Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs)
A country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is an Internet top-level domain generally used or reserved for a country.
There are over 250 country code top level domains with total registrations reaching approximately 84 million in mid 2011.
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is responsible for determining an appropriate country registrar for each ccTLD and individual ccTLDs may have varying requirements such as the need for the ccTLD applicant to have a local presence.
In August 2012 the top ten ccTLD registries were as follows:
- .de (Germany)
- .tk (Tokelau)
- .uk (Tokelau)
- .nl (Netherlands)
- .ru (Russian Federation)
- .cn (China)
- .eu (Europen Union)
- .br (Brazil)
- .au (Australia)
- .ar (Argentina)
* Source: Zooknic, August 2012
To view a full list of ccTLDs please click here.
Local domains are gaining importance in general so make sure all bases are covered for your business. Consider some of the following advantages when choosing a ccTLD for your business:
- Local country TLDs can be perceived to be more trustworthy from local web visitors. Anyone can obtain and own a .com domain name, but having a more specific domain such as a ccTLD may seem more trustworthy and official
- A ccTLD is an alternative domain name option if the .com domains are already taken
- A ccTLD allows for stronger geographical targeting by Google
In some countries such as Sweden, local search results will show preference to websites with the appropriate ccTLD