Country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) are domain names that are reserved for sovereign nations, countries or dependent territories. All of them are two letters long and each ccTLD is given to a trustee for administration and it is this trustee that is responsible for the policies and controlling the functioning of the delegated domain.
Example of ccTLDs are .uk (for United Kingdom, .us (United States), .ng (Nigeria), .za (South Africa), .cn (China), .ch (Switzerland), .es (Spain), .de (Germany), .be (Belgium), .ke (Kenya), .in (India), .ie (Ireland), .br (Brazil, .ar (Argentina) and so on. Some ccTLD trustees restrict non-residents from registering domains of certain countries while some open up the registration to everybody. However, if you want to register the ccTLD of a particular country, it is advisable to be resident there or have a business that will serve the interest of internet users of that country. In fact, some small countries of the world have opened up their ccTLDs for commercial use worldwide.
In SEO, search engines are very quick in categorizing domain names with country code extensions. As a result of this, they will possibly be favored in local searches since they carry local identifiers. For example, a website like 'cake.in' may rank well for a search in India for cake than 'cake.com', which looks like an international name. Consequently, if you intend to set up a business that targets a particular country, it is advisable to register a ccTLD because of the inherent SEO advantage. In fact, Google makes use of I.P identifier before releasing the result of a search. This means that Google search engine robots identify the location of a searcher and make every effort to give results that will mostly benefit the searcher in relation to his/her location.
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