Should I register a website with a foreign extension such as “.de”, “co.jp”, “.co.cn”, etc. . . .?
We strongly advise against registering domains with foreign extensions! Contrary to general belief, there is no ranking priority based on the extension. Think about the fact that e-markets such as the Japanese web or, again, the Hispanic web, reflect over 40% of businesses which have registered either a .com or a .net or another type of extension besides the one of their native country.
It would be impossible for search engines to give ranking priority to foreign extensions because the ramifications involved are much deeper than they appear. In fact, let’s use French-speaking search engines as an example. “.fr” (France) would be eligible for priority rankings, but what about “.ch” (Switzerland) or “.be” (Belgium)? “.ch” applies to French, German, and Italian, while “.be” applies equally to French and Flemish, which are the native languages of those countries. It would be impossible for search engines to make the distinction.
Some countries have allowed the registration of their respective extensions by foreign entities (i.e., “.de”, “.co.jp”, “.co.cn”, “.ca”, etc.) But once again, we advise against using such methodology.
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