What are the top TLDs you should consider investing in for your MacHosting account?
Let’s take a few steps back. Do you know what a TLD is? It’s OK if you’re pretty new to the world of web hosting and don’t know what TLD is, other than another internet acronym.
TLD means top-level domain. A top-level domain is the last part of a domain name. You can refer to it as .com, .edu, .org, .co.uk, .eu part of a domain name.
TLDs have become big business as they’ve expanded to include every type of industry possible, from .beer to .fit. The one that you choose can have a big impact on your business, so you want to get it right.
Read on as we explore the wide world of TLDs and discover what the top TLDs are and how to choose one for your MacHosting site.
History of TLDs
TLDs go back quite a way. Let’s roll back the clock to 1971. By that time, ARPANET was in full use by universities and government agencies across the country.
It was in 1971 when Ray Tomlinson created email to enhance communication between these agencies. At the time, email consisted of user_name@computer_name. The computer name eventually evolved to become a domain name that we know of today.
In 1982, Arpanet’s network changed to a TCP/IP network from packet switching. TCP/IP is a set of protocols that dictate how computers communicate with each other and how data flows along networks. This change then created the IP address, which is a series of numbers like 220.127.116.11
The same way that we don’t remember phone numbers anymore, no one was able to recall IP addresses. This was a big issue and go get around it, programmers developed a user-friendly IP address. That’s how the Domain Name System (DNS) came to be.
The DNS take a domain name like https://blog.machighway.com/ and converts it into numbers and directs you to the right website in milliseconds.
The powers that be also recognized a need to figure out how to separate these domain names from each other.
In 1984, the first TLDs were born. They were developed by Internet Working Group Domain Requirements (RFC 920). They were .arpa, .com, .edu, .gov, .mil, .org. There were also country codes developed.
The .net and .int TLDs came out the following year. Now, there are over 1200 TLDs that are overseen by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is a nonprofit organization that maintains the core of the internet: root servers and a repository of all IP addresses and domain names.
The Many Types of TLDs
With so many TLDs out there, how can you make sense out all of them? The 1200 TLDs can be filtered down into TLD classifications. The two main ones are Generic TLDs and Country Code TLDs.
Most TLDs will fall into the classification of a generic or gTLD. When TLDs were first developed in 1984, the TLDs were meant to separate the types of organizations that were on the internet.
At the time, some were commercial, government, military, or university organizations. That’s why you have .edu, .gov, .com, and .mil. Today’s gTLDs will include other organization types like .fitness, .store, or .shop.
Generic TLDs are separated further into more categories. There are Sponsored TLDs, geoTLDs, Unsponsored TLDs, Country Code TLDs.
Sponsored TLDs are private TLDs that are sponsored by a private organization. They’re pretty much governed by the sponsor organization through a charter. An example of a Sponsored TLD would be the .aero TLD. It’s sponsored by the International Society of Telecommunications Aeronautics, which sets the rules around the usage of the TLD.
.Travel is another example of a sponsored TLD. It’s sponsored by the Tralliance Registry Management Company and reserves the usage of the TLD for travel organizations.
Unsponsored TLDs are mostly what you’ll see and experience when you’re registering TLDs. There are no restrictions or governing association with them.
Can you guess what a geoTLD is? If you guessed that it has something to do with geographic location, you’re right. It’s called a geographic TLD, which is used for cities or regions.
Cities like London or Tokyo can use .london or .tokyo geoTLDs. For a site or business in Tuscany, you could get the .toscano.it geoTLD.
Country Code TLDs
A country code TLD is to identify the country for a domain. For example, a site based in Gibraltar could use the .gi TLD.
When the TLD protocols were first developed in 1984, there were only a handful of ccTLDs. These were for the UK, US, and Israel and they were first implemented in 1985. The following year, Australia, Germany, France, Finland, Japan, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Korea were registered.
Top TLDs for MacHosting Accounts
What are the top TLDs available? That’s a bit of a loaded question because it depends on how you calculate those numbers. You can calculate them by the amount of traffic a TLD gets or how many sites register a particular TLD.
With the help of CSC Global and their recent report on the state of top-level domains. These lists don’t include the usual suspects – .com, .org, .net, .biz. This is reserved for newer TLDs that you can buy now.
Top 10 TLDs by Registration
This is an interesting list because 60% of the domains listed here are flagged as being TLDs that are often used for fraudulent purposes. You can check out NTLD Stat to find out more about these and other fraudulent sites.
- .xyz: This is a fun TLD to have, but spammers caught on and now it’s a largely fraudulent TLD.
- .top: This is another TLD that’s flagged for spam.
- .wang: This TLD is a sponsored TLD, so you’ll have a hard time getting this. This is sponsored by Zodiac Wang Limited.
- .win: This is another TLD that’s flagged for spam. It’s a perfect TLD for online gaming, but you will want to stay away from this one.
- .club: If you run a club or an organization, this would be a great TLD to buy. It’s also legit, so you don’t have to worry about spam.
- .网址: For companies that want to connect with a Chinese audience, this is a good option. It means website in Chinese.
- .science: This is a great one for researchers, instructors, science museums, and students of science. It has been known to have some spam, so proceed with caution.
- .ren: In Chinese, ren means human being. This is a sponsored domain by Beijing Qianxiang Wangjing Technology Development Co., Ltd. They own and operate Renren, which is China’s largest social network.
- .link: Unfortunately, this TLD is full of malicious websites.
- .party: This TLD is another one that ha several issues.
CSC Global came up with a non-fraudulent list of TLDs. To reach these numbers, CSC took the search volume based on Alexa, and the number of domain registrations a TLD has. They also scrubbed the list of potentially fraudulent TLDs.
1. .media: Great for news organizations or content producers.
2. .today: Do you update your website daily with news or new content. You can separate out that new content with this TLD.
3. .sexy: This can work if you’re looking to build a specific personal brand. You can also buy this for fashion and lifestyle products.
4. .news: Similar to .media, this is great for news and content producers.
5. .tokyo: Yes, .tokyo is a popular TLD.
6. .life: That’s life. You can talk about the daily struggles of life with this TLD.
7. .social: We are more social online than offline. You might as well have a TLD to encourage that.
8. .global: You can tell people that you operate internationally with this TLD.
9. .space: This isn’t limited to space agencies. It’s perfect for any type of creative who wants to create a space to express themselves.
10. .site: The beauty of this TLD is that it’s generic, so anyone or any organization can benefit from buying this.
The one thing that you’ll notice when you look at the two lists is the level of trust you’ll have with the second list versus the first list. You’re going to be much more likely to trust .news or .tokyo than you are .xyz.
Choosing the Right TLD
Have you ever had to pick a domain name before? It’s hard, like naming a business. You want to be sure that it says everything about your company and your brand in a very succinct way.
Choosing a TLD is similar. It’s only 2-5 letters with a dot in front of it. It may seem simple, but the implications are great. You want to build trust and say what your business is about with your domain name and TLD.
Take a close look at your business and ask yourself a question. What do you really want to tell people about your company?
Do you want them to know that you’re a big business? Do you want to build credibility? Do you want them to know what you do?
Why You Need to Get the Right TLD
Getting the right TLD is something that is more important than you think. A TLD can have a significant impact on the amount of traffic your site gets. Here are some common questions that people have about TLDs before deciding on a TLD.
Can a TLD Hurt or Help Search Results?
That’s a pretty common question because there was a time when Google would rank sites that had a keyword in the domain name higher in search results.
You’d assume that a TLD would have a similar impact on search results. That’s actually no longer the case. If you’re a real estate agent with a .realtor TLD, you don’t have an advantage in SEO.
According to Google, the only possible advantage is with a website that has a specific country code like .es (Spain) showing up higher for Spanish searchers. The reasoning is that the site will be more relevant to searchers. There are many other factors at play, including your site’s speed from your website host.
Will People Visit a Site with a TLD That’s Not .com?
This is a fair question. People are starting to come around to domain extensions, but there’s still an information gap between older and younger internet users.
For long-time internet users that have been online since the 80s or 90s, they are so used to seeing .com, .net, .gov TLDs, that it’s taking them a while to trust the wide array of TLDs.
Younger internet users are well aware of the wide range of TLDs available, and they’re much more likely to trust and visit sites with any type of TLD.
As a website owner, you can experiment with the different types of TLDs and have several of them. You can still have the traditional .com TLD and supplement that with .shop, .store, or other TLDs that are relevant to your business.
Branding and TLDs
Your brand can be the biggest asset in your business. You work very hard to build a positive reputation among site visitors and customers. You want to be sure that you protect your brand.
Imagine if you have a great brand and people go to www.yourcompany.net or www.yourcompany.fitness only to find that someone bought those domains and is essentially taking away traffic from you. At this point, you no longer have control over your brand.
You may have some recourse under the law, but that could turn into a distracting legal battle. You’re better off taking the steps early on to protect your brand.
As soon as you know what your domain name is going to be, your best bet is to purchase several TLDs to
One interesting thing that’s emerging in the world of TLDs is the usage of a branded TLD like .bmw, .bloomberg, and .sky.
Your company would have to go through an application process with ICANN to get a brand TLD. You’ll see that many companies see the value in protecting their brand. GoDaddy, Nissan, Showtime, and Microsoft are some of the applicants from the last several years.
TLDs Are Growing and Have a Lot of Implications
TLDs are one of the most exciting things about the future of the internet. They allow for brands to create brand unity and trust beyond the standard .com TLD.
There’s a way for website owners to express who they are and what they do through TLDs. You want to be sure that you stay away from the fraudulent TLDs and go for the more trustworthy TLDs.
That’s a sure way to get attention, stand out from your competition and get more traffic and business.
Are you ready to get your domain name and get your website set up? Contact us today to get started.