What domain or domain extension ( TLD ) to book


I use to come across few common question for domain name registration like ::

What domain I should register ?
In which extension I register my domain .com or .in ?
What domain is better for SEO and Branding purpose ?
gTLD or ccTLD what should I look for ?

First you need to understand the domain name system.
Briefly I divide domains extensions in 3 Types ::

1. gTLD : Global / Generic Top Level Domains e.g. .COM, .NET, .BIZ, .INFO, .GURU, .CLUB etc
2. sTLD : Sponsored ( community based ) Top Level Domains e.g. .ASIA, .CAT, .MUSEUM, .TRAVEL etc
3. ccTLD : Country Code Top Level Domains e.g .IN, .US, .DE, .UK, .US, .TK etc

gTLD are generic or global TLD open for entire world and get same visibility in search engines across the world. sTLD or sponsored TLD have similar visibility as gTLD but they are restricted to register for certain community base e.g. .TRAVEL can be registered only by IATA approved travel companies, .MUSEUM is restricted to museums only. ccTLD are domain extensions for countries e.g USA – .US, Britain – .UK, India – .IN, Pakistan – .PK etc. These ccTLD’s are managed by each country authority separately and they have their own rules and regulations for registration and maintaining domains in these extensions. Many countries introduced 3rd Level ccTLD also e.g. co.uk, co.in, edu.in for further classification of localize business.

In General, if you targeting Global Audience always register a gTLD. A ccTLD is by default restricted to Country level search engine. e.g. .IN may get better rank on google.co.in but will not get similar rank on google.de or google.au . But if it is a gTLD e.g .INFO, this domain will have similar rank across all country level search engines.

A lot of time people ask, how to identify ccTLD or gTLD, I have a basic trick for that. ALL Domain extensions ending with 2 Char. ( .IN, .US, .UK etc ) are ccTLD and rest all are gTLD or sTLD.

There are few ccTLD which google consider as generic i.e.  giving them equal weight to gTLD. These ccTLD are as following ::


So if you have domains in above mentioned ccTLD, they will have equal value to gTLD.

ICANN in 2012, opened a new gTLD program, which already bring a lot of new gTLD is market like .GURU, .CLUB, .WEBSITE, .PROPERTIES.

My personal opinion is always register gTLD which are available with a lot of new available options. If you register a domain in ccTLD ( say .IN ) you will always have a disadvantage of lower ranks for your domain in other countries. Though if you have a totally Local Business, then you can choose for a ccTLD if you are getting a real good Domain Name for your Business.

There are some 3rd level domains available like co.com , in.net, cn.com, us.com etc. My say on these sort of domains TOTALLY AVOID. Don’t even think about such domains, as basically these are not TLDs but sub-domains sold as a Domains due to attractive short names, but these are not good for SEO ranks as well as branding.

There are a lot of options now available with new tlds coming in market, In next few years more TLDs will come in market and will give you more combinations for your business name.

Also while registering a domain, be careful to use any combinations of some popular company / website e.g. googlehosting.com may land you in trouble for Trademark violations.

1. Geotargetable Domains

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