The term stands for ‘country code top-level domain’. It is basically a sequence of characters that have been assigned to a specific geographical area. They are found after the final period of a domain name, and they tell search engines which country the website is registered in.
Country code TLDs use the ISO 3166-1 country codes. For example, the site http://www.example.fr has ‘fr’ at the end, which stands for France.
Other examples are:
– http://www.example.com.uk (United Kingdom)
– http://example.com.de (Germany)
– http://example.com.es (Spain)
– http://example.com.ae (United Arab Emirates)
There are more than 240 country-based top-level domains, pertaining to the majority of the countries in the world.
When you change the location on your computer and try to search for specific information, Google will only display content that is relevant to that area. The ccTLD string will vary according to the country code, and even the language of the website changes.
Another type of top-level domain (TLD) is the generic one. Generic (gTLD) domains includes strings like .com, .org, .net, .gov, etc.
Although ccTLDs are targeted to certain countries or regions, they are not targeted to a specific language. For example, if you live in Germany, the search engine will recognize ‘de’ as your standard string. But if you speak English and you want to find websites in that language, the search engine would have to make some changes. It will look for German websites that are in English (by adding the ‘en’ string to the domain name).
The search engine would then compare sites with both ‘de’ and ‘en’ strings. If both websites have the same quality, authority, and trustworthiness, the ‘de’ will always rank higher because it is the domain name of the country where you’re located.