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Can Country Code Domain Limit Your Global Ranking?

After sharing gen on different domain ranking factors like domain history, exact match domains, whois data, & domain registration length let’s take you through another domain factor that influences SEO.

A frequently asked question from all SEO community, Can ccTLD limit my global ranking?  

But first, let’s understand what is TLD?

Top Level Domain

Top-level domain (TLD) refers to the last segment of a domain name or the part that follows immediately after the “dot” symbol. For example therankmachine.com, “therankmachine” is our domain name and “.com” is TLD extension.

TLD is generally classified into two categories Generic Top Level Domain(gTLD) and Country Code Top Level Domain(ccTLD)

Generic Top Level Domain(gTLD):

Generic Top Level Domain Types

General TLD’s is the most common and well-known name for an internet address. For Example; example.com( Commercial ), example.org( Non-profit Organisation), example.edu (Educational Institute) etc. Brands registered under this domain name has the flexibility to target their users in a particular geographic location by using search console international target tool.

Country code top-level domains (ccTLD)

Country Code Top Level Domain

Country Code Top Level Domain is an Internet top-level domain extensions which are used to indicate that a particular site contains content specifically relevant to a particular country, territory, or region.

For Example, example.in ( for India), example.jp (for Japan), example.co.uk (for The United Kingdom)

Does cc TLD limit your global ranking in SEO?

Using ccTLD doesn’t really hamper your SEO and using gTLD in your domain name doesn’t guarantee to rank you globally.

We know the primary motto of Google is to provide relevant and useful information to their users. Using a ccTLD extension in domain helps Google to understand which country is more important to you. If you are using international domain extensions like .com, .org, it doesn’t mean you will rank globally. Google will try to understand your relevant audience from your TLD and from other several signals such as  IP address, location information on the page, backlinks to the page and target it accordingly.

Let’s see an example about Amazon

Amazon has different domain extensions for the different country that helps them to target their audience properly.  Google also does the same thing, they have different domain extensions for each country like google.co.in for India and google.fr for France. Whenever you visit google.com it will automatically redirect you to the country specific TLD you are visiting from. This is because Google locates the IP address of your country and redirects the user for best local & relevant results.

Why rank locally when u can rank globally?

Yeah! It is good to rank globally but this is good for you only if you have a multinational company. What’s the use of ranking in UK or America when you can go niche and rank for potential users within your region and country who can bring business to you?The more you have the less you get. It is better to rank for you target country than ranking for an irrelevant country. Using a TLD is a matter of choice many people opt for ccTLD because brandable domains are not available sometime. But TLD is always the best, who knows if you expand to an MNC company. If you have an option to choose from .com and .in always choose .com.

Eg: brand.com was already taken by some other brand so you have an option to take country code extensions for your domain name like brand.in or brand.fr.

Conclusion:

Google treats all TLDs equally. It’s just a myth that Google restrict your website ranking if you use ccTLD.  But there are some default geo-specific TLDs which Google uses it to target a specific country. To Google, these default geo-specific TLDs act as an indicator, that the website is more relevant and important in a specific region or country.

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7 thoughts on “Can Country Code Domain Limit Your Global Ranking?

    1. No, that is not possible. A .co.uk domain signals Google that the domain is specifically targeting for the UK users only.

    1. Your .in domain cannot rank worldwide. If a domain has a country-specific TLD like .in, Google gets the signal that you are specifically targeting India.
      Instead of focusing to rank worldwide, we would suggest you select top countries that have your potential customers

      A generic TLD domain(like .com, .org, .xyz) can rank in multiple countries, & you will need to use hreflang annotations to tell Google about your page targeting.

      For example, if you want to rank in France & target French-speaking audiences worldwide you can create a subfolder in your .com website.
      The hreflang attribute specifies the country and language of your alternate version of the page(like fr-fr for French audience in France region). Likewise, you will need to focus on strong personalized content strategy along with other factors to rank your generic domain in your preferred region.

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