What is a gTLD? – Definition

gTLD (generic top-level domain) – one of the two most common types of a top-level domain (TLD), together with country-code top-level domains (ccTLD). The gTLD domains are intended to inform about the type of website. They are maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). A top-level domain is the last level of each fully qualified domain name.

gTLD domains defintiion

Types of Generic Top-Level Domains

There are two main types of generic top-level domains:

  • sponsored top-level domains,
  • unsponsored top-level domains.

The first ones are reserved for public institutions – government, military, non-profit or educational organizations. They have three or four characters, e.g. edu, .gov, .info. The second ones, on the other hand, are managed centrally by IANA and don’t represent a specific community. Initially, the generic top-level domains could only have three or letter characters, e.g. .com, .net, .org. These were the first extensions for registering custom domain names. After 2000, new generic top-level domains, such as: .info, .agro, .tourism, .aero, began to emerge. They allowed defining more precisely types of websites.

gTLD and SEO

What’s interesting, new generic top-level domains can support the SEO process. A properly conducted website migration (implementation of 301 redirects and domain verification in Google Search Console) from the .com domain to another gTLD ones can be done without losing organic traffic. Owing to more precise defining the business area with a proper domain name, in many cases, soon after website migration, an increase in Google’s ranking was observed.

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