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Deciding Whether or Not to Use Dot Biz or Dot Info Domain Names

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 9/24/2009

While they don't have the 'brand' appeal of dot com, dot info and dot biz may be a viable domain name alternative for your website.

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    Dot biz and dot info domain names

    The dot com domain name you are looking for is long gone, and so are the dot net and dot org versions of the name.

    A domain name search does show, however, that the dot info and dot biz versions of the name are available. Should you go with them, or try to come up with a multi-word dot com that is almost impossible to remember?

    There is no easy answer. The reality is that dot com is king of the domain extension jungle, no matter how much promoters of other extensions say otherwise. Let’s face it; the phrase ‘dot com’ has entered our popular culture and has become synonymous with the World Wide Web. A country code top level domain (or ccTLD, such as .de or .ca) is effective for focused web marketing efforts in one country, but usually falls short when it comes to attracting international visitors to a website.

    Despite this dominance by dot com, many marketers contend that a long, obscure dot com name is going to do a website more harm than good. This may make it tempting to grab a short, memorable dot info or dot biz name if they are available.

    Both domain extensions are unrestricted, meaning that they can be registered by anyone, anywhere. Dot biz was originally created for business use, while dot info was intended for information based websites. Both extensions have been around since 2001, but neither has come close to approaching the popularity of dot com or even dot net and dot org.

    While there are over 2 million dot biz domains registered (by comparison, over 77 million dot coms have been registered), most are by small companies, and the domain extension has, rightly or wrongly, developed somewhat of a reputation as a domain extension used by spammers.

    Dot info has fared somewhat better. Over 5 million dot info domains were registered in 2008, and the domain has been used by several municipalities in the United States to promote local information services, which has helped boost its public profile in certain markets.

    In the end, web developers are left with this question when trying to decide whether to register a dot info or dot biz; is a short, memorable name worth more than the ‘brand’ factor that comes with a dot com domain name? If the answer is yes, then dot biz and dot info are valid domain name alternatives.