Popular URL extensions include .com, .net, .org, .gov, .edu, and .info. But there are other ones like .co, .biz, .us and .ca. 
So which ones do you need to purchase? What is the value? Here are some thoughts:
1. We see no SEO value in purchasing multiple domain extensions. 
2. We recommend sticking with .com, .net or .org. If you are a business, try .com first. If it is not available, try the .net. You may want to research ways to include your business name with a .com. For example, we are www.wearekeystone.com. If you are a nonprofit, go with .org. People will know that you are a charitable organization, and that helps your cause. 
3. If you currently use a .net and the .com is available, it may be worth taking it. The default for Internet users is .com, so your traffic may improve if you use a .com. However, you have to determine how much that traffic is worth. Also, it is worth noting that many people go to a search engine or their browser and search for company names rather than typing out the full URL.
4. Do I need to buy extensions to protect my brand? Unless you are a major brand, we don’t think buying every extension is necessary. Again, you will not see increased traffic, and for most small businesses and nonprofits, this is simply not worth it. If you are super worried about a competitor buying and using a similar URL, then buy it and redirect the URL to your website. If nothing else, it relieves a worry, and we don't want you to worry. 
Of course the Internet is always changing. In fact, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (yes, that's a thing) just announced that more extensions are getting ready to hit the Internet. Organizations such as Amazon, Google and Apple paid $185,000 per application to apply for a domain name option like .apple, .target, .music and more. So yes, change is on the way, but we don't know yet if that change will be valuable or just plain confusing.          
Do you have a question for us? Send it to us.