Lead data journalist

.gov.uk is the most trusted of 12 domain names we put to the public

Many businesses and other entities with an online presence will have made a conscious decision over which domain name to use for their website address. While domains like .com and .co.uk are perhaps the most recognisable, there are more than 1,500 domains for customers to choose from.

But are businesses and other online entities making the right decision in choosing a less conventional domain? To find out, YouGov Omnibus asked the British public how far they trusted 12 common website domains.

The results reveal that the majority of Brits tend to trust websites that end in .gov.uk (80%), .co.uk (68%), .org.uk (65%), and .com (60%).

By contrast, very few trust websites ending in .tv (10%), .biz (4%), .io (4%) and .mobi (2%). In fact, between 32% and 44% of Brits actively distrust websites with these domains. There are more than 3 million websites using one of these domain names, and the results suggest they could all be in danger of putting off potential visitors.

Some might be surprised to see that only 42% of Brits trust .ac.uk websites, which are primarily used by British universities. However this is likely due to a lack of familiarity, with only 58% of people saying they’ve ever come across such an .ac.uk website, compared to the more than 90% who have ever visited each of the more trusted domains.

Indeed, .ac.uk websites are much more trusted than .net websites (32%), even though people are more likely to found themselves on a .net website at some point (81%).

Photo: Getty

See the full results here

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