An Overview of Domain Name Extensions

gtld domain extensions

Over the past few years, there has been a huge proliferation of new top-level domain extensions (TLDs). These can be further divided into generic top-level domains and country code top level domains that are associated with different countries. The benefit of having so many domain extensions to choose from is when your desired name is taken already in one of the more popular generic top level domain extensions (like .com / .net / .info). Because there are so many domain extensions, with new ones popping up every month, consumers looking for a printable domain name now have more options than ever.

(Geographic) Country Code Top Level Domain Extensions – ccTLD

ccTLD is the term used to designate domain extensions that are tied to specific countries. At present, there are over two hundred different ccTLDs available to register. A full list is available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Internet_top-level_domains. Note that some country code domain extensions are thought of by Google as generic domain extensions not tied to a particular country. Some of these include:

  • .ad
  • .as
  • .bz
  • .cc
  • .cd
  • .co
  • .dj
  • .fm
  • .io
  • .la
  • .me
  • .ms
  • .nu
  • .sc
  • .sr
  • .su
  • .tv
  • .tk
  • .ws

So for example, if you invested in a .co domain which is nominally a domain extension for Columbia, it wouldn’t be geo-targeted for that South American country in the Google search results (unless you wanted it to be, in which case you would select Columbia as your country in your Google Webmaster tools).

Some caveats need to be followed for ccTLDs:

  • Some countries (for example, Australia) require that you be a resident of the country in order to register one of their top level domains. You can sometimes get around this by having a local proxy register the domain on your behalf.
  • Some countries will require that you have a trademark for your brand before you can register its domain name.
  • Domain privacy is not allowed for geo domain extensions. If you want to keep your details private, use a proxy to register your domain.
  • The prices for ccTLDs vary widely and have nothing to do with supply and demand. The very popular .eu domain extension cost a very reasonable $10 per year for a domain name. On the other hand, a .tt domain name (for Trinidad and Tobago) will run you about $600 a year, and a Cook Islands domain name (.ck) costs about $250 a year.

Generic Top Level Domains – gTLD

By the time you read this article, a few more gTLDs will have already been released. Some of these domain extensions or strictly for certain professions, like .build is only for people in the construction industry while .pro is only for certified professionals. I see the number of these gTLDs increasing (you can track upcoming launches here https://www.webnames.ca/domain-registration/new-domain-name-launch-schedule.aspx) but some of them are pretty far-fetched with very little demographic appeal. I did post earlier about how well .GURU was doing out of the gate (http://buywebsites.biz/744/guru-is-winning-the-tld-race-but-for-how-long) but there will be a shakeout in the next few years as these domain extensions cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep going and are unsustainable without consumer uptake. Also keep in mind that gTLD prices are generally many times more expensive than your traditional.com/.net/.org domain names.

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