I’m not suggesting that you choose a domain name for SEO purposes, but when it comes to ranking in the search engines, it’s wise that you don’t choose a domain name that is typically reserved for another country or sovereign state.
What this basically means is that if you live in the United States, it’s advised that you choose a .com, .net, .org, .info or .us. If you live in Canada, you can choose a .com, .net, .org, .info or .ca. If you live in Germany, you can use a .com, .net, .org, .info, .eu or .de. I live in India so I prefer going for .in domains. Of course if you live in any of the above or other countries you can choose .me or .tv but you get the point.
Basically because of the way domain names are set up, Google (and the other search engines) assume that a domain extension which is intended for a country will contain information specifically intended just for that – that country.
Now Matt Cutts did also say that there are those very rare times when a top level domain isn’t being used too much by a particular country and in that case you may have a chance at succeeding with a domain extension of that type (i.e. .io (Indian Ocean)), but I would suggest that this isn’t a good long term goal as in time the .io domain could start becoming popular for that region and eventually you could be out of luck.
As I said in the outset of this article, this really isn’t about SEO (search engine optimization) but more so about the positives and negatives of using domain names outside of your country if it isn’t available in yours.
And so be honest with you, if you choose a domain name with a top level domain name of another country because the .com or .net etc. has been taken, it would probably be in your best interest not to compete with the already existing domain. Why? Because you’ll have quite a lot of catching up to do to get your name out there and technically speaking it already will be, but associated or registered with another established company.
Moreover, if the domain name you want is not available, instead of settling for any random name, you can alway backorder it. Whenever I want a domain name that is not available, I look for .in backorder tool and I am good to go. Naming is one of the key step and ignoring it definitely not a good idea.
Be patient, be creative and purchase the domain name associated with your country – in the end you’ll be glad you did.