You really do need the dot com domain name

When someone falls in love with a name, and finds out that the .com
isn’t available, inevitably the question arises: Do I really need the
.com domain name? Can I get away with a .biz or .net or other address?
Acquiring a .com domain can be very expensive, of course, so another
alternative would save not only the money but the hassle of
negotiating a sale.

Unfortunately, the .com matters. It matters a lot. If the .com isn’t
available, or if it’s only available at a price above your budget,
you’re better off looking for a different domain name. Here are three
reasons why you can’t afford not to have the .com domain:

1. Type-in Traffic
When many people hear your company or product name, they will assume
that if they type in that name with a .com suffix that your website
will come up. If you don’t own the .com, you will lose this direct
type-in traffic. Of course, some people will still find you via a
search engine or other means, but why add that second step? You are
risking losing a potential customer, investor, or other business
partner.

2. Controlling Your Brand
If you don’t own the .com, SOMEONE ELSE WILL. You won’t be able to
control what is put on that website. It might be something damaging to
you or embarrassing. The most famous example is whitehouse.gov, the
official government website, and whitehouse.com which for many years
hosted adult content. Brand image is important, and not controlling
the .com domain opens up too much risk.

3. SEO Considerations – Ranking Well in Search Engines
Although this is less important now than in the past, search engines
are likely to privilege the owner of the .com domain in a web search.
Not having the .com makes it less like your site will come up first in
search results. So from that angle too, the owning the .com domain is
important.

There may be some unusual cases where you can get away without the
.com domain, but the general rule applies in the vast majority of
cases. Get the .com or suffer the consequences.

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