There are millions of domain names, of which just under 2 million end with .be. But we also often see domain names with .com and .net. What is behind the dot is called a top-level domain. When registering a domain name, not everyone takes the choice of a top-level domain (TLD) into account. Still, it is important to choose the right TLD that suits your website. A wrong choice can have a negative impact on your position in Google. What is the right choice for you?
A TLD is the extension at the end of a URL. At wekreate this is .eu ( europe ). But there are many more variants such as .com, .nu, .be. In addition, there are also special TLDs such as .vlaanderen and there are companies that have their own TLD, such as Bosch: .bosch.
Your location plays an important role in the search results you see. A visitor in Belgium will see different results than someone who enters the same search term in the Netherlands.
One of the factors that Google uses to determine for which country a website is relevant is the TLD that the website uses. TLDs can be divided into two categories:
Country-specific: These are TLDs that are assigned to a specific country. Think of .be, .de, .nl, etc. Google sets the rule that the content on a .be website is Belgian and .de is German.
Generic: These are the TLDs that do not target specific regions, such as .nu, .com, .net, .org. But company name extensions are also included.
When indexing these websites, Google does look at the language of the website content to determine for which region the content is relevant.
When we look at the findability of your website, it is wise to take into account the choice of the right TLD. Do you only focus on Belgium and is your website intended for Belgian visitors? Then .be is an excellent and safe choice.
Do you serve an international target group? Then .be can cause SEO problems.
Just as extensions from abroad can cause problems for findability within Belgium. Our advice is to choose multiple TLDs for a multilingual website. Do you have a website with language switch and do you have content in Dutch, English and German? Then choose to register domain names with the extensions .be, .nl, .com and .de. This not only provides more clarity for the website visitor, but will also ensure better indexing in Google.
Special extensions such as .vlaanderen or .eu are bound to a region, but are treated as a generic TLD like Google. So there are exceptions to the rule. The extension .be scores best in the search results when you search within Google.be. Is the domain name you are looking for occupied with the .be extension? Then do not choose the same name with a different extension such as .style. This will ensure that you are less well indexed in Belgium.
Rather choose a different variant of the domain name that you had in mind with the .be extension behind it.
In short, it means that the region in which you are active is decisive when choosing a TLD. Are you targeting an international audience? Then choose a generic TLD such as .com or create a separate website for each target country with its own country-specific TLD.
Do you only operate in Belgium? Then choose .be. That makes it much easier for the visitor, Google and for yourself!