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The Impact of .AE Domains on UAE Local Search Rankings

When planning to create a website, choosing the right domain extension is essential. A domain extension widely called TLD helps businesses to communicate details about them, boost audience trust, and improve brand recall.

There are many domain extensions each has its purpose. The most common TLDs are generic top-level domains (gTLD), and country code top-level domains (ccTLD). Choosing one over another for your business can have a great impact, for better or for worse.

If you are from UAE and want to stand out as a local business, you must get a .AE domain name. It’s short, local, and the preferred non-.com option in the country.

Now the question is: Is domain extension a ranking factor?

Let’s look at the debate and the impacts of .ae domains on local search rankings to find out.

Related: Should I Buy a .AE Domain if I start a company in the UAE?

The Claim: Is Domain Extension a Ranking Factor?

Technically the answer is Yes. A domain extension can be a ranking factor in SEO, but its impact is relatively small compared to other SEO factors such as content quality, backlinks, user experience, relevance, etc. A domain extension called TLD is the last part of a domain address, such as .com, .org, .net, etc.

Historically, .com domains have been the most desirable and trusted by users, and they tend to have higher domain authority in search engine algorithms. However, things have changed. Search engines now give more weight to the overall quality of a website rather than solely relying on the domain extension.

While other domain extensions may not significantly impact ranking, ccTLDs are essential in local search rankings. A ccTLD is a two-letter domain extension representing a specific country or territory, such as .ae for UAE, .uk for the United Kingdom, or .au for Australia.

Search engines like Google consider ccTLDs as a signal of geographic relevance, indicating that the website targets a specific country or region. When users perform local searches, search engines may prioritize websites with ccTLDs that match the user’s location or query. For example: If you are in UAE and search “Cafe” on Google, the search results will show you all the Cafes in UAE or near you.

Related: Why .AE Domain Registration Has Become Mandatory for UAE Retailers

The Impact of .AE Domains on Local Search Rankings

Various factors, including ccTLDs, determine local search rankings. Google often considers it as a strong signal of local relevance. Using a country-code domain, like .ae for the United Arab Emirates, can greatly impact your search engine rankings. It helps your website rank higher in SERP, specifically within that country, making it more visible to users searching for local businesses or services.

Now Here’s a deeper look at why using a ccTLD can influence local search rankings:

Geographical Targeting

Google does use country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) as one of the factors to understand and prioritize a website’s relevance to a specific geographical area. When you use a ccTLD like .ae for the United Arab Emirates, it indicates to Google that the website is intended for users in that country, and it might get a ranking boost for users searching from the UAE. Using the .ae domain can help your website rank higher in local search queries within the UAE.

Using a ccTLD sends a strong signal to Google that your website is geographically targeted to a specific region. Google aims to provide its users with the most relevant and localized search results, so having a ccTLD that matches the target country can benefit local businesses or multinational corporations with country-specific operations, as it can help your website rank higher in local search results.

Related: The Importance of Trademarks for Your Domain & How To Protect Your UAE Brand

Local User Trust

Using the .AE domain can boost user trust and engagement for audiences within the UAE. Users are often more likely to click on a website that appears local to their country, as a ccTLD indicates that can lead to higher click-through rates.

ccTLDs can convey a sense of legitimacy and trustworthiness, especially for local businesses or services. Users might be more confident in the relevancy and accuracy of the content, knowing it’s specifically intended for their region.

Ultimately, Increased trust often leads to better engagement. Users may spend more time on your website, interact with its content, and complete desired actions such as purchasing, signing up, etc.

Localized Content

.AE domain paired with local content can enhance a website’s engagement metrics. Localized content includes language translation, cultural adaptation, and making content relevant to the local audience. Creating content specifically for a local audience is more likely to resonate with users and enhance the overall user experience, leading to more time spent on the website and lower bounce rates.

Locally relevant content can be more useful to users. For example, content about local events, culture, market trends, or local laws and regulations will be much more appealing to users in the UAE than generic or internationally-focused content. Users are more likely to interact with content relevant to their interests and needs, leading to increased comments, shares, or other forms of engagement.

Related: .AE Domain VS .COM Domain | How to choose your Domain extension?

Competition

Using a ccTLD often means facing less competition compared to a Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) such as .com or .org because ccTLDs are targeted at a specific country or region, while gTLDs are open to websites worldwide. When a user in the UAE is searching for something local, websites with .ae ccTLD may have a competitive advantage in appearing in search results due to their explicit connection with the UAE.

Since the pool of websites using a specific ccTLD like .ae is smaller than those using gTLDs, the competition for ranking on certain keywords could be lower, making it easier for a site to rank higher on SERP.

As we mentioned earlier, a ccTLD may be more appealing and trustworthy to local users, resulting in higher click-through rates and better engagement, potentially improving ranking over time.

Google My Business and Local SEO

Google My Business (GMB) is an incredibly important tool for local SEO and can work synergistically with a ccTLD like .ae to reinforce your business’s local focus.

When you use GMB, Google has another confirmation of your business’s location, which is very important for location-based queries and appears in the “local pack” – the section of Google’s search results displaying local businesses related to the search.

Pairing a .ae domain with a GMB profile strengthens Google’s understanding that your website is particularly relevant to users in a certain geographic area, which could improve local search visibility.

Related: How to Register a Domain Name in Dubai, UAE | Domain Registration Guide

Get Your .AE Domain Now and Boost Your Local Search Rankings

.AE domain can certainly boost your local search rankings within the UAE. Even though ccTLDs can benefit from lower competition and better localization, the overall SEO strategy should still prioritize delivering high-quality, relevant content.

So ready to take a step toward better local search rankings? Register your desired .ae domain name with AEserver at the best prices possible.

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