ccTLDs (country code top level domain) are becoming very famous due to unavailability of popular term in TLDs (Top level domains). For example, when you are looking for a domain name like somebrand.com and if it’s not available, people and companies are registering ccTLDs like somebrand.in, somebrand.ch and so on. This has becoming a practice among many new businesses, who are coming online at later stage, and couldn’t find TLDs related to their brand. There is nothing wrong with this approach, when getting online is just part of your online presence, and when not expecting any online traffic or sales.
For example, you start a company, and you need a couple of pages website, just to add into your business-card, taking this approach is not bad, but this is not the same when digital marketing, is part of your main sales funnel.
Matt Cutts Answers on using ccTLDs:
Couple of months back, I covered an article on how to target country specific traffic. And, I explained when you are buying a country level domain extension, you are limiting yourself to search engine traffic from specific country search engine. For example, if you are using a domain name with .in, .co.in, domain extension, you are indicating Google search that, your website is targeted to India only. Your website may rank fairly well in google.co.in search engine, but will not be the same for Google.com or other country search engines.
This is same for any other country specific domain name. Here is a video from Google Webspam head, Matt Cutts: where he talked about how Google treats a domain using country specific domain extension. This video will give you a fair idea of using such domains, and understanding geo targeting with domains:
Here is a list of top level domain extensions, and you can always geotarget them using Google Webmaster tool geotargeting feature:
For a list of country code top level domain, you can refer to this official page (which needs an update now).
Some more videos from Matt Cutts:
- How to rank#1 in Google Search
- Will a 301 redirect passes page rank?
- Does shared hosting affect search engine ranking
- How Google treats Affiliate links
Have you ever used country specific domain name just to get the domain name you always wanted? Or you start brainstorming another domain name, to ensure you get a top level domain name?