In 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.
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.