The most common local domain name suffix in Australia is .com.au. There’s also the .net.au, but the .com.au suffix is more commonly used. Now, when you are registering for domain names in Australia, it becomes a very important first decision to make whether you should use .com or .com.au in your domain name. A .com.au domain name is slightly cheaper than a .com domain name. That is the reason why some people like to go for the local suffix. But is price all that is there to it?
Basically speaking, the SEO of a site is not affected much on the grounds of the suffix that it has. This is actually region based. If you are searching in Australia, then a .com.au will have an equal if not more chance of figuring in the search engine results. But if you are in Germany, it is highly unlikely that a .com.au site will come up in the search results. Hence, your decision should be based on geography. If you do not mind your website to be associated with Australia, and if that is actually good for your business, then there’s no reason why you should even consider spending more on a .com domain name. But if you have an international scope, then go for .com. It will be better in the long run if not now.
There is one more very important factor that is at play here. .com.au domain name registrations are only given to you if you have a legitimate business on Australian soil or if you intend to have one. So, this domain name bolsters the credibility of your business. People who know this will understand your business is genuine. But anyone in Australia can have a .com domain name. Keep this point in mind. It is a significant factor that you must remember when registering a domain name in Australia.
In conclusion, the choice between .com.au and .com is not as much for SEO as it is for the impression that your site creates. Let that be the deciding factor for the domain name that you choose.