ccTLD and gTLD. What type of domain should I choose for my project?
When starting a new project on the Internet, it is important to define what type of top-level domain we are going to choose for our website. But what is this higher level domain?
In simple words it is the final part of the address that you type in the browser. The classics are .es, .com, .org, etc.
In the world there are more than 300 different types of domain, clear advantages and disadvantages of each of them so it is advisable to give consideration before choosing one for your website. In today’s discussion, we are going to focus on the two most common top-level domain types, ccTLD and gTLD.
Domains ccTLD (country code Top-Level Domain)
Examples: amazon.es, ebay.fr
This type of domain only has two characters and are managed by organizations in each country. Each ccTLD refers to a specific country. The “.es”, characteristic of Spain, are managed by the public entity Red.es, under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.
They are recommended especially for those sites that are looking for local geographic segmentation.
- CcTLD advantages
This type of domain is the most powerful indicator for Google that a web page is oriented to a country, given the existence of high-level domains associated with specific countries (.es, .mx, .fr, etc.). This facilitates positioning at the “local”/national level. In international SEO strategies, where there are different versions of the same site, the location of the server is irrelevant when defining the ‘location’ of the website. Search engines recognize the domain’s own geographic extension (and not the server’s location) when serving the correct version.
- Disadvantages ccTLD
In some countries, such as Australia or Argentina, the requirements for using ccTLD domains are strict.
The use of ccTLDs to implement an international SEO strategy involves higher costs and efforts than a strategy with gTLDs and subdirectories.
Domains gTLD (generic Top Level Domain)
Examples: amazon.com, microsoft.com, meneame.net, wikipedia.org
The gTLDs have a minimum of three character extensions and are not associated with any specific country. Its management depends on international organizations, such as the Internet Corporation for the Assignment of Names and Numbers (ICANN).
They are recommended mainly for sites that are looking for a global geographic segmentation.
- GTLD advantages
Although they are designed for global segmentation, they can be geographically oriented from Search Console.
In international SEO strategies with gTLD domains that rely on subdirectories (/ es /, / fr /, / mx /, etc.) the link juice transfer from the main domain favors a faster positioning compared to an expansion through of ccTLD domains.
The prestige and notoriety of the .com domains, which are usually understood as the ‘standard’ domain type on the Internet, can mean indirect advantages for a website.
- Disadvantages gTLD
The most requested denominations in the main gTLDs are usually really expensive (and scarce).
It is possible that a gTLD domain with a geographic subdirectory is not sufficient for users to recognize this local segmentation. For example, “/ is /” may correspond to both the language (Spanish) and the country (Spain).
In conclusion, the choice of a higher level or another type of domain will depend on the objectives of each web page. The costs of implementation and the geographical focus that you want to give the project are the two main variables to have in account to make the final decision.