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I have a .com domain with a solid reputation and link profile. However, I am only targeting users in one specific country.

Would a 301 redirect from my current .com domain to a new country specific TLD .co.th domain have any benefit for me or do I have more to lose than gain in this specific instance?

  • Interesting spin on the question we get a lot - going from ccTLD to .com. Cheers!! – closetnoc Nov 2 '16 at 2:54
  • Interesting - you would certainly lose link juice from your old domain via redirect but CAN the TLD make you rank better in local SERPS... – Marilee Nov 2 '16 at 3:28
  • Can you elaborate on what you'd consider to be a loss or gain: your site's position in Google.com, its position in Google.co.th, traffic from local searches, etc... A .com is generally recognized in most regions, and you'd have to rebuild your domain's authority/trust over time, so we'd have to know more about why you're thinking this might be advantageous and are hoping to accomplish by redirecting to a new ccTLD instead (e.g., is your target audience used to using .co.th, what does your competition use, where are your users coming from according to your analytics...?). – dan Nov 2 '16 at 4:27
  • You can set the international targeting of your .com domain in Google Search Console, then there is no difference between it and having a country code domain as far as Google is concerned. – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 2 '16 at 20:11
  • I would think that redirecting the cctld to the .com will allow you to keep the reputation of the .com. Can both sites be served as the same site with alternate names? Such as an Apache configuration ? – Dave Smith Nov 2 '16 at 21:04
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Besides your "general" ranking can decrease, you will gain more targeted users, i.e. reputation for that specific country.

Country-code top-level domain names are one of the elements that Google uses to determine a website’s targeted country.

If Google is aware of the country targeted by the site, they will use that information to improve the quality of search results improving visibility to the users of the country, and decreasing it from the users of other countries. That is what ccTLD are really for. If the site targets international users or do not want to be associated exclusively to that country you should keep the generic .com domain.

ccTLDs are a strong signal that your site is intended to that location to both

  • users and
  • search engines

Making that change, will end up in having more users from that country and probably decrease visitors from other countries.

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    I suspect the overall difference in search will be minimal - perhaps even unmeasurable. At the same time, you have all the hassles of a site-move, which will cause fluctuations for a bit of time. If there currently aren't any strong up-sides (eg, you need it for local policy reasons, or you wanted to move to the other domain anyway), I'd leave it like it is. – John Mueller Nov 8 '16 at 21:01

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