What are the top-level domains, what is a country domain, what are the most popular domain extensions, - if you are looking for answers to these questions, then you are in the right place.
In this post, I will discuss what are the Top-Level Domain extensions and help you understand which Top-Level Domain to use for your new blog or website. At the end of this post, you won't have any doubts about the TLDs and it's effects on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
What is a TLD
A TLD or Top-Level Domain is the last part of your website URL or domain that comes after the last dot. For example, check our blog Innate Blogger's domain URL (https://www.innateblogger.com)
In this case,
- the com is the Top-Level Domain (TLD)
- innateblogger is the Second Level Domain (SLD)
- www is the subdomain, also known as the Third Level Domain
Together they create a fully qualified domain name (FQDN). So, as you already understood the last segment of the FQDN is the Top-Level Domain.
So, when you buy your domain name at a domain registrar, you usually search for the Second Level Domain (SLD) and choose from the available Top-Level Domain for your website.
Now, you might be thinking what are the best Top-Level Domains or what Top Level Domain should I choose. Before answering these questions let's know a little bit more about the different types of categories of Top-Level Domains (TLDs).
Types of Top-Level Domains
The TLDs are managed under the guidance of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Generally, these TLDs are categorized into three different types:
- gTLD: Generic Top-Level Domains
- ccTLD: Country Code Top-Level Domains
- sTLD: Sponsored Top-Level Domains
There's also the Infrastructure top-level domain which consists of only one TLD, ".arpa". IANA manages it on behalf of the Internet Engineering Task Force for various purposes specified in the Request for Comments publications.
gTLD: Generic Top-Level Domains
The gTLD category contains the most popular and most recognizable TLDs. The most commonly used top-level domain names are gTLD, like:
These gTLDs can explain the website and its purpose. For example, ".org" generally represents an organization, and ".com" represents a commercial website.
For example, "wordpress.com" is for commercial use, which provides paid hosting. While "wordpress.org" is a non-profit website, which provides open-source WordPress software.
However, anyone can register these top-level domains and use them for their own purpose, so it doesn't really matter that much.
ccTLD: Country Code Top-Level Domains
A ccTLD is a top-level domain for specific countries. Here's a list of ccTLDs along with the country they represent:
- .us - USA
- .uk - United Kingdom
- .in - India
- .ca - Canada
- .jp - Japan
- .de - Germany
- .id - Indonesia
- .es - Spain
- .ru - Russia
- .br - Brazil
- .nl - Netherlands
- .fr - France
- .io - Indian Ocean
There's a ccTLD for almost every country. These ccTLD help Search Engines to understand the targeted audience of the website.
However, search engine's like Google treats some ccTLDs as gTLDs. It's because website owners use these ccTLDs as generic top-level domains, rather than country targeted. So, here's a list of gccTLDs or Generic Country Code Top-Level Domains:
This gccTLD list may change over time. Many companies like Google, Amazon uses different ccTLD for different countries audiences, for example:
- Google.co.uk - For UK users
- Google.de - For German users
sTLD: Sponsored Top-Level Domains
sTLD group contains about 14 specific Top-Level domains which are used by some specific entities like Government.
Here's a list of common sTLDs:
- .gov - For Government of USA
- .edu - For Educational Institutes
- .mil - For US Military
- .jobs - For Human Resource Managers
- .int - Used only for registering organizations established by international treaties between governments
- .museum - For museums
- .travel - For travel agencies
- .mobi - For mobile-related services
Now, some of you might be thinking these sponsored domains can help you in Search Ranking, but let me just clarify it. Having keywords in your top-level domain won't help your ranking. For more info, you can watch this video from Google Search Central.
FAQs about Top-Level Domains
Now that we have discussed different types of Top-Level Domains, let's answer some FAQs about TLDs.
What is the Top-Level domain in a web address?
Like, I explained before, the Top-Level domain is the ending part of a web address. If you check our website's URL, then you will see .com at the end, so for this website ".com" is the Top-Level Domain.
What are the most popular Top-Level domains?
Generic Top-level domains are the most popular TLDs. Among all other gTLDs ".com", ".net", and ".org" are the most popular. But, nowadays country-code domains like ".in", ".uk" are popular too.
How much does a Top-Level domain cost?
The price of the top-level domains varies, you can simply check the price of Top-Level Domains from domain registrars like Namecheap and GoDaddy.
Which Top-Level domain should I buy?
It totally depends on you and the availability of the domain. For example, you can always buy ".com" if it's available. But, if it's not available then you can choose from other gTLDs.
You can also purchase ccTLDs if your targetted audience is a specific country.