Should I move from a local TLD to a generic TLD (.co)?
September 6, 2016 6:29 AM   Subscribe

My website is I'm wondering if I should move it to, which I also own.

Here's the context:

* domain dates to 2006, while dates to 2011
* less than 5% of traffic is from Israel, while over 50% comes from USA/CAN, and I'm aiming for this to continue
* since is the Israeli TLD, GWT forces geotargeting to Israel even though my server is in California
* most competitor sites are .com/.net/.org, so stands out as different, although in practice, people just remember the JobMob brand

Here are the pros and cons of moving that I know of:


* will mean a shorter domain name and urls
* Matt Cutts said in 2011 that Google basically treats .co as a gTLD, and I could change geotargeting so that it's no longer forced to Israel (which only represents a fraction of my audience) and hopefully leading to a rise in global search traffic


* is much older, and domain age is a positive ranking signal
* people confuse .co with .com, leaking traffic and misdirected email (leading to people wondering why you didn't reply) BUT this already happens to a small extent with anyway
* switching domains is a PITA, even if done properly

So what do you think? Should I make the switch? Why?
posted by jshare to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Why not just put the same site on both domains? If you cut over, you're bound to lose some traffic (one way or another). But if your site is on both, you can run it for a while and then drop one domain if the other turns out to have all the traffic.
posted by spacewrench at 7:05 AM on September 6, 2016

I would keep operating on both domains but promote the .co. Primarily to indicate you are a global business. If I see a .il site, I assume it's an Israeli-only business. Technically .co is Colombia but it's used as a generic so often I don't think of it that way.

I wouldn't sweat the SEO details / domain age question.
posted by Nelson at 10:03 AM on September 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

The site is currently operating only at, not on both domains.

When you say 'operate on both domains', do you mean have two copies of the site, or just have urls redirect to the same content regardless of the domain name? Either way, wouldn't Google see this as duplicate content since there would be two canonical urls for each piece of content? Can you think of real world example of what you're suggesting?
posted by jshare at 10:57 AM on September 6, 2016

I had in mind a redirect from to .co.
posted by Nelson at 11:08 AM on September 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would have redirect to .co and .co would be the "canonical" version. Google may have a problem if you just duplicated the content across both sites or had both domains pointing to the same content, but it should be just fine with redirects, especially if you set it up so that your existing URLs redirect correctly to the new ones where possible (e.g. redirects to

That said, I don't know what sorts of geotargeting restrictions .il has. What you might do to satisfy that is to have redirect to a special Israel-specific landing page if the homepage is requested.
posted by Aleyn at 4:57 PM on September 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

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