The .Info Domain Issue - Your Thoughts?

Within your domain portfolio, there might be a few .info domains. If that's the case, do you find that owning .info's (in relation to the success of your search engine optimization campaign) are positive, negative or that it's just downright not important?

That's exactly what one of our readers wants to know - so let's help him find out.

From my perspective, .info domains have some inherent problems - namely that thanks to ongoing abuse, the "brand" value is severely diminished. Several years ago, Dotster was giving away .info domain names in order to spur some interest in the top level domain. The problem with giving things away free is that people begin to feel that they can throw it away. The other problem is that many registrars (for example GoDaddy) are currently selling .info TLD's for far less than other .com or .net domains. This again gives spammers an opportunity to save a few dollars on their domains and increase the money they could potentially make - even if it's only a few dollars.

The other downside (and perhaps the most important negative) is that Google has in the past removed .info's from the search results (albeit temporarily) to protect the integrity of their search results pages (directly related in my opinion to how spammers use .info domains). While many SEO's consider the temporary removal nothing more than a glitch, it's difficult to argue that there is a stigma attached to .info - and that this bias may extend behind the algorithmic curtain at Google.

What are your thoughts on the .info domain issue? Share your insights in the Website magazine forum.