Tuesday, January 31, 2012

African gccTLDs: Africa's "Global" ccTLDs

gccTLDs is an invented term referring to "generic ccTLDs", these are ccTLDs which do not have automatic geotargeting set by Google. Google has a geotargeting feature in the Google Webmaster Tools that allows you to specify your geographical location to enable Google deliver more relevant results to your target audience.

Normally, the search engine is able to place your location either by using your domain name extension, hosting location, information on your website showing your phone numbers and location details or Google Webmaster geotargeting tool.

While some of these methods are not as clear cut, for example, you can live in Kenya but have a .COM website hosted in the US, the use of a ccTLD extension of your blog enables Google to quickly determine your location. ccTLDs are the most authoritative way for Google to determine your country of origin.

If you are using gTLDs like .COM .NET .ORG .INFO .TRAVEL .COOP .ASIA .MUSEUM .AERO .INT which are global, it might not be very easy for Google to automatically determine your location. The case is not as clear cut as for a ccTLD. In this case, Google will give you flexibility in determining your target audience by setting your geographic location using Google's Webmaster Tools.

There are however ccTLDs which are treated as gTLDs, i.e. the geotargeting feature is not automatically set to the country of origin and the ccTLD can therefore be targeted at any global audience. Popular examples of these gccTLDs include .me for Montenegro, .TV for Tuvalu .ws for Samoa.

Some of the Africa gccTLDs include:

.cd  DR Congo
.sc Seychelles
.dj   Djibouti

In addition, the following African ccTLDs are normally preferred by global registrants:
.st  Sao Tome and Principe , the Street Domain, many English words also end in "st" e.g true.st
.so  Somalia e.g. www.ithink.so

I always imagine Eritrea's .ER should join this list, but like the country itself, the ccTLD is closed to the outside world.

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