A top-level domain (TLD) is the last segment of a domain name, or the part of the URL located after the last dot in the domain. For example, in the domain name www.google.com, the top-level domain is the .com at the end of the domain name. As a result, it's also often known as the domain suffix.
What Is The Purpose Of Top Level Domains?
In simple terms top-level domains are broadly categorized based on what the website is associated with. In other words, users can identify the website’s purpose, owner, content, or geographical location by looking at the top-level domain. What’s more, they can do this without even seeing the website's content or knowing what the website is about.
For example, the top-level domain .org refers to organizations. Likewise, the top-level domain .com refers to commercial sites.
Also, every country has its own top-level domain. For instance, Canada's top-level domain is .ca, while the top-level domain for Germany is .de.
In addition, there are various sponsored top-level domains which are used by private organizations. Users who want to register their website using one of these top-level domains should comply with certain rules and requirements. Here, some sponsored top-level domains include .gov for the US governmental sites, .edu for educational institutions, and .mil for the US military.
An important thing to keep in mind that several websites could share the same name but have different top-level domains. So, for example www.toyota.com is different from www.toyota.co.jp. Although both sites relate to the automobile manufacturer, one is the US site and the other, the Japanese site.
Why are Top Level Domains Important?
As stated, top-level domains give users an idea of what the site is about without them having to know exactly what content is on the site. It goes further than this, though.
For example, if a business is concerned about branding, they should probably use .com because it's very familiar to people and a sign of quality. By using the right top-level domain, a business can ensure that it appears more trustworthy and that their website will also get more traffic.
Likewise, if a business uses an unknown top-level domain that users are not familiar with, it may cause prospective customers to trust it less. Also, it may affect the business’s email deliverability. It's therefore always best when using a new domain, to implement the necessary warming up strategies before any emails are sent to customers for commercial purposes.
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