Does A .hk or .com.hk Domain Beat A .com In Local Search?

Thank you for taking the time to look at my website.

In Hong Kong, I work as an InHouse SEO Specialist and mostly blog about Growth Hacking and SEO Services.

Acquiring a .hk or .com.hk domain names sounds perfectly reasonable for us Hongkongers.

Of course, it makes total sense and has become extremely popular over the past few years among local businesses to target their services in their particular city.

Googleโ€™s John Mueller published an answer to this question on whether it makes more sense to register one TLD (which means “domain”) over another, i.e. to use a local domain like I am at growthhackers.hk

The answer is:

“..our systems treat country domains like other gTLDs (like .com and .org). Keywords in a TLD do not give any advantage or disadvantage in search”.

John Mueller, Head of Search @ Google

So, from that alone it seems that it doesn’t matter….

Should You Get A Hong Kong-Specific Domain Name For SEO?

When it comes to helping your local Hong Kong SEO efforts, I (and of course, this is my opinion), believe that yes, it does help.

Why a Hong Kong domain helps

I’m positive that with regards to international SEO, ccTLDs (country-specific domains) is the single most powerful strongest way to show Google (as well as users) that your content, as well as service, is targeted to your local country or region.

Human First

Here’s another reason why I think it is important to use a local Hong Kong domain: the human.

My philosophy with SEO is that I write for the human first and the natural flow of my language will hopefully trigger Google to index my content. Of course, I have a plan, but just don’t overthink it. However, on the subject of using a local Hong Kong domain over a traditional .com domain, I’d favor the local domain because it clearly tells your (potential) visitor that you are located in the city.

I’m positive that for local search the searcher will favor local businesses, and for obvious reasons, it means that you are in the same time-zone should they need personal assistance.

What’s The Difference Between A .com.hk OR .hk

As far as I am concerned, it’s the same thing.

What’s the difference?

  • .com.hk is for corporations
  • .hk is for everything else

I’ve registered dozens of domains and the only difference when it comes to registering a .com.hk is that you need to provide your company registration information, (known in Hong Kong as “BR” or “Business Registration”).

Sure – if you are a serious company (especially in finance, legal, shipping, etc.) I’d certainly recommend using the .com.hk domain but for everyone else just stick with the .hk

Personally I prefer the .hk because there’s less to type!

Wrapping Up

If you’re a local Hong Kong SEO expert then I’d encourage you to use local domains – but only if – you know for a fact that your business will remain, or is entirely focused in Hong Kong.

If there’s a possibility that your business will expand then I’d consider using a .com.

For example, lalamove.com is a highly successful Hong Kong startup company. The “uber-type” of business for vans and logistics was incorporated in Hong Kong and started operations in the city, but now that they’re international it makes perfect sense to use the .com

Of course, you can use both a local and international domain, and if you were to “go international” then you 301 redirect the old one (i.e. the “.hk” domain).

The last thing I’ll say is this: if you know for a certainty that you’ll remain local then register a local Hong Kong domain with HKNDR.

A quick tip: register your Hong Kong domains with HKNDR because the cost is 50% cheaper than going through a local Hong Kong hosting company.

Finally, if you want to read more about this subject then hit this resource up, made by Moz.