The Difference Between .US vs .COM

Last updated: January 3, 2022

The biggest question when it comes to acquiring a domain is whether to use .us or .com or any other top-level domain. This question has its merits since some of the most popular, successful, and well-known sites in the world use .com, such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Samsung, Apple, and many more. 

Because of this, many businesses and people are now wondering which TLD to use, and this question is often brought up when considering if the American market is being targeted. If you are in the process of setting up a website and aren’t sure whether to use the .com TLD or the .us TLD, continue reading. 

The .COM domain

Let’s start with the .com domain since this is considered the most popular. This domain stands for commercial, and was first registered on March 15, 1985. What this means is that sites that use this TLD will be used for commercial purposes, which was the idea behind the whole thing. Since it is commercial, it is used internationally, and as such is now considered to be an international TLD, where the website isn’t targeting one country in particular. 

It is worth mentioning that many people around the world consider .com to be the best TLD, and this has created a bias. This means that people would most likely click on a site that has a .com TLD than a different one if they don’t know about TLD’s. One reason many people think .com domains are the best, especially for SEO, is because almost all of the top-ranked sites use .com. This is because of the abovementioned belief that it is the most popular, and as a result, most sites now use .com because of this, which is why almost all top-ranked sites are .com. 

That doesn’t mean that the .com domain doesn’t provide any benefits:

● Credibility – It provides credibility due to the misconception that it’s “the best”.

● Establishment – This gives you a head start since having .com means you are established, according to most internet users.

● No restrictions – There are no geographical restrictions when using the .com domain.

● Searchability – It allows for anyone in the world to search for your site since it is a worldwide domain.

The .US domain

Now onto the .us domain to better understand what it is. Established in 1985, this domain is one of the top-level domains and is described as being a country-bound domain. This means is that only people who are from the US are able to use this domain, which includes an incorporated organization that operates within one of the 50 states, a foreign entity with a presence in the country, or a person who is a citizen or permanent resident of the US. 

There are a few advantages that come with using a .us domain;

● Easily found by US searchers – If you are targeting a US audience, then the .us domain is great for this since .us websites are often shown first in the search results before most other extensions, to people who are from the US. That being said, you will essentially be limiting yourself to a US audience. 

● Cheaper – Since .com domains are available internationally; this makes them slightly more expensive. By comparison, using a .us domain is much cheaper, so if you are only targeting an audience in the .us then it would make sense to choose this domain.

● Connecting causes – if your site supports a cause, selling a product, or is running a civic group, then using the .us domain would be great for connecting that cause to your country. 

Things to Consider

There are a few things that need to be taken into consideration when choosing between these two TLDs. The first is the geographical location and the audience you are targeting; if it is international then you should use .com, however if it is an American audience then you should use .us. 

If you will be using the site for only commercial use, then .com is the best. However, if you were to use it for commercial and personal use, and you live in America, then you should use .us. 

Lastly, you should take into consideration the misconception that .com is the most popular, since this will inadvertently affect your SEO because most people would choose to visit a .com website. In addition to this, for those that aren’t knowledgeable about computers or tech, most websites end in .com. This means that if people are talking about your website in person, or in shorthand, and they don’t mention the domain, it will be assumed that it ends in .com, which can be an issue if your site actually ends in .us. 

Carefully consider these factors before choosing a domain, since all of them are quite important to your success. However, with that being said, if your website name is great and people already know your brand, then it doesn’t matter what your domain is.