The Great AU Domain Showdown: .com.au vs .au

Objective

In the dynamic landscape of Australian digital real estate, our latest experiment sets out to explore the performance battleground between the established .com.au domains and the newer .au contenders.

Hypothesis

Given the longstanding presence and recognition of .com.au domains, we theorize that they might hold a temporary advantage over their .au counterparts in search engine visibility, at least in the initial phases post-launch.

Methodology

Materials:

  • Both domain variants will be homed on a robust VPS server to ensure a level playing field in terms of hosting quality.
  • The SEO plugin Rank Math will be uniformly applied across both sites, limited to sitemap functionality to keep the SEO factors consistent.
  • The Divi theme will be the common ground for both sites, ensuring design and functionality parity.
  • A secure HTTPS protocol will be enforced for both domains, aligning with best practices in website security.
  • Unique content will be crafted for each site to sidestep any negative SEO impact from duplicate content.
  • Google Search Console integration will be a standard feature for both domains, enabling detailed performance tracking.

Procedure:

  1. Domain acquisition was completed through Crazy Domains, ensuring a uniform starting point for both .com.au and .au sites.
  2. Siteground was chosen as the hosting platform for both domains, standardizing the hosting environment.
  3. A clean slate was ensured by purging default themes and plugins post-WordPress installation.
  4. The Divi theme was deployed on both sites, setting a common design and functionality framework.
  5. A ‘Home’ page was established on each site, serving as the primary landing page.
  6. The ‘Business Consultant’ layout from Divi’s premade templates was selected for both sites to maintain design consistency.
  7. Content on each site was carefully crafted to be distinct, avoiding any overlap that could skew the experiment’s results.
  8. Sitemaps were generated using Rank Math, facilitating efficient indexing by search engines.
  9. Both sites were registered with Google Search Console, with sitemaps submitted to aid in tracking and analysis.

Findings

The initial phase of the experiment unveiled a surprising twist, with the .au domain initially outshining its .com.au counterpart. However, the tide turned dramatically by the third month, leading to the .au domain’s disappearance from Google’s radar in the subsequent period.

Analysis

This four-month journey, albeit short in the SEO timeline, has provided significant insights. The .au domain’s initial success, followed by its sudden vanishing act, prompts a deeper inquiry into possible canonical issues. However, the notion that Google might equate .com.au and .au domains to subdomains seems unlikely, suggesting other factors at play.

Forward-Looking Conclusion

While this experiment has shed light on the competitive dynamics between .com.au and .au domains, the evolving nature of search algorithms and domain authority underscores the need for ongoing observation. Over the next nine months, we’ll continue to monitor these digital contenders, keenly observing if a fully developed website on a .au domain could tip the scales. Stay tuned as we delve deeper into this digital domain duel, committed to uncovering actionable insights for the Australian online community.

Digimark.

About The Author

Meet Steve Jaenke, the digital mastermind who’s been ahead of the game for over two decades! As an early adopter of SEO, Steve saw the power of Google and made it his mission to help SMEs unlock its full potential. As a result, he’s become a leading expert in the field, and it’s no surprise that he’s been a finalist in the Global Search Awards in 2021 and 2022.

But Steve’s influence doesn’t stop there – he’s also a recurrent judge for the Australian Web Awards, sharing his expertise and experience to help others succeed. With his deep understanding of the digital world and his passion for helping others, Steve is the go-to guy for anyone looking to level up their online presence.

So, whether you’re a small business owner looking to increase visibility online or a digital marketer looking to stay ahead of the curve, Steve Jaenke is the expert you need to know!

Subscribe To Digi Digest
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

The Impact of Online Reputation Management on Your Brand

"What you post online speaks volumes about who you really are. Post with intention. Repost with caution." – Germany Kent A brand's online presence is its most visible and influential facet. Whether it's through social media, corporate websites, or third-party reviews,...

How to create engaging meta descriptions

In the dynamic world of digital marketing, meta descriptions hold a pivotal role, serving as the digital handshake between your website and potential visitors. These brief yet powerful snippets of text are more than just a summary of your page's content; they are your...

How to create compelling meta titles

Meta titles, often the first impression your website makes on potential visitors, are a cornerstone of effective SEO strategy. These succinct titles not only encapsulate the essence of your webpage's content but also serve as a decisive factor in attracting clicks...