Google Now Treating 20 ccTLDs As Generic TLDs

May 2, 2013 • 8:29 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

TLDsGoogle's Pierre Far posted on Google+ that Google has been updating their indexing systems to treat more ccTLDs, country-level top level domains, as generic TLDs.

For example, domain.co.uk is specific to UK web sites or domain.co.il is specific to Israel web sites. Some country specific TLDs, ccTLDs, have been used by a large number of webmasters as more generic TLDs. So Google has decided to treat 20 ccTLDs as if they were generic, and thus not weigh too much localization to sites using those ccTLDs in the Google algorithm.

The list of 20 ccTLDs that Google now treats as generic are:

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

Note, Google said they "may change over time" so keep an eye on it over here.

Lucky me, I use the .bz ccTLD for social sharing on this site via Twitter and other social networks. For example, the social share URL for this post is ser.bz/150wlMf.

Forum discussion at Google+.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for TLDs

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Comments:

Ari Nahmani

05/02/2013 02:46 pm

So we're saying these are 'geo-neutral' TLDs? As in, if you log into webmaster tools for one of these TLDs, you'll see the geo-targeting section unselected (as opposed to now, logging into a .co.uk site will have the United Kingdom pre-selected, and grayed out..)

Phillip Marquez

05/02/2013 11:18 pm

Interesting question -- i hadn't even thought about how it would be presented in GWT but rather the effect on searches. I own a .me domain, but it is used via bit.ly for vanity URL shortening so no GWT for me to see, but now I'm curious. Other than the .me domain, I do not use anything outside the already established generic TLDs, so I would be interested in hearing what others find in regards to your question. edited for typo

Colin

05/03/2013 12:25 pm

Surprised .ly not on there.

vlexo

05/06/2013 10:32 am

Hm. My .ws domain was already ranking in Google.com quite well. Is this recent news?

Phillip Marquez

05/09/2013 08:14 pm

Do you have keywords that would compete at the local/geo level? Search rank is one thing (and I'm curious about this aspect too), but going back to Ari's post, did your GWT change from geo-specific (cannot select a geo region) to "generic" (you can pick the geo region you want). Hmm. I just reread Ari's comment and realized he mentioned .co.uk. The ccTLD would be .uk in this case, not .co. Regardless, his question is still valid (although I don't think his .co.uk domain will change from geo specific to generic).

Durant Imboden

07/31/2013 02:57 pm

I think this may have been a big mistake on Google's part. From what I've been seeing lately (in July, 2013), it just plays into the hands of publishers who exploit obscure ccTLDs for SEO purposes: e.g., by taking advantage of Google's continuing fondness for exact-match domains.

Chris Backe

10/15/2013 02:38 pm

Side question: Did you notice any difference in your SEO when .bz went from country-specific to generic?

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