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Don’t Discount a Dot Info Domain

I’ve been using dot info domains for a little while now. I was scared off of them at first by marketers who swore Google didn’t like them (as if anyone knows what Google likes or dislikes, please.). I heard they didn’t get indexed. I then stumbled on a thread of marketers talking about how WELL their dot infos performed so I did some digging, realized people talk about stuff with major assumptions, and decided to try them myself.

They do just fine and dandy in Google. They get indexed fast, too. And here’s the cool thing. I sometimes get my opinions skewed with Internet stuff because I’m a marketer. So I wondered what an average person would think of when they saw a dot info domain.

Everyone always talks about how customers trust dot coms. Well I know one thing, a whole lotta selling goes on on the dot coms. So I went and asked random people I knew this question:

Question: “You know how there are dot com domains, dot net, dot gov, etc? Well when you see a dot info domain, what kind of site do you think that is – what are your initial thoughts about it?”

Answer given to me: “I would think it had information on it. Info means information, so it would kind of be like if I was searching for medical information and it took me to a Mayo clinic site where I got good information.”

I then followed up with these questions:

Question: “So would you trust it as an authority site or would you not be surprised if you landed on a sales letter?”

Answers give to me: “I wouldn’t expect to be sold to. I would think I’m getting expert information. I would be mad if I landed on a sales site because I would think a dot info was supposed to be good information.”

Question: “So what if the site had lots of good free information on it, but it also had ads or promoted certain information for sale?”

Answers given to me: “As long as I did find information on it that wasn’t for sale, I’d be okay with ads. But if it was nothing but ads or a sales letter, I’d be pissed.”

What does this teach us?

The normal person searching online doesn’t think like you and me. They have a bit of trust in the word “Information” as an authority figure. They’re skeptical and on the lookout for being bombarded right off the bat with sales speak. They want to be warmed up but have no problem with being recommended something.

I found this very powerful stuff.
Tiff ;)

40 Responses to “Don’t Discount a Dot Info Domain”

  • Rick Daley says:

    Very good info as usual Tiff.

  • Very interesting. I have been staying away from .info domains because of the whole Google not liking them, but now I may consider buying 1 or 2 and seeing how they do. I would only be out a few dollars anyways so I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try.

  • Jose says:

    Good timing on this one! I actually bought a few .info domains recently and have had good results so far. They are so damn cheap so it’s easy to experiment with them.

  • Rose Mis says:

    This is really good information Tiffany !! I have been very leery of buying .info domains because it has been drilled into me as a marketer only .com’s are worth owning. I get the feeling that .info’s just might have a REAL place in the mix :-) !!

    Thanks so much for sharing !!

    LOVE your products by the way…

    Rose

  • Nooyawka says:

    The trouble with .info domains isn’t their bad reputation. The trouble is that they cost a lot more than .com domains to renew. If you get your website going and get traffic, you don’t want to pay those high fees for .info renewals the second and third years … and so on.

  • I’ve noticed that customers don’t even see the domain name in the address bar. From what I can tell, they only look at what the header says. We routinely show our customers their site hosted on our server, and not ONCE have they remarked, “Hey – why doesn’t that have our web address in it?”

    I should think it would be the same for selling something.

  • Sally K says:

    Thanks! I’ve been thinking about some new projects, and I was hesitant about the dot info domains.

    It’s great to know the real story about how people see them, based on real testing of assumptions!

  • Very interesting points, Tiffany! I forget ‘the bubble’ we are all in with our online marketing peeps. With the information viewpoint, sounds like some awesome affiliate sites could be made out of those!

  • I’ve been using .info domains for years for many of my landing pages. Although I primarily use them for my article marketing campaigns, I find the search engines to be as good to them as my .com domains.

  • Nando says:

    Hi Tiffany,

    You are poking a hole in much of the Guru retoric that keeps many people from achieving success online.

    As was previously demonstrated in the case of the rich jerk, just because someone has made a few million online doesn’t mean that the information they share shouldn’t be tested.

    As for the dot info domain, I’ve personally made some pretty good money creating simple “ugly” websites with real product reviews that have done quite well even in some big launches.

    Considering the fact that the internet is considered the “super information highway” why wouldn’t a dot “info” domain work?

    Isn’t that what we teach people who want to succeed with internet marketing?

    The key is to provide value in the way of information whether it be for a product launch or for a core market in general.

    Chris Rempels’ Conduit Method highlights this very well and the concept continues to work very well so long as the information is hype free and the site doesn’t look like you’re typical overhyped clickbank trash that’s launched everyday.

    Thanks for sharing your research.

    Cheers!

  • David says:

    I don’t know who charges high renewal prices for .info domains. I have bought several through GoDaddy, and the first year is 0.89. Renewal for 1 year is 7.99, but you can renew for 2 years for 8.99 (4.50 per year).

    That’s cheaper than the $10 a year I pay to renew my .com domains.

    With the iCANN fee, you pay a total of 1.07 for the first year of a .info domain. That’s a pretty cheap price to experiment with a new site.

  • stella says:

    Dear Tiff,

    This is why i like to follow your advice. Because you give the insight and clear explanation, and I have been thinking for several days whether I have to decide to buy .info domain or not (because of pro and the contra).

    For me who resides not in states ,and when US$ currency is quite a big concern to me when it comes to buy domains or info product or anything else, then i must say your advice and all people here is make me happy.

    just one question, is it true that we use .info only for promoting low competition products?

    • Tiffany says:

      Stella I don’t see why you’d ensure it was only low competition :) I think if you build the site right, it doesn’t matter.

  • Hi Tiff,

    I too used to shy away from dot info names because Ai lestened to the so called gurus and them telling me that dot com names were the top choice of names to have.

    I believe that people have become so wrapped around the axle about internet marketing that so many have forgotten that they are also consumers, and no matter if you are a big dog guru, you still buy, shop, research, etc… in a consumer mode and thinking.

    Yes, dot info names perform just as well, and even better in many cases… depending on the content of the site which is under a particular name. When we as people and consumers see the word info, we think information, and that is what we’re looking for… information. And when we see good and reliable information… we start thinking authority.

    You are correct… do not discount dot info names. There is no validity to opinions that they are of lesser value than a dot com name.

    Thanks for bringing this point to light. Great job!

  • Mia says:

    I can’t remember EVER seeing a .info domain on the SERPs first page. Have you had a different experience? If yes, was it a LooooooooooNG-tail keyword?

  • Pete Moring says:

    It’s like the myth thrown about that if you put ‘dashes’ in your domain name it will rank lower :-(
    I have several with dashes in to break up the words and they rate very well and have done for some years now :-)

    The .info gets unnecessarily bad press – who makes out of that though?
    (Hmmmm – a-conundrum.info )

  • Jeff C says:

    Hi Tiff,

    Thanks for confirming the “Why” behind my test results. I have been using .info domains from the time the came out. I have also tested them to death.

    Your answers above go hand in hand with my testing. I have never had a “mini site” you know a sales letter site do well on a .info.

    But…

    My AdSense sites kill on .info. I recently tested a 5 page .info AdSense site against a .com. Both sites had the same name with the exception of the tdl. The each had the exact same base PLR articles. I used different spun versions on each site. The layouts were identical. I did use different graphics.

    I did find in most cases the .com out ranked the .info but by no more then 3 rankings. Other then that the .info out preformed the .com in every aspect. The most significant results were:

    .info had a 24% to 35% hight ctr and my revenues were as much as 50% higher then the .com.

    I concluded that for some reason folks simply trusted .info domains MORE then .com domains when looking for information.

    Now thanks to your research I know why :)

    Jeff

  • Darwin says:

    The only issue I would see is if someone was trying to type in the domain name from memory. Out of habit they would use the suffix of dot com. Then it might be an issue if you have the same domain as a dot com with your dot info.

    However, if you are using ppc, sem, or links from various places why would it matter? Many times I think if we go to a site via a link we might not even know what the domain name is. Kinda like having phone numbers programmed in our mobile, do we really know that number or just the name we used for that number?

    Maybe that dot com myth was started by someone who didnt want others to copy their domain name using dot net, dot org, dot info or dot name. If you have a single authority site you want to brand maybe it would matter, but if you are a marketer with many sites it is a way to cut costs.

    If you test it and dot info gets results that is the important thing. Nobody can argue with results. And eventually they will run out of good dot com domain names so it might just be a smart move to get some quality dot info domains while others are going by what some unnamed guru said.

    You go girl

  • Denise says:

    Hi Tiff

    Thanks for this. As you say many people see this as a “professional” domain a bit like .org. In the UK it is interesting ( us cynical brits!:-)that some people prefer .co.uk domains. I wonder if we all get our knickers in a twist about it ( another brit expression!) just go with the flow. If the energy you put behind it is positive and giving the benefits will come. Try and rip people off and you will always get your reward..and it wont be what you want.

    Thanks for sharing

    Have a great Saturday….I think you guys might just be waking up

    lol
    Denise

  • Edie47 says:

    Recently I received a newsletter that insisted in bold letters never to use dot info. I wondered later if that was someone who does indeed use dot info, but didn’t want the competition. If people are using dot info with great success, than that is good enough for me. I trust what Tiffany says.

    Also, when I conduct a search I rarely look at whether it is a dot com or dot net, etc. I click on the link that looks like it has the info I need. I would think many others do the same.

    Good post, Tiffany. Thanks for the confirmation of what I was suspecting to be the truth.

  • Interesting findings Tiffany. Good to know. I have several new “.info” websites so cannot comment on their results yet.

    I would also be curious as to what people expect when they go to a “.org” website if you plan on doing any further surveys.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  • Kyle says:

    Interesting article. I have seen .infos do okay and then drop off, but that’s no different than any other type of domain. The thesis will need some more experiments, so good luck to you!

  • Sara Gray says:

    I love the dot info domains. I buy domains all the time and not only is it more affordable, but I’ve had very good results with them. Basically, the dot info domains may become more popular than the dot net domains as a second choice behind dot com’s. Thanks for confirming what I already believed.

  • Jonel says:

    I think poor old “.info” has suffered long enough through ‘guilt by association’.

    Because they’re initially cheaper than other tld’s to register, less scrupulous marketers find them ideal for their “fly-by-night”, scammy projects.

    Let’s start rebuilding .info’s character & reputation one site at a time! ;)

  • WebDiva says:

    This is no news to me.

    I’ve been using .info domains since the tld was first born. I DO use various TLDs. But the largest percentage of my high-earning sites are on .info

    If I use .com, it’s for a sales page or perhaps a squeeze page.

  • Ray says:

    Hmmm … very interesting observations (not to leave out excellent comments). I’ve avoided .info domains until a few months ago. Not because of what some guru said; it was because of my own bias as a marketer. I associated .info extensions with being “cheap”. Anyway I’m going to launch 3 informational sites on WordPress using the .info domains I bought and some PLR articles (will rewrite them using BestSpinner). Will let you know how they turn out.

    Ray

  • Darrel says:

    Very interesting. I have never considered a .info domain for the very reason that the guru’s have instilled in me to stay away from them. Another thought why .com’s are preferred in my mind, is that many folks will type in an address (URL) and hit or . This will automatically add the .com extension. In any case, I have never really studied the issue in any great depth and have stuck with .com, .org or .net.

    This post got me to think about it and will try .info doamians and see what happens.

    Thanks for thought provoking post.

    Darrel

  • Johnny says:

    Tiffany,

    I love .info domains. Like you said, they’re $.89 a pop at GoDaddy & I grab ‘em up by the dozens when creating campaigns. Things that I love so much about them are:

    1. They’re cheap – after a year, if I’m getting no ROI I can let the registration lapse, no harm no foul.

    2. I get natural direct traffic to my .info domains. It blew my mind when I started using these little buggers & was getting traffic to sites that I hadn’t begun marketing for yet. Works great for categories, topics or product/model numbers – e.g. windsurfing.info, appleipad.info or something similar.

    3. Like one of your answers said – people look to these sites as authority sites, or sites that are purely informational. I think this is the best thing about them. Marketers who are providing solid content on their sites are going to get a lot out of these domains. I also find it easier to get people to opt-in for free giveaways – how-to’s, guides, etc. – I’ve even had a good bit of luck just offering a newsletter on a specific subject without a give (outside the newsletter). Of course, quality is a must, which may deter some, but it really shines through on these sites.

    I heard tons of people giving .info’s a bad name, saying that Google didn’t like them, etc. & that’s just not true. Big kudo’s for shedding some light on these little gems!

    Thanks
    Johnny

  • Frank C says:

    For those who’re wondering about can a .info rank well, do a Google search on these terms…

    pagerank checker
    Noam Chomsky
    roman coins
    new york transit
    craft ideas
    regular expressions
    move your money

    I agree that average people look to them for info, perhaps thinking of them as a site by a hobby enthusiast or the like rather than some company trying to sell them something.

  • Kalidasa says:

    Didn’t Matt Cutts recently say domaine extension doesn’t matter for rankings?

  • Chris says:

    I have a .info that I bought about a year ago. It was being redirected to a ClickBank product, but I decided to put a blog up with a lot of good content and see what happens. I have some ClickBank products listed on one of the sidebars, but the content has great information relating to the niche so I’ll promote it a bit and maybe get some traffic to the site. Better to put some content on it rather than letting it sit with a redirect to a product that hasn’t produced any sales.

  • joe says:

    This is a great article.
    I really like the mention about assumptions. However, the one thing that bothered me about info domains was that they were used quite a bit by spammers and were subsequently blocked. And, that’s probably why they got the bum rap.
    I believe that Tiff’s advice is more like what people searching for information want to see, information out of a info domain.
    I agree that having this knowledge is powerful.
    Thanks for bringing this up.
    joe

  • Thanks, Tiff. Cheaper is better for me at this point and it makes sense that people who are looking for information will click that link.

  • Dilli Gaf says:

    Hi Guys,

    Everyone has mentioned about .info being cheaper but I think word has got out. I was renewing my accounts at 123-Reg.Co.Uk when I noticed they are selling .info and .com for £9.99 ($15.31). Guess it’s one to avoid.

    Dilli Gaf

  • Rudy says:

    What I’ve found out is that the bad press about .info was created by the same people that made .info bad… the so called gooorooos

    I purchase them constantly and get first page rankings of Google, Yahoo and MSN consistently … actually.. I created a .info 4 days ago and it’s already indexed and position 2 page one for a very competitive keyword for my review site.

    I think the most powerful thing said in this piece is.. public perception… the lay-surfer sees .info and he/she automatically thinks information and that is the right frame of mind we want them in when they visit our sites.

    so… if the keyword is a buyer’s keyword… and the domain extension puts them at ease by offering constructive information… now you have them in the right frame of mind wanting to buy from you without even knowing they are buying from you….

    Second Google is all about relevance whether it is supplied by a .com or a .info …. Google hates the spammers not the domain extension…

    So.. if you had money when the housing market crashed you get great homes cheap .. same thing here.

    the name .info has been sullied in the eyes of the people in the industry by people in the industry..but..

    not in the eyes of the people that matters the most… our customers

  • Rudy says:

    Currently bad press is driving the price of the .info domains down…jump on them while you can.. they will increase in value as more designer extension come available… .info is gold

  • Ben says:

    Tiffany,

    Thankyou so much for this post. As a newbie of the IPK method I was thinking I was going to have to buy .com domains for all of my campaigns, which could easily run over $100 here down under.

    Aside from being a lot cheaper, many of the dot infos are not already registered, so its great on two levels.

    Thanks again.

  • Big G says:

    Ssssshh. Please don’t tell others that Dot info names works cool, it makes it so much harder for the rest of us who already knows how good a dot info domain is. I don’t wanna compete with all the crazy com/edu/org/net peopler when buying my cheap a little over a buck domains. Let them think .info is crap so we “the people who know better” does not have too much competition when getting our cool dot info names :)

  • Panama says:

    OK…here is the scoop I know.

    Dot info’s were used by marketers a few years ago because they were cheap. So they bought a ton of them, used custom software to build 1,000 plus pages and place adsense on them. It worked for awhile and these “gurus” were making a ton of money. Google however, caught on, found the “footprint” and started delisting them. Google also uses humans to check out websites that come up on their suspicious list. So with that said, good dot info domains became guilty by association. So the word got out to not use dot info’s because google doesn’t like them. HOWEVER, tld’s (top level domains – see wikipedia)are not created to be junked and the search engines DO want to rank them if they find them worthy. Simple logic. The same gurus who said don’t use them are probably for the most part the ones who f##ked them up in the first place.

    Listen to Big G above. He’s right. And another shhhh… are the dot us domains (united States).

    You see, the internet is growing up and we are getting more country, state, county, city etc specific.

    What about dow ws or dot tv. I would say no and no. Why, because they are country specific even though they have been marketed as ws-website and tv-televsion. May seem cool and cute but google and the others see the conflict and misuse.

  • Robert says:

    Greetings, Tiffany!

    Thanks for your great blog on .info domains. Judging by the comments and response, you struck a nerve (in a good way) with a lot of us. I have been registering several of my favorite domains choices recently (for future potential business) but I want to create a blog for friends to follow and interact with, as I attempt to write my first fiction novel. While I may put up some links of products/services related to writing, etc., it is intended to be 95% personal and 5% business, so your blog solidified it for me, that the .info domain extension would be perfect for this and is by far the cheapest.

    Thanks again!

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