What is an example of a top-level domain (tld) linkedin

Have you come across the words top level domain and wondered what that means? For those looking into setting up a new website, it can be easy to get lost in all the jargon and terminology of the web design world.top level domain is one of those expressions that many struggle to understand.

What is a top level domain?

Wikipedia defines it as

“one of the domains at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System of the Internet”.

It is actually a lot easier than that. A top level domain, simply put, refers to all the common domain endings. For example, if you look at www.cgi.se, “.com” is the top level domain. There are many top level domains, and they are categorized according to their most common use or intention. The most famous ones are known as general Top Level Domains (gTLDs) and country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs).

What is the Difference Between a general and a country code top level domain?

A general top level domain is one that is intended for general use, such as .com or .net. Domains with these endings are not necessarily specific to one topic, field, or geographic region and are therefore considered to be ‘general’. A country code Top Level Domain is a domain that can be general in terms of field and topic, but is relevant to a specific region, such as .de, .es and .co.uk. It is important to note that a ccTLD can still be used by anyone, anywhere and usually refers more to the country of operation or interest,

Should I choose a general or a country code top level domain?

This can depend on a number of factors. Generally, if you are a local business or simply looking to operate in one country, a country code Top Level Domain can be right for you. Often you will have more available domain names at your disposal and it can boost your rankings in the search engines for searches from your country. Furthermore, ccTLDs are still recognized on an international level, especially from big countries such as .co.uk, .de, .es and .fr.

On the other hand, if you are looking to create a brand or have an international presence, you might want to opt for a general Top Level Domain such as .com, .net or .org, so as not to tie yourself to one country. Whilst in some fields it might be better to have a country-relevant Top Level Domain, in certain others, it could be better to opt for a gTLD.

Choosing the right Top Level Domain can be tough, but it is an important choice to make and one that can strongly influence the success of your site, be it through search engine optimization or branding. Focus on your business’ needs and choose wisely.

Top-level domains are also known as domain suffixes.

Historically, TLDs represented the purpose and type of domain or the geographical area from which it originated. ICANN has generally been very strict about opening up new TLDs, but in 2010, it decided to allow the creation of numerous new generic TLDs as well as TLDs for company-specific trademarks.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), is the entity that coordinates domains and IP addresses for the internet.

Examples of some of the popular TLDs include:

TLDs are mainly classified into two categories: generic TLDs and country-specific TLDs.

For example, in the internet address: https://www.google.com, the “.com” portion is the TLD.

Top-level domain (TLD) refers to the last segment of a domain name, or the part that follows immediately after the “dot” symbol.

Techopedia Explains Top-Level Domain (TLD)

ARPANET created TLDs to allow humans to ease the process of memorizing IP addresses. Instead of using a series of digits for each computer, the domain name system was established to organize addresses in a more user-friendly way.

In 1971, the first email was developed and sent using an “@” symbol. The “address” after the @ was not the domain but the actual computer it was sending to. In the early 1980s, when the earliest domains started being developed, the first TLDs such as .org and .com saw the light.

A top-level domain recognizes a certain element regarding the associated website, such as its objective (business, government, education), its owner, or the geographical area from which it originated.

Each TLD includes an independent registry controlled by a specific organization, which is managed under the guidance of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

ICANN recognizes the following types of TLDs:

Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD)

These are the most popular types of TDLs. Some examples include “.edu” for educational sites and .”com” for commercial sites. These types of TLDs are available for registration.

Country-Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD)

Every ccTLD recognizes a specific country and is generally two letters long. For example, the ccTLD for Australia is “.au”.

These TLDs are supervised by private organizations.

Infrastructure Top-Level Domains

There is only one TLD in this category, which is “.arpa”. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority controls this TLD for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

In earlier times, the purpose of each TLD was specific, such as .com which was used only for commercial websites. Eventually, as the Internet kept growing and evolving, this restriction was abandoned, and now there’s almost no distinction between most TLDs.

However, some TLDs are reserved for some unique purposes even today, such as gTLDs that are assigned for educational institutions (.edu) and those assigned for government and the military (.gov and .mil).

Some of the TLDs and their original explanations are as follows:

  • .com — Commercial businesses.

  • .org — Organizations (generally charitable).

  • .net — Network organizations.

  • .gov — U.S. government agencies.

  • .mil — Military.

  • .edu — Educational facilities, like universities.

  • .th — Thailand.

  • .ca — Canada.

  • .au — Australia.

According to the IETF, there are four top-level domain names that are reserved, and are not used in production networks inside the worldwide domain name system:

  • .example — Only available to use in examples.

  • .invalid — Only available to use in invalid domain names.

  • .localhost — Only available to use in local computers.

  • .test — Only available to use in tests.

Currently, some TLDs are more difficult to get compared to easy ones such as .com. Because of this, many organizations register multiple TLDs and redirect them as necessary to the main one used for their principal web resource.

You already know what top-level domains are, even if you don’t know that you know.

The easiest way to introduce the subject of top-level domains is like this:  A top-level domain is the ending at the end of a website — .com, .org, .edu, .gov, .net, etc.

That’s the easy way to describe it. And it’s accurate, but only as far as it goes. Top-level domains are a lot more significant than just a URL ending. Furthermore, they have impact on search engine optimization.a

To cut through the controversy and confusion surrounding TLDs, here is everything that you need to know in six simple points.

1. There are three main types of TLDs.

Any discussion of TLDs needs to define the types of top-level domains that exist.

Generic Top-Level Domains – gTLD: The most well-known top-level domains are known as generic top-level domains. These are the ones that you see most commonly — .com, .org, etc.

The Internet’s name government (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN) is responsible for picking the gTLDs. They have three or more characters. As of July 2015 there were 995 ICANN-sponsored gTLDs.

The list includes the most common ones. Here are ones you may recognize

  • .com
  • .org
  • .net
  • .edu
  • .gov
  • .mil

And here are some you might not recognize….

  • .xn--vhquv
  • .liaison
  • .shriram
  • .xn--80adxhks

The large number of gTLDs can be categorized in one of two ways — sponsored and unsponsored.

Sponsored domains are those that are backed by a community that shares ethnic, geographical, professional, or technical features.

The .aero TLD, for example, is restricted to organizations who are part of the air-transport industry. The TLD .cat, is not for feline aficionados. It is only for members of the Catalan language, region, or culture.

Here are some other sponsored TLDs…

  • .jobs – for HR managers
  • .tel – for businesses who publish contact information
  • .museum – for museums

Unsponsored TLDs are open for use by anyone who wants them. You can make your own website with a .com, .org, .net, .biz, .info, .name TLD, no matter who you are or what you do.

Country-Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD): The country-code TLDs consist of two-letter domains that identify the country or territory of the domain.

  • .us – United States
  • .uk – United Kingdom
  • .il – Israel
  • .de – Germany
  • .au – Australia
  • .jp – Japan
  • .fi – Finland

Internationalized Country-Code Top-Level Domains (IDN or ccTLD): These domains are used by individual countries in language-native scripts. There are currently 45 approved ccTLDs. They look like this:

  • السعودية “Saudi Arabia”
  • .рф (Russia)
  • 中国 (China)
  • 台灣 (Taiwan)

A final TLD type is called “infrastructure top-level domain.” There is only one domain:  .arpa. Don’t expect a link from ARPA anytime soon.

2.  Root Domains and Subdomains are not to be confused with TLDs.

Domains can get confusing. This article is about top-level domains, but there are other things that use the term “domain.” Here’s a quick overview of things we call “domains.”

  • Top Level Domains (TLDs) – What we’re talking about in this article — .com and stuff; it’s the .com in http://www.example.com.  
  • Subdomains – the “www” in www.example.com.
  • Root domains – the part of the URL that is unique; the “example” in http://www.example.com/

3.  More linking TLDs doesn’t necessarily mean better SEO.

When the web exploded with new TLDs, SEOs got excited. An amazing new opportunity for unique sites and sweet links, right?

Or not.

A website needs link to rank. What’s more, the website needs authoritative links to rank. However, garnering links from unique TLDs doesn’t impact the quality of the link. A quality link is a quality link, regardless of the TLD.

A variety of linking TLDs is fine, but not necessary for a good link profile.

The TLDs .gov and .edu are generally perceived as authoritative, and can help SEO.

But they must give way to features like relevance.

A site is not automatically authoritative just because it has a .gov ending. It is authoritative for other reasons than just its TLD. Thus, if you get a link from a .gov, your subsequent ranking boost is probably due less to the TLD and more to the authority of the site.

4.  Using a new TLD for your website won’t help your ranking.

What about using a custom TLD for your website? Will it help your ranking?

Again, not necessarily. One of the few benefits that I can see is if you used a local TLD to market directly to a specific national or linguistic region. Obviously, you should only choose a country-specific TLD if your business is working within that specific geographical region.

The newer TLDs aren’t necessarily bad. They’re just so new that most people aren’t aware of them. If a custom TLD helps your brand awareness or memorability, use it. If it erodes your brand trust and authority, avoid it. But as to SEO value, don’t sweat it.

5.  The more common the TLD, the safer for SEO.

If you’re eager about earning links to your site, don’t obsess over TLDs. Link building, if you want to call it that, should be natural — an issue of earning them rather than building them.

If the TLD is something familiar — .com, .org, .net, etc. — then you’re probably getting decent links. If you get a huge load of unfamiliar or custom TLDs, beware.

And read on. There are some risks.

6.  The less-common the TLD, the riskier for SEO

TLDs themselves don’t impact ranking. However, there are some TLD spaces that have become so crowded by spam sites that the TLD itself is perceived as risky or spammy.

As far as we know, Google’s algorithm does not identify spam sites based on their TLD.

However, I recommend that you be extremely wary if you see an increase in odd TLDs on your link profile. Here are the ones to watch.

I consider these four to be especially notorious for their spam associations.

  • .country
  • .info
  • .cc
  • .ws

These are also noted for their spammy qualities:

  • .name
  • .pro
  • .asia
  • .coop
  • .int
  • .jobs
  • .tel
  • .travel
  • .post
  • .xxx
  • .best
  • .click
  • .link
  • .rocks
  • .shop

Google announced new TLD policies in July, 2015

The gist of it was this:  Even though there’s all kinds of new and exciting domains, don’t expect anything to change as far as rankings are concerned.

Here are the specifics:

  • Keywords in a TLD don’t boost ranking.
  • New or nontraditional TLDs like .brand don’t affect ranking.
  • IDN TLDs (e.g., .みんな?) are crawled and indexed like any other TLDs.
  • Regional and city domains (e.g., .london) are treated just like gTLDs. In other words, there’s no preferential treatment.
  • The ccTLDs will still have geotargeted results.


TLDs are an important part of SEO, but they are not something that should keep you awake at night.

  • If you’re selecting a TLD for your business, I suggest using the most traditional and common of all:  .com. If you think that your brand identity will be enhanced by using a custom TLD, then go for it.
  • If you’re considering the implications of TLD backlinks, keep it natural. Normal TLDs like .com, .org, etc., are the best. A spike in linkbacks from weird-sounding domain name endings should be a warning sign that your link profile could be compromised
Written by Jane