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I am trying to understand the use of Top Level Domains. Do they help from a SEO perspective? Lets say I have a US site and a Canada site. For US, I create www.foo.com and for Canada I create www.foo.ca. Does this provide better functionality, or is it better practice, than www.foo.com/us/ and www.foo.com/ca/?

  • “foo” in foo.com is the second level domain; “com” is the top level domain. – Gumbo Mar 1 '11 at 17:14
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TLDS do not affect search results in Google.com. However, TLDs do affect your search results for country specific searches. For example, a .me or .tv domain will not rank as well as a .us website in a google.us web search. Also, a .co.uk site will rank better then a .us site in a google.co.uk search. This is because country specific searches give precedence to local websites.

As for using subdirectories for each region, Google posted a very informative blog post about that that you should read as it will answer many of your questions.

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Functionality-wise, it would be easier to manage with www.foo.com/us/ and www.foo.com/ca/. Having www.foo.com for US and www.foo.ca for Canada would be 2 completely different sites. Plus, if you had www.foo.ca for Canada technically the appropriate domain for US would be www.foo.us.

It's debatable, but to top domain doesn't seem to make that much of a difference. But, the .com domain is what everyone is familiar with. I can't recall off hand any sites I visit with a .us domain.

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