I know that search engines like Google value more country code top level domains (ccTLD) on content that is specific to residents living in said countries, that is, the website hosted at voorbeeld.nl and whose content is specific for Dutch visitors has a higher rank than voorbeeld.com

And what about voorbeeld.com.nl? Does this example is negatively affected in contrast to voorbeeld.nl?

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    I don't have proof to back this up, but my strong feeling is that Google values content and quality backlinks so much more than TLD that the SEO effect of TLD choice is effectively zero, aside from the obvious effect on country targeting that you mentioned. Commented May 10, 2020 at 20:32

1 Answer 1


Note that com.nl is a private subdomain and not a real third-level domain extension like .co.uk or .com.mx. That means it is not endorsed by the Dutch registry, but rented to you by a private company and the relationship is quite different. Nobody uses that in the Netherlands for any serious project.

AFAIK all .nl domain names are registered directly under the second level, that is .nl. Unlike the UK for example, that has .co.uk or .ac.uk among others. That depends from one country to another.

If you are going to build a site for a Dutch audience I would discourage it, because they expect .nl which is very dominant in the local Internet landscape. .com.nl is perplexing. Many people may think this is a typo, and will 'correct' it by removing .com (or .nl) from the URL because this is so unusual.

One thing to keep in mind is that in theory your ranking could be affected by the other subdomains under com.nl. All .com.nl renters are living under the same roof metaphorically speaking.

PS: .co.nl is a similar offering, this one by Centralnic, which is a known provider of pseudo-extensions.

Yes, you could build a site on it, do some SEO but you will never have full control over the top level domain name. No serious SEO can be done on a pseudo-domain name.

The search engines very likely know what is a valid extension and what is not, that for example .co.uk is a bona fide third level domain extension and that .com.nl is not. And they will certainly rank sites accordingly.

  • Thank you. Thus basically and concluding, the search rankings value more extensions endorsed by national authorities. Commented May 11, 2020 at 15:58

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