Lee Johnson has a good article pointing out some of the Benefits of having a country Top Level Domain ie a .uk, or .au domain name:
‘Most of the large search engines will give you a higher search ranking for a site that has the tld of the searchers country. For example, if someone from the United Kingdom is performing a search for widgets, a search engine will often rank widgets.co.uk higher than other sites selling the same product but only have a .com tld.
Having a country specific tld will also allow you to be included in a lot of great country directories that stipulate that your domain name has a certain tld. Getting your site into these directories can be a great way of improving your search engine website rankings as these are 1 way links from authority sites for your chosen subject. These kind of links are graded much higher than reciprocal linking…’
Lee goes on to share other benefits also. It is an interesting question and one that I’ve often considered. My main livingroom.org.au domain now hosts a number of blogs – and there have been some definite advantages of this approach. i do rank very well on google.com.au but on the other side of things there are some costs worth considering of having a more localized URL.
If you’re blogging about a global topic the .au can cause problems both in search engines but also with ‘the look’ of the URL. I’ve had a number of people write off my blogs because they are not a .com or .net or .org. However overall my approach is that if you write good content, interact with other bloggers and optimize your blog well you should do ok no matter what its URL.
I’m interested in others opinions on why you have or haven’t gone for a more localized domain.