If you run a business that is specifically targeted towards a single country or market, it might make sense to use a country code TLD (ccTLD) instead of a generic domain extension like .com, .org, or even .asia. Most countries have more than one domain extension option, so while you of course should buy all variations of your name, which one should be your primary domain name?
You could use Alexa’s top domains by country report or you could just visit the websites of the local telecoms, media and other locally well-known brands. If you are short on time, you can just copy what the major global brands have chosen. Surprisingly, there are very few major brands on Alexa’s top 500 domains list that have chosen to use a ccTLD strategy.
Copy the Big Guys
Nonetheless, there are still a few major global brands to copy and you can use these as guides to determine which TLD’s to use as the primary domain and which to redirect. Rather than visit each domain manually, I took a list of every ccTLD in the world and concatenated it with the words “Google” and “Amazon.” I then appended https://www or http://www as appropriate to make complete URL’s. Finally, I uploaded these URL’s as list into ScreamingFrog.
The resulting crawl is very telling and has many insights:
- Some TLD’s Google did not bother to put up either a page or a redirect (example: http://www.google.co.bi/ in Bolivia)
- Some TLD’s have been created by ICANN but are not in use
- Google missed what might seem like great names like Google.ly
- Some domains have 301 redirect to a non-primary domain, others have a 302 and still others will redirect based on your location. Check outhttp://www.google.tv to see where it sends you.
- Amazon does not own Amazon.net
- Amazon uses only 302 redirects to other domains
Copying other companies should never be a primary business strategy; however, when it comes to appearing local to users and search engines, you probably can’t go wrong by copying Google.
Even if Google made the wrong choice when they set up their global domains, you can bet that have Google on a particular TLD is a strong vote of confidence for that extension. To give you a head start I put the list of all global TLD’s as well as the crawl results for Google and Amazon in a publicGoogle Sheet. Feel free to make a copy and good luck!
A variation of this post originally appeared on SearchEngineJournal