Pros and Cons of using ccTDLs (e.g. .it)

I’m looking for a domain name for a new website. Using .com I can’t find anything I really like. However if I use the .it domain I can come up with a great sounding name. That said I’m a bit concerned about the effect it would have on users finding the site. Do search engines automatically assume that .it sites are focused towards Italy? What is the general opinion of using these types of domain names?

The .it domain belongs to Italy and so they have full control over what people are allowed to do with it.

Is it safe to assume that you don’t recommend a site not focused on Italian users use the .it domain name?

There are several things to consider.

  1. With the TLD being owned by Italy it is they who decide who are allowed to have domains within that TLD. It varies between countries as to how strict they are on who they allow to have domains. There is also nothing to stop them changing the criteria in the future.
  2. The .it TLD is supposed to indicate that the web site is related to Italy and so Google should rank the site higher in their Italian results than in their International results.
  3. People expecting an international domain and entering the address themselves are likely to type .com on the end without thinking.

Those are all concerns I’m quite concerned about, just trying to weigh them with a more awkwardly worded .com name.

The site I’m working on would be primarily focused on US customers and as such the .it is quite misleading. However I’ve started to see some sites use these domain names effectively - e.g. or (not up yet but paints a good picture).

If you were choosing between or how would you weight the pros and cons?


With all the spam that’s originating in India, I’d advise against using the .in TLD. True, smart people will check the IP address against the country of origin but the stigma is already attached to the .in TLDs.

Stick with the tried and true .com if at all possible.



fsa3, People are more willing to deal with domain hacks like, it’s almost become a subculture on it’s own. The only thing I would say beyond expectations (and perhaps the SEO issue of regional ranking) is that you need to be careful that the extension you want allows international purchases without restriction (many ccTLD’s only allow those living or working in the country to register) - and you could lose the domain without refund if they catch you. :slight_smile:

There are a lot of other TLD names NET and BIZ can be used for the online business web sites as well.
Each ccTLD has own rules and you might have problems with ccTLD if you are not resident.