What's in a (domain) name?


What matters when it comes to selecting a domain name. Some guidelines and information about domains relating to business use.

To understand domain names it's important to understand that domain names read from least significant to most significant right to left. So the TLD (Top Level Domain) ".au" is a higher domain than "rinet.com.au" for example.

New TLD's

Recently new TLD's have been released. Now on the end of your domain name you can get ".melbourne" or even ".photography". These new TLD's are not cheap at around $100 per year; and whether they add value to your site's search engine ranking remains to be seen.

From a user's point of view I would not appreciate having to type in ".melbourne" or ".photography" at the end of a business's domain; it's a hard task on a smart phone!

If you have a business page with Google, you will be found, along with your website and other details. Having particular domain isn't critical to people finding you. Your domain will matter when it's used on brochures, signage and other advertising. Your domain should reflect your business name and possibly what your business does, and be easy to remember and spell.

Domain Rules

What impression you want to give to your customers determines the domain that you register in, refer to the table below...

Major DomainDescriptionName Restrictions
.com.au Intended for commercial concerns in Australia. Proof of registration is required, usually your company's ABN or ACN.The domain name must be the business name or reflect:
  • Some activity that the business does.
  • Product that the business sells.
  • Service that the business supplies.
  • Event or events that the business organises, sponsors or operates.
  • Information that the business teaches or supplies.
  • Public venue that the business operates or manages.
  • Profession that the employees of the business practise.
The above restrictions do not seem to be enforced. If you want a particular domain name, try your luck and see if it gets accepted.
.auA domain released in 2022. A shortened version of .net.au, .com.au and .org.au.
Intended for Australian websites. As for .com.au an ABN or ACN is needed.
It hasn't been as popular as expected, giving the opportunity to secure once taken domain names.
The restrictions that once applied to .com.au seem to be no longer enforced, and this has carried on to the new .au domain.
.net.au Loosely this domain is for sites that have a technical aspect to their business, or they provide some kind of Internet service. This is not strictly adhered to.Same restrictions as .com.au
.org.au For non profit organisations. Can also include schools, churches and other organisations with a community outlook or viewpoint.Same or similar, including abbreviations, to the organisation name.
.comThis domain was for the United States, where the Internet was developed, although companies with an international outlook also use it. Can be used by anyone who wants to get online.None.
.netSimilar to the .com domain, but generally has sites with a technical aspect or theme.None.
Some of the many new TLD's released.
Many spammers use these domains making it easy for users to block spam and your business as well. Using using them is not recommended.

More information: https://www.auda.org.au/policy/au-domain-administration-rules-licensing

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