In the past Google put a lot of weight on the suffix of a domain, giving .com’s a major advantage in search results. While root domain authority and domain suffixes are still a factor in ranking websites, it doesn’t play a significant role anymore.
I’m happy to see “DirectResponse.net” ranking above “DirectResponse.com” in Google SERPs. It’s also ranking higher in Bing…but Bing is still light years behind Google. i.e. If you Google “Reputation Management”, Bing’s SERPs are filled with EMDs with the keyword “Reputation” in it. Google recognizes that there’s much more valuable websites and content on sites that are not EMDs (or partial matches). Therefore Google ranks Brand.com at the top of SERPs for the highly competitive term “Reputation Management,” taking into algorithmic consideration other elements that are more important to users, notably: user experience, links quality, and relevancy
Bing will eventually catch up to where Google is today, but by then Google will be millions of miles ahead of Bing again in the search world. The stats around Bing’s user base growing is grossly skewed by people “trying” Bing out from its advertising, then quickly coming to the conclusion that Google is much more resourceful than Bing. Thereafter people go back to Google with a bad taste in their mouthes after trying Bing…which will make it very hard for Bing to ever win that searcher back to its search engine.
Bing’s approach to advertising reminds me of the Reputation.com approach to advertising. Reputation.com and Bing both had a service that was in early stages of development, thus far from ready to get marketed to the general public. Instead of taking the time to build out a good service, both companies attempted to capture market share by throttling media early… A HUGE MISTAKE because all they did was push the general public away from their service by forcing a test that wasn’t ready. Now both Bing and Reputation.com have a “reputation” for having services that don’t provide a good experience.
Moral of the story: if you’re building a brand and plan to run a direct response campaign to promote it, make sure there’s a valuable service behind it. Otherwise your advertising will load up a whole bunch of new users that will leave pretty quickly and spread the word that your service sucks