The world according to Google

Inspired by our Country Codes of the World map, I developed a smaller version that includes the ccTLDs currently in use by Google for its local search engines.

As you can see here, Google has quite a few ccTLDs in use — more than 160, including Andorra, Kenya, Ukraine, and Ghana.

Why did I pick Google?

Because I know of no other company that hosts localized Web sites across so many different country codes. These may only be search engine interfaces, but they are still significant. While plenty of multinationals have registered hundreds of ccTLDs, few have put them to use so extensively.

And Google has room to grow — there are more than 250 ccTLDs available.

It’s also worth noting that Google redirects visitors to its .US domain to .COM, which I think is short-sighted. As I’ve written before, .COM is not synonymous with USA.

I have a few other companies in mind for this visual treatment. I’ll keep you posted.

This map is free and you can download a PDF here.

Will .cn become the new .com?

I recently came across a chart of the most popular domain extensions, compiled by Stephane Van Gelder. Although I keep track of ccTLD registrations for the Country Codes of the World map, Stephane tracks all domains, including .com, .net., etc. And when I saw it I got to thinking…

Here’s a screen grab of the figures I want to focus on:

most popular domains

What makes this chart so interesting are the growth rates — .com is growing at 5% and .cn is growing at 18%. Granted, it’s easier to grow at 18% when you’ve only got 12 million registrations, compared with growing at 5% when you’ve got 76 million registrations.

But growth is growth and .cn is clearly on a roll.

And China has a lot of headroom for growth in terms of Web users and potential domain registrants. I am confident that .cn will reach 50 million registrations over the next 3 years.

At about that point in time, .com should be around 100 million registrants — in no danger of losing its number one status.

However, if the rate of growth of .com registrations were to decrease while .cn rate of growth continues to increase, it’s reasonable to wonder if we will one day see the number of .cn registrations surpass .com registrations?

I realize this is a far-fetched scenario.

After all, it’s reasonable to assume that companies that register .cn may also register .com — and the majority do just that.

But it’s certainly something to contemplate. And even if .cn never comes close to surpassing .com, the overall point I’d like to emphasize here is that .cn is now the world’s second most popular domain extention — and likely to remain that way for many years.

What do you think?

Kosovo requests ccTLD

Can an international crisis be started over a country code?

That’s what I can’t help but wonder when I read that Kosovo has requested its own country code domain.

Serbia (and it’s powerful backer Russia) do not accept Kosovo’s independence and are not going to be happy if Kosovo does get its own ccTLD. But ICANN may very well issue one if Kosovo meets certain criteria in the months ahead.

Keep in mind, you do not have to be a country in every sense of the word to have a country code. Antarctica (.aq) has one. So does Bouvet Island (.bv) — an uninhabited piece of land in the Atlantic.

Map of the World Wide Web: Get ’em while they last

Map of 180 country code TLDs

I’ve got about a hundred copies of this map remaining and I’m offering them for $3 each for orders of 25 or $2 each for orders of 50 (plus postage).

The map normally sells for $12 each, so this is a nice discount — and a great way to get your whole office a copy of this useful map.

Here are more details of the map:

Please note that this is a smaller version of the poster now being sold. It is designed to fit on a cubicle wall and displays 180 ccTLDs.

If you’re interested in purchasing, please contact me.

China now leads in Internet users (and country codes)

The NY Times reports that China has surpassed the US in terms of Internet users. This comes via China’s state-controlled  Internet Network Information Center. Here are the key numbers:

United States

220 million Internet users

70% penetration


253 million Internet users

19% penetration

For readers of this blog, this development is hardly news. But it’s significant nonetheless. After all, the US isn’t exactly going to catch back up in this regard. China wins the numbers game, at least when it comes to people.

Here’s an interesting excerpt from the article:

Baidu, for instance, said on Thursday that its second-quarter net profit had jumped 81 percent. During that period, Baidu had a 63 percent share of China’s search engine market, while Google had about 26 percent, with Yahoo trailing far behind, according to iResearch, a market research firm based in Beijing.

Tencent, a popular site for social networking and gaming, now has a stock market value of $15 billion, making it one of the world’s most valuable Internet companies. In comparison, is valued at about $30 billion.

China also leads in having the world’s most popular country code (.cn).