Understanding every aspect of a website is important for webmasters. Just like that, one needs to understand what a Top-Level Domain is. That said, today we’re going to talk about TLD and everything you need to know about it. So before getting to what a TLD is, the first question begs—What is a domain? A domain name, in non-tech terms, tells the address of a website on the internet.
The domain name has a very important role to play. It protects copyrights and trademarks. Moreover, it builds creditability, and increases brand awareness. Hence, it apparently has great significance in SEO. Therefore, you should understand everything about the domain name of your website.
What does your web address ends with? .com? .biz? .uk? Did you know there are different types of top-level domains based on your location, website type, and so on? For example, TLDs like .edu and .info are generic top-level domains. These TLDs can be used regardless of whatever country your website is based in. On the other hand, using country-code TLDs is country-specific. Hence, for getting a ccTLD, you need to get registered with the concerned national body of that particular country.
Not able to wrap your head around it? Then read on this article to understand thoroughly what a top level domain is.
Everything to know about Top Level Domain
What is a Top Level Domain?
A top level domain is the right most part of a domain name. For example, in searchgnext.com, .com is the TLD.
After the root domain, there are domains at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System of the Internet. A Top-Level Domain is one of such domains. A TLD helps identify the nature of a website as it is associated with its purpose, organization, or location.
There are separate registries for TLD that are managed by designated organizations under the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
What are some different types of Top Level Domains?
Having understood the meaning of a Top Level Domain, let’s talk about its types. The list below tells about the broad three categories of TLD:
gTLD stands for generic Top-Level Domain. Supposedly, these TLDs loosely tie a website to its purpose. Listed below are some examples of gTLD:
gTLD is paired with different classes of organizations. Since it is not country-specific, you can register for this TLD regardless of whatever country your website is based in. All you need to take care of is that your website’s TLD reflects the nature of your business.
gTLD is maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). This organization doesn’t belong to any specific country or region.
ccTLD is short of country code Top Level Domain. Such TLDs are country-specific. Different countries have different ccTLD. These codes are generally based on the country’s code itself. Below listed are some of the examples of ccTLDs:
.uk (United Kingdom)
.eu (European Union)
There is a restriction on many ccTLDs. This implies that you can’t register for those specific ccTLDs if your website is not based in the concerned countries. On the other hand, there are some countries that allow foreign websites to get their country-specific TLDs in the spirit of an open market.
ccTLDs are maintained exclusively by the respective countries themselves. They have domestic organizations for it.
sTLD is short for sponsored Top Level Domain. Such TLDs are supported by a community or organization. Below listed are some of the examples of sTLDs;
.travel (travel agencies)
.post (postal services)
Different sTLDs are regulated by different organizations. For example, if you want to get a .travel sTLD, you need to get it registered with Traliance Registry Management Company. Just like that, there are different bodies sponsoring different sTLDs.
What is the importance of Top Level Domain in SEO?
If you are wondering whether Top-Level Domain affects your ranking, then it’s not exactly like that. However, this doesn’t mean that TLD isn’t important in SEO. It does have the potential to impact your ranking indirectly.
Let me explain you how that works.
Most websites use .com and people find it easy to remember. Even for someone who doesn’t understand the concept of TLDs at all, they do know that a web address generally ends with a .com. Moreover, people may be aware of their ccTLD as well.
The point is, if you don’t pay attention to it and use some different TLD that your target market may be unaware of, they might hesitate to click on your website link. Hence, this would imply lesser traffic which will eventually bring down your rankings. And this is how TLD can affect your SEO. Therefore, make sure to be thoughtful about it.
Top Level Domains are important to understand for effective SEO and digital marketing. The choice of your TLD should be based on your target market. If your target market is scattered across the globe in different countries, it is best to use gTLD or sTLD. On the other hand, if your target market is located in some specific country, you should use the ccTLD of that particular country.
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