Google Starts Treating More Country-Code Top-Level Domains as Generic TLDs

A domain nameIt can sometimes be annoying when you're searching for a company’s website, only to fall victim to geotargeting. Or worse, you're a multinational company, but your country level top-level domain is making ranking outside of your country an issue, even when it ranks fairly well within the country. And sometimes people are just registering certain country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) because they are trendy, especially for marketing purposes.

Google has just updated its list of ccTLDs they will treat as a generic TLD to alleviate some of these issues. This means that Google will consider these ccTLDs as generic for geotargeting, similarly to how .com domains are treated as generic.

If you have a site impacted by ccTLDs, you can update your geolocation preferences right in Webmaster Tools. This can be set up for any site in Google Webmaster Tools for specific geographic targets by the following steps:

  • On the Webmaster Tools Home page, click the site you want.
  • Under Site configuration, click Settings.
  • In the Geographic target section, select the option you want.
  • If you want to ensure that your site isn't associated with any country or region, select Unlisted.

Here is the complete list of the new ccTLDs and rTLDs.

The new list of Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs):

.aero
.biz
.cat
.com
.coop
.edu
.gov
.info
.int
.jobs
.mil
.mobi
.museum
.name
.net
.org
.pro
.tel
.travel

There are two Regional top level domains (rTLDs) Google is considering generic:

.eu
.asia

Finally, these country codes are the generic country code top-level domains (gccTLDs):

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

About the author

Jennifer Slegg began as a freelance writer, and turned to search engine optimization and writing content for the web in 1998. She has created numerous content-rich sites in niche markets and works with many clients on content creation, strategy, and monetization. She writes about many search industry and social media topics on her blog, JenniferSlegg.com and is a frequent speaker at search industry conferences on SEO, content marketing and content monetization. Acknowledged as the leading expert on the Google AdSense contextual advertising program, she runs JenSense, a blog dealing exclusively with contextual advertising. She is also the founder and editor of The SEM Post. She is known by many as her handle Jenstar on various webmaster forums.