If you are creating a new website, no doubt you are looking for the best domain name possible to help express who your company is and what they offer. One question that often comes up at this stage is “does it hurt a website to have an .info, .biz, .cc or other extension?” There is really no simple answer to this.

Many people don’t even know what the extensions mean, they have just simply heard .com so often that they are used to it. The extension .com means commercial, .net means network, .info means informational, .biz means business, and a fairly new one is .mobi as in mobile phone.

Some might call the fear of any extension outside of a .com a self-fulfilling prophecy. One could point to the fact that there are few successful businesses with other extensions, but is that due to big companies only choosing the .com extension to begin with? People tend to believe that they don’t rank well, and thus do not choose to use them, but that doesn’t mean it is the reality of the matter. There have been a lot of scare tactics done, especially by the sellers of domain names, as a .com extension will usually cost you much more than the .biz or .info.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, many people believe that .gov and .edu sites automatically rank higher because of this extension. There is also no evidence to suggest that this is true, it is simply that large already established businesses, and authorities on their subjects, often use them.

The good news is that there is no evidence that any of these extensions will affect your SEO work and rankings with search engines. This fact has even been confirmed by those working for some of the larger search engines. The only exception to that might be that of country codes. A country specific extension such as .us or .co.uk can be effective for search engine listings in other countries. They may not rank as high, and this can be a problem if you are targeting the widest possible audience.

So what is the bottom line? People have gotten used to the .com extensions, and nothing more. Your average surfer may not even know what the .info or .biz extensions mean. And simply put, people like the .com extensions that they are used to. So will it affect your traffic? Maybe yes, maybe no, but the point is you must observe the traffic patterns.

The .com extensions may be easier to remember, or it may not matter much at all. Don’t base your choice solely on the myth that .coms rank higher with SEO. Having your choice of keywords, at a more affordable rate may just be the wise move for you after all.