Domain types and their importance for SEO

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When we surf the internet, many times we do not look at the url we are visiting. It seems like an unimportant issue but the structure of a domain is a very important element when facing an SEO strategy. Deciding if we will only attack a country with a structure (.in for India), we will carry out an international expansion with a (.com) and a subfolder structure by countries (.com / .in) or instead we will use subdomains are decisions that if taken well in the beginning, they can save us a lot of time, resources and headaches.

Next, you will discover all the types of domains that exist and their importance at the SEO level:

Image Credit: Google Image

Available domain types

There is no single domain type with which you can refer to a website . In fact, there are several of them and depending on the intention of the platform, place of origin, function and other characteristics, the domain related to it can be of one type or another and generally several of them are included in the URL for access the site.

For example, if we take the URL www.domain.com.in, there are three different types of domains present in it , which are hierarchical by DNS and their importance is ordered from right to left, the most relevant being always at the right and the next to his left.

In this case:

  • “.Com” would be the top level domain or TLD for its acronym in English
  • “Seoalive” would be the second level domain or SLD
  • while “.in” is the third level domain or TrLD .

We are going to describe them much more in detail so that there is no doubt:

Top-level domain or TLD

The first level domain or Top Level Domain is the one with the highest hierarchy according to the DNS , there are more than a thousand and the most common are .com, .org, .net, .edu, among others. For example, sites ending in .com were business, whereas .org is used by organizations. Now the use of top-level domains is much more flexible. The TLDs have two sub-divisions:

Generic Domains (GTLD or Generic Top Level Domains)

The generic domains or ( GTLDS or Generic Top Level Domains) , which include .com and .org and wider as well as other concrete use as .info, .name, .pro, .mil, among others are considered generic domains.

Geographic Top Level Domain (ccTLD or Country Code Top Level)

The geographic top level domains ( ccTLD or Country Code Top Level Domains)  are those that use brands, organizations or established corporations, as well as governments where the country is represented.

They are usually initials or terminals of the name of nations such as:

  • .ve from Venezuela
  • .co from Colombia
  • .us from United States
  • and so with all countries …

Typically, they are used when the brand or organization wants to specialize in that country and provides specific content for it. There are also different types of combination for language variations. For example, if we use the language «Portuguese» with the url «/ pt» and we want to differentiate it for users from Portugal and Brazil, we can use / pt for Portugal and / pt-BR for Portugal from Brazil. The same happens with other languages ​​such as Chinese or Spanish (Spain vs Mexico or Argentina) for example.

Second level domains or SLD

The second level domain or Second Level Domain is located directly to the left of the first level domain, usually being the name of the brand, organization or person that the site focuses on. For example, in the URL www.seoalive.com, “seoalive” would be the SLD, acting as an identifier as far as user is concerned.

Third level domains or TrLD

The third level domain or Third Level Domain in English is one that mixes a generic domain or gTLD (example: .com) with a country-specific domain or ccTLD (example = .in).

For example, the ending of the domain .com.in would indicate that it is a generic domain but specific for users from India.

Other examples: 

  • .org.in
  • .edu.in
  • .gob.in
  • .co.in

Subdomains

In addition to hierarchical domains there are also subdomains , which can be described as annexes or sub-parts, usually of the second-level domain.

For example, if we have the site www.infinteknow.com but within the site there is an important section such as a blog, it is possible to include a subdomain in the general URL that leads to the page of said blog directly, looking like this: www.hindi .infiniteknow.com .

Importance of domains in the field of SEO

Domains in general and their different types are considered a relevant 

They are usually initials or terminals of the name of nations such as:

  • .ve from Venezuela
  • .co from Colombia
  • .us from United States
  • and so with all countries …

Typically, they are used when the brand or organization wants to specialize in that country and provides specific content for it. There are also different types of combination for language variations. For example, if we use the language «Portuguese» with the url «/ pt» and we want to differentiate it for users from Portugal and Brazil, we can use / pt for Portugal and / pt-BR for Portugal from Brazil. The same happens with other languages ​​such as Chinese or Spanish (Spain vs Mexico or Argentina) for example.

Second level domains or SLD

The second level domain or Second Level Domain is located directly to the left of the first level domain, usually being the name of the brand, organization or person that the site focuses on. For example, in the URL www.seoalive.com, “seoalive” would be the SLD, acting as an identifier as far as user is concerned.

Third level domains or TrLD

The third level domain or Third Level Domain in English is one that mixes a generic domain or gTLD (example: .com) with a country-specific domain or ccTLD (example = .mx).

For example, the ending of the domain .com.mx would indicate that it is a generic domain but specific for users from Mexico.

Other examples: 

  • .org.es
  • .edu.es
  • .gob.es

Subdomains

In addition to hierarchical domains there are also subdomains , which can be described as annexes or sub-parts, usually of the second-level domain.

For example, if we have the site www.infiniteknow.com but within the site there is an important section such as a blog, it is possible to include a subdomain in the general URL that leads to the page of said blog directly, looking like this: www.hindi .infinite.com .

Importance of domains in the field of SEO

Domains in general and their different types are considered a relevant SEO factor from the point of view of search engine optimization, since it is an element that search engines such as Google, Bing, among others take a lot into account.

Thus, according to the characteristics of the site, its focus and purpose, it is always recommended to optimize the domains so that they provide the site with the best positions in the search results:

1) First, if you have a site with regional or national characteristics and that is locally focused, it is always recommended to use the ccTLD of the corresponding country . It has the downside that your search engine results won’t show up in other countries, although that’s what the local approach is all about. However, when a site goes from being local to wanting to be international, the ccTLD is useful when you want to offer the platform in different languages. For example, if the site www.domain.com appears in English, www.domain.in will appear in Indian Languages. The language change can also be done through folders and subdomains, which using the example would be www.hindi.infiniteknow.com or www.infiniteknow.com/about

2) Second, if the site is focused on a specific niche or new product, it is best to include it in the domain, either if the keyword can be combined with the brand or if we are attacking a very specific niche for example a website of affiliation, attack the main keyword in it.

3) Although the possibilities are increasing, it is recommended to stay in the best-known top-level domains, such as “.com”.

4) Finally, it is recommended that the second level domain name that describes the product, brand and niche should not be too long to help search engine robots to better track and recognize them. According to Google, a general domain in URL should never exceed 64 characters . On the other hand, for well-known and established brands and businesses, it is recommended to use the name of the same in the domain, without including anything else unless the purpose is to make language changes, include folders or focus on the local product geographically.

factor from the point of view of search engine optimization, since it is an element that search engines such as Google, Bing, among others take a lot into account.

Thus, according to the characteristics of the site, its focus and purpose, it is always recommended to optimize the domains so that they provide the site with the best positions in the search results:

1) First, if you have a site with regional or national characteristics and that is locally focused, it is always recommended to use the ccTLD of the corresponding country . It has the downside that your search engine results won’t show up in other countries, although that’s what the local approach is all about. However, when a site goes from being local to wanting to be international, the ccTLD is useful when you want to offer the platform in different languages. For example, if the site www.nike.com appears in English, www.nike.es will appear in Spanish. The language change can also be done through folders and subdomains, which using the example would be www.es.nike.com or www.nike.com/es.

2) Second, if the site is focused on a specific niche or new product, it is best to include it in the domain, either if the keyword can be combined with the brand or if we are attacking a very specific niche for example a website of affiliation, attack the main keyword in it.

3) Although the possibilities are increasing, it is recommended to stay in the best-known top-level domains, such as “.com”.

4) Finally, it is recommended that the second level domain name that describes the product, brand and niche should not be too long to help search engine robots to better track and recognize them. According to Google, a general domain in URL should never exceed 64 characters . On the other hand, for well-known and established brands and businesses, it is recommended to use the name of the same in the domain, without including anything else unless the purpose is to make language changes, include folders or focus on the local product geographically.

Last Update: 03/01/2021

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