Country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) domains

Jose Vicente

Written by Jose Vicente

Country Code TLDCountry code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) are two-letter domains reserved specifically for a particular country or territory. The names corresponding to each of these domains are regulated by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and most of them correspond to the country codes of the ISO 3166-1 standard of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

In general, ccTLD domains are reserved for registration by persons or organizations resident in the country concerned. However, there are also open ccTLDs, which can be registered by any person or entity, regardless of country of residence. These domains usually represent a particular brand regardless of the country to which they correspond. For example, although the “.co” domain would initially correspond to Colombia’s ccTLD, this domain is currently used as an alternative to “.com” for businesses, since the abbreviation Co. usually refers to the terms Company, Corporation, etc.

In Spain, is the entity responsible for the management of .es country code top-level domains.

In some countries, various vicissitudes led to the popularization of second-level domains, such as Although originally the ccTLD for the United Kingdom was .gb, before the ISO standardization of country codes used today, the .uk domain was already registered, which favored its rapid adoption and the preference of using it over the .gb standard, which is no longer available today.

SEO relevance of country code top-level domains (ccTLDs)

The use of a country code Top Level Domain (.es, .fr,, etc.) is a direct indication to search engines that the domain should be more relevant to searches made from a certain country. This type of domain extension is the first priority factor for search engines when geolocating a domain. On the other hand, if we use generic domains such as .com, .info, .net, etc., search engines should look at other factors when geolocating the domain.

  • Geographic targeting configuration from Google Search Console.
  • Existence of hreflang link elements.
  • Source of links.
  • Domain registration data.
  • Etc.

Most ccTLD domains are geographically oriented by search engines to the country to which they correspond and there is no possibility to change this geographic orientation from the corresponding configuration option in Google Search Console and the tools of other search engines. This also applies to subdomains and subdirectories of ccTLD domains. That is to say, a .es domain will be geographically oriented by default to Spain and we will not be able to change this configuration from Google Search Console neither for, nor for or for mydomain,es/subdirectory/.

All other relevancy factors being equal, in principle, a ccTLD domain would rank better than an equivalent TLD domain for searches made from the country to which it corresponds. The downside is that the positioning of ccTLD domains for searches from other countries is worse than for a generic gTLD domain. Often, the greater long-term popularity that a single gTLD domain can accumulate makes this option preferable to the use of multiple ccTLD domains for international websites.

Some open ccTLD domains are geographically configurable from search engine tools (e.g. .co, .ws, etc.).

Roadmap for developing international versions of a website in ccTLD domains

Implementing international versions of a Web site in ccTLD domains

  1. Buy the ccTLD domains of the countries where you think you may have business interests in the future.
  2. As long as you do not develop specific content for these countries, redirect with a 301 permanent redirect all acquired domains to your main domain (i.e. 301 redirect from,,, etc. to
  3. Develop microsites in different languages to explore, with a limited investment, the business potential in other countries. These microsites should be implemented as subdirectories of the main domain. For example:,,, etc.
  4. In case you want to fully develop a website in another country, perform a migration from the corresponding subdirectory to the corresponding ccTLD domain (for example, from to and host that domain on a server in the corresponding country.
  5. Fully develop the websites of countries with high business potential in ccTLD domains hosted in each of the corresponding countries. Generate geo-localized popularity (from country domains to the corresponding ccTLD domain) and keep content up to date and of interest to each audience.

Note, however, that many companies (including some as important as Zara or Apple) have not found it necessary to reach point 4 of the above roadmap and are positioning themselves with notable success internationally using structured versions as sub-directories of a single gTLD domain (in both cases, a .com).

More references about ccTLD domains

How to choose a good domain name for my website

Server geolocation

ccTLD on ICANNWiki

International search engine positioning

Top Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs)

These are the main country code top-level domains along with the country to which they correspond and the entity responsible for their management:

DomainCountryOrganizations responsible for ccTLD management
.acAscension IslandNetwork Information Center (AC Domain Registry) c/o Cable and Wireless (Ascension Island)
.adAndorraAndorra Telecom
.aeUnited Arab Emirates (The)Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA)
.afAfghanistanMinistry of Communications and IT
.agAntigua and BarbudaUHSA School of Medicine
.aiEelGovernment of Anguilla
.alAlbaniaElectronic and Postal Communications Authority – AKEP
.amArmeniaInternet Society
.anArmeniaUniversity of Curacao
.aoAngolaFaculty of Engineering of Universidade Agostinho Neto
.aqAntarcticaAntarctica Network Information Centre Limited
.arArgentinaOffice of the President of the Nation – Legal and Technical Secretariat
.asAmerican SamoaAS Domain Registry GmbH Domain Administration (auDA)
.axÅland IslandsÅlands landskapsregering
.baBosnia and HerzegovinaUniverstiy Telinformatic Centre (UTIC)
.bbBarbadosGovernment of Barbados Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development Telecommunications Unit
.bdBangladeshMinistry of Post & Telecommunications Bangladesh Secretariat
.beBelgiumDNS Belgium vzw/asbl
.bfBurkina FasoARCE-AutoritÈ de RÈgulation des Communications Electroniques
.bhBahrainTelecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA)
.biBurundiCentre National de l’Informatique
.bjBeninBenin Telecoms S.A.
.blSt. Bartholomew’sNot assigned
.bmBermuda shortsRegistry General Ministry of Labour and Immigration
.bnBrunei DarussalamBrunei Darussalam Network Information Centre Sdn Bhd (BNNIC)
.boBolivia, Plurinational State ofAgency for the Development of Information Society Development in Bolivia
.bqBonaire, St. Eustatius and SabaNot assigned
.brBrazilComite Gestor da Internet no Brasil
.bsBahamasThe College of the Bahamas
.btBhutanMinistry of Information and Communications
.bvBouvet IslandUNINETT Norid A/S
.bwBotswanaBotswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA)
.byBelarusReliable Software Inc.
.bzBelizeUniversity of Belize
.caCanadaCanadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) Autorite Canadienne pour les Enregistrements Internet (ACEI)
.ccCocos (Keeling) IslandsENIC Cocos (Keeling) Islands Pty. Ltd. d/b/a Island Internet Services
.cdCongo (the Democratic Republic of the)Office Congolais des Postes et Télécommunications – OCPT
.cfCentral African RepublicSociete Centrafricaine de Telecommunications (SOCATEL)
.cgCongoONPT Congo and Interpoint Switzerland
.chSwitzerlandSWITCH The Swiss Education & Research Network
.ciCôte d’IvoireINP-HB Institut National Polytechnique Felix Houphouet Boigny
.ckCook IslandsTelecom Cook Islands Ltd.
.clChileNIC Chile (University of Chile)
.cmCameroonCameroon Telecommunications (CAMTEL)
.cnChinaChina Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC)
.coColombia.CO Internet S.A.S.
.crCosta RicaNational Academy of Sciences National Academy of Sciences
.cuCubaCENIAInternet Industry and San Jose Capitolio Nacional
.cvCape VerdeNational Communications Agency (ANAC)
.cwCuraçaoUniversity of Curacao
.cxChristmas IslandChristmas Island Internet Administration Limited
.cyCyprusUniversity of Cyprus
.czCzech RepublicCZ.NIC, z.s.p.o.
.deGermanyDENIC eG
.djDjiboutiDjibouti Telecom S.A.
.dkDenmarkDansk Internet Forum
.dmDominicaDotDM Corporation
.doDominican RepublicPontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra St. Thomas Aquinas Campus
.ecEcuadorNIC.EC (NICEC) S.A.
.eeEstoniaEesti Interneti Sihtasutus (EIS)
.egEgyptEgyptian Universities Network (EUN) Supreme Council of Universities
.ehWestern SaharaNot assigned
.erEritreaEritrea Telecommunication Services Corporation (EriTel)
.etEthiopiaEthio telecom
.euEthiopiaEURid vzw/asbl
.fiFinlandFinnish Communications Regulatory Authority
.fjFijiThe University of the South Pacific IT Services
.fkFalkland Islands [Falkland] (the)Falkland Islands Government
.fmMicronesia (the Federated States of)FSM Telecommunications Corporation
.foFaroe IslandsFO Council
.frFranceAssociation Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération (A.F.N.I.C.)
.gaGabonAgence Nationale des Infrastructures Numériques et des Fréquences (ANINF)
.gbUnited KingdomReserved Domain – IANA
.gdGrenadaThe National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC)
.geGeorgiaCaucasus Online
.gfFrench GuianaNet Plus
.ggGuernseyIsland Networks Ltd.
.ghGhanaNetwork Computer Systems Limited
.giGibraltarSapphire Networks
.glGreenlandTELE Greenland A/S
.gmGambia (The)GM-NIC
.gnGuineaCentre National des Sciences Halieutiques de Boussoura
.gpGuadalupeNetworking Technologies Group
.gqEquatorial GuineaGETESA
.gsSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsGovernment of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI)
.gtGuatemalaUniversidad del Valle de Guatemala
.guGuamUniversity of Guam Computer Center
.gwGuinea-BissauAutoridade Reguladora Nacional – Tecnologias de Informação e Comunicação da Guiné-Bissau (National Regulatory Authority – Information and Communication Technologies of Guinea-Bissau)
.gyGuyanaUniversity of Guyana
.hkHong KongHong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Ltd.
.hmHeard Island and McDonald IslandsHM Domain Registry
.hnHondurasSustainable Development Network Honduras
.hrCroatiaCARNet – Croatian Academic and Research Network
.htHaitiSDS/RDDH Consortium
.huHungaryCouncil of Hungarian Internet Providers (CHIP)
.idIndonesiaPerkumpulan Pengelola Nama Domain Internet Indonesia (PANDI)
.ieIrelandUniversity College Dublin Computing Services Computer Centre
.ilIsraelInternet Society of Israel
.imIsle of ManIsle of Man Government
.inIndiaNational Internet Exchange of India
.ioBritish Indian Ocean Territory (el)IO Top Level Domain Registry Cable and Wireless
.iqIraqCommunications and Media Commission (CMC)
.irIran (the Islamic Republic of)Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences
.isIcelandISNIC – Internet Iceland ltd.
.itItalyIIT – CNR
.hehJerseyIsland Networks (Jersey) Ltd.
.jmJamaicaUniversity of West Indies
.joJordanNational Information Technology Center (NITC)
.jpJapanJapan Registry Services Co., Ltd.
.keKenyaKenya Network Information Center (KeNIC)
.kgKyrgyzstanAsiaInfo Telecommunication Enterprise
.khCambodiaTelecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC)
.kiKiribatiMinistry of Communications, Transport, and Tourism Development
.kmComorosComoros Telecom
.knSt. Kitts and NevisMinistry of Finance, Sustainable Development Information & Technology
.kpKorea (the Democratic People’s Republic of)Star Joint Venture Company
.krKorea (the Republic of)Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA)
.kwKuwaitMinistry of Communications
.kyCayman IslandsThe Information and Communications Technology Authority
.kzKazakhstanAssociation of IT Companies of Kazakhstan
.laLao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR)Lao National Internet Committee (LANIC), Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications
.lbLebanonAmerican University of Beirut Computing and Networking Services
.lcSt. LuciaUniversity of Puerto Rico
.liLiechtensteinUniversitaet Liechtenstein
.lkSri LankaCouncil for Information Technology LK Domain Registrar
.lrLiberiaData Technology Solutions, Inc.
.lsLesothoNational University of Lesotho
.ltLithuaniaKaunas University of Technology
.lvLatviaUniversity of Latvia Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science Department of Network Solutions (DNS)
.lyLibyaGeneral Post and Telecommunication Company
.maMoroccoAgence Nationale de Réglementation des Télécommunications (ANRT)
.mcMonacoGouvernement de Monaco Direction des Communications Electroniques
.mdMoldova (the Republic of)MoldData S.E.
.meMontenegroGovernment of Montenegro
.mfSt. Martin (French part)Not assigned
.mgMadagascarNIC-MG (Network Information Center Madagascar)
.mhMarshall Islands (the)Office of the Cabinet
.mkMacedonia (the former Yugoslav Republic of)Macedonian Academic Research Network Skopje
.mlMaliAgence des Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication
.mmMyanmarMinistry of Communications, Posts & Telegraphs
.mnMongoliaDatacom Co., Ltd.
.moMacaoBureau of Telecommunications Regulation (DSRT)
.mpNorthern Mariana Islands (the)Saipan Datacom, Inc.
.mrMauritaniaUniversité des Sciences, de Technologie et de Médecine
.msMontserratMNI Networks Ltd.
.mtMaltaNIC (Malta)
.muMauricioInternet Direct Ltd
.mvMaldivesDhiraagu Pvt. Ltd. (DHIVEHINET)
.mwMalawiMalawi Sustainable Development Network Programme (Malawi SDNP)
.mxMexicoNIC-Mexico ITESM – Campus Monterrey
.myMalaysiaMYNIC Berhad
.mzMozambiqueCentro de Informatica de Universidade Eduardo Mondlane
.naNamibiaNamibian Network Information Center
.ncNew CaledoniaOffice des Postes et Telecommunications
.neNiger (el)SONITEL
.nfNorfolk IslandNorfolk Island Data Services
.ngNigeriaNigeria Internet Registration Association
.niNicaraguaUniversidad Nacional del Ingernieria Computing Center
.nlThe NetherlandsSIDN (Stichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland)
.noNorwayUNINETT Norid A/S
.npNepalMercantile Communications Pvt. Ltd.
.nuNiueThe IUSN Foundation
.nzNew ZealandInternetNZ
.omOmanTelecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA)
.paPanamaTechnological University of Panama
.pePeruPeruvian Scientific Network
.pfFrench PolynesiaGouvernement de la Polynésie Française
.pgPapua New GuineaPNG DNS Administration Vice Chancellors Office The Papua New Guinea University of Technology
.phPhilippinesPH Domain Foundation
.plPolandResearch and Academic Computer Network
.pmSt. Pierre and MiquelonAssociation Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération (A.F.N.I.C.)
.pnPitcairnPitcairn Island Administration
.prPuerto RicoGauss Research Laboratory Inc.
.psPalestine, State ofMinistry Of Telecommunications & Information Technology, Government Computer Center.
.ptPortugalDNS.PT Association
.pwPalauMicronesia Investment and Development Corporation
.qaQatarCommunications Regulatory Authority
.reMeetingAssociation Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération (A.F.N.I.C.)
.roRomaniaNational Institute for R&D in Informatics
.rsSerbiaSerbian National Internet Domain Registry (RNIDS)
.ruRussia, (the) Federation ofCoordination Center for TLD RU
.rwRwandaRwanda Information Communication and Technology Association (RICTA)
.saSaudi ArabiaCommunications and Information Technology Commission
.sbSolomon IslandsSolomon Telekom Company Limited
.scSeychellesVCS Pty Ltd
.sdSudan (the)Sudan Internet Society
.seSwedenThe Internet Infrastructure Foundation
.sgSingaporeSingapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC) Pte Ltd.
.shSt. Helena, Ascension and Tristán de AcuñaGovernment of St. Kitts and Nevis Helena
.siSloveniaAcademic and Research Network of Slovenia (ARNES)
.sjSvalbard and Jan MayenUNINETT Norid A/S
.skSlovakiaSK-NIC, a.s.
.slSierra LeoneSierratel
.smSan MarinoTelecom Italia San Marino S.p.A.
.snSenegalUniversite Cheikh Anta Diop NIC Senegal
.soSomaliaMinistry of Post and Telecommunications
.ssSouth SudanNot assigned
.stSao Tome and PrincipeTecnisys
.suSao Tome and PrincipeRussian Institute for Development of Public Networks (ROSNIIROS)
.svEl SalvadorSVNet
.sxSint Maarten (Dutch part)SX Registry SA B.V.
.sySyria, (the) Arab RepublicNational Agency for Network Services (NANS)
.szSwazilandUniversity of Swaziland Department of Computer Science
.tcTurks and Caicos IslandsMelrex TC
.tdChadSociété des télécommunications du Tchad (SOTEL TCHAD)
.tfFrench Southern Territories (the)Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération (A.F.N.I.C.)
.tgTogoCafe Informatique et Telecommunications
.thThailandThai Network Information Center Foundation
.tjTajikistanInformation Technology Center
.tkTokelauTelecommunication Tokelau Corporation (Teletok)
.tlTimor-LesteMinistry of Transport and Communications; National Division of Information and Technology
.tmTurkmenistanTM Domain Registry Ltd
.tnTunisiaAgence Tunisienne d’Internet
.toTongaGovernment of the Kingdom of Tonga H.R.H. Crown Prince Tupouto’a c/o Consulate of Tonga
.trTurkeyMiddle East Technical University Department of Computer Engineering
.ttTrinidad and TobagoUniversity of the West Indies Faculty of Engineering
.tvTuvaluMinistry of Finance and Tourism
.twTaiwan (Province of China)Taiwan Network Information Center (TWNIC)
.tzTanzania, United Republic ofTanzania Network Information Centre (tzNIC)
.uaUkraineHostmaster Ltd.
.ugUgandaUganda Online Ltd.
.ukUgandaNominet UK
.umUnited States Minor Outlying Islands (U.S. Minor Outlying Islands)Not assigned
.usUnited StatesNeuStar, Inc.
.uyUruguaySeCIU – Universidad de la Republica
.uzUzbekistanComputerization and Information Technologies Developing Center UZINFOCOM
.vaHoly See [Estado de la Ciudad del Vaticano] (the)Holy See Secretariat of State Department of Telecommunications
.vcSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesMinistry of Telecommunications, Science, Technology and Industry
.veVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofNational Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL)
.vgVirgin Islands (British)Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of the Virgin Islands
.viVirgin Islands (U.S.)Virgin Islands Public Telcommunications System c/o COBEX Internet Services
.vnViet NamMinistry of Information and Communications of Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
.vuVanuatuTelecom Vanuatu Limited
.wfWallis and FutunaAssociation Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération (A.F.N.I.C.)
.wsSamoaGovernment of Samoa Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade
.ytMayotteAssociation Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération (A.F.N.I.C.)
.zaSouth AfricaZA Domain Name Authority
.zmZambiaZambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA)
.zwZimbabwePostal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ)
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Jose Vicente
Jose Vicente
Head of the SEO department and consultant at Human Level. Graduated in Computer Engineering. Expert in SEO and web analytics with certification in Google Analytics. Professor of the Master of SEO-SEM Professional Kschool.

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