Google’s Matt Cutts: Websites Using ccTLDs Should Contain Content Relevant To The Specific Country Code

Matt CuttsIn his latest video, Google’s head of search spam Matt Cutts addresses whether or not it is a good idea for a website to use a ccTLD (country code top level domain) as a novelty domain.

The video was a response to the question:

As memorable .COM domains become more expensive, more developers are choosing alternative new domains like .IO and .IM – which Google geo-targets to small areas. Do you discourage this activity?

Cutts explained that most domains at a country level contain content specific to that country. When a site uses a ccTLD, Google is going to assume that the site’s content applies to the geo-targeted area specified by the domain. If the content is not relevant to the ccTLD, then the site is doing a “disservice” to that domain.

“If you go and pick a really weird novelty domain that nobody else really uses, and mostly is used by this other country, we’re still probably going to assume it’s most relevant to that particular country,” says Cutts.

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According to Cutts, there are a few country code domains that have been categorized by Google as generic because they are primarily used worldwide and are not specific to that country.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Domains | Google: SEO


About The Author: is Third Door Media's General Assignment Correspondent, and reports on the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.

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  • Clyde Smith

    That’s total bs. To be making that statement at this point in time, after .org and .net have been drained of all meaning and now that country codes power a wide range of tech startups (among other sites), is a slap in the face to actual web behavior. That’s a serious overreach for Google and they should step back on this one. It’s not their web to rule!

  • Travis Prebble

    Oh good! The people of Tuvalu will be so happy to have so much more “relevant” content heading their way.

  • andykillen

    is it just me that finds only 1 out of 7 search engine land posts relevant to anything? talk about a waste of time just looking for link clicks…… damn I’ve just helped by posting…

  • MarkSeifert


    And here’s me assuming all those shortlinks had something to do with Greenland all this time!

  • Purpose Gaming

    Likely part of the reason behind the Guardian migration…

  • copacabana com

    or that those links all over the web had something related to Belgium

  • or zilberman

    Though bad for us as marketers and website owners Google does need a way to categorize they’re websites into locals. Sometimes this can be difficult for a crawler as most of the country specific data will be made in shipping area of e commerce website which sometimes they will not get to and can’t get conclusions from so easily.
    As for other website not everyone are spelling out what crowd they address as they build they’re website as audience specific and market it to that relevant audience through many ways, you Don’t see many websites spelling we are for the us.
    The real question should be about brands, if you started a local but expended. You have a brand name which is cc tld and you want to get worldwide traffic but your brand name is not available as .com, will a .com redirect from another domain name will still work to get you real traffic and serp positions in the worldwide Serps?

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