What is better? .COM vs .COM.AU Domain Names

What is better? .COM vs .COM.AU Domain Names

I am often asked which is better, a dot-com or a dot-com-dot-au domain name.

There are several things to consider when deciding which is best for you and your business.

.COM Domain Names

.COM domain names are the most recognised global domain extension and many businesses use them.

I would recommend a dot-COM domain if you are statrting a busness that will operate in an international market.

However, dot-COMs are hard to find. There is so much competiton for them that most names are already taken.

Also, people tend to instinctively mistrust a dot-COM domain if they are in Australia and may wonder what you are trying to hide.

Only consider a dot-COM domain name if your are a global business with a global customer base .

.COM.AU Domain Names

The major benefit of .COM.AU domain names is that they instantly tell someone you are an Australian based business and are here to serve Australian customers.
As the most popular and widely recognised Australian specific domain name, .COM.AU’s also come with an inherent level of trust as there’s a set of criteria that must be met before someone can register a .COM.AU domain name.

The criteria for registering a .COM.AU domains is that you must be:

  • an Australian registered company; or
  • trading under a registered business name in any Australian State or Territory; or
  • an Australian partnership or sole trader; or
  • a foreign company licensed to trade in Australia; or
  • an owner of an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or
  • an applicant for an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or
  • an association incorporated in any Australian State or Territory; or
  • an Australian commercial statutory body.

These stringent criteria mean that when someone visits a website with a .COM.AU domain name, they know they are dealing with an established business that they can trust. When you’re just starting out, this added trust factor can be invaluable when someone is unsure about doing business with you for the first time. Google is also known to favour .COM.AU domain names over Generic top-level domains (gTLDs) as it is a signal that the website is relevant to Australians.

Search Engines

Probably the most important consideration when choosing your domain name is that Google filter search results according to where the searcher lives.

Google knows from your IP address where you are and if you are in Australia, it will make the assumption that you will be more interested in Australian websites,so it will place Australian websites higher up the search results than international ones.

So, obviously, if your business uses a dot-COM domain it may never show up for Australian searchers, not matter how well you optimise it.