Monday, October 17, 2011

Why it's important to host your content in your country code TLD

Geographical awareness: Google knows when you cross the border 

Google is location aware. I read an interesting story of a friend who was doing a "ccTLD domain experiment". He stays in the Netherlands and owns a Belgian domain in .be and lives close to the border with the Belgium or in his own words, "in the shadow of Google"

In his native Netherlands whose ccTLD is .nl, his website was nowhere to be seen. But a Dutch website offering almost a similar service appears on top but on crossing the 1km border into Belgium and searching for his niche content in Belgium his .be website ranked first on Google.

Hosting your content in your country's domain increases the chance of the relevant users in your country finding your content and products online. In fact, it's easier for you to rank well in your local ccTLD than in a .com or .org domain name in your country. Just using a .co.za or .co.ke radically improves your rankings before even adding SEO tweaks. Using the ccTLD is better for local search, branding and building trust amongst their local clientele and you get a chance to curve your niche. Countries with high online populations like Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria will especially reap well from their namespaces. Since the .com space is "dark, dingy and crowded", cctlds can be the next investment frontiers. Registering the generic domain names of popular generic name .com websites in your own country code can be a shortcut to Eldorado. Keyword.cctld is therefore a route to the top. It's interesting how the situation will obtain with the new continental domain like DotAfrica;infinite possibilities!

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