We have the option of using a
.it domain which is a ccTLD (country code top-level domain).
We don't want it to be specific to Italy though, we want Google to treat it as a gTLD (generic top-level domain).
It seems like in Google Webmaster Tools I can't change the geo targeting to switch it off from targeting Italy, but I was wondering if there is some other way we can get Google to realize that our
.it domain is really a gTLD?
Here's some details I found from Google regarding geo targeting domains.
You can only specify the region yourself if you have a generic (non-country specific) TLD such as .com or .org.
However, this does not mean that your site won't appear on google.com or even google.co.uk, providing your content is deemed relevant to those users. Having a country specific TLD (or specifying a particular geographic target for a generic TLD) makes your site more relevant in a localised search but not necessarily any less relevant in a global search.
The interesting part there for me is that a
.it domain might not be any less relevant in a global search.
Yet to make matters slightly more confusing (given w3d's empirically proven answer above), Matt Cutts says it's a bad idea generally in this video.
Does this mean that our
.it domain would appear in
Google.it search results first over time, but then would appear on
Google.co.uk once we have enough relevance, and that this would be the same amount of relevance we'd need if we used a standard
Given that we're targeting worldwide traffic should we avoid using a
.it domain, or will it not make any difference? What's the real story? I need evidence and sources too please.