Should .to domains be used in Toronto?

Choosing a Domain Name | Should .to domains be used for Toronto

As the domain name space gets exhausted, people are getting creative.

Torontonians wanting to focus their business locally may like the idea of using the .to extension. I certainly did BUT… there is a big SEO problem with doing this.

Just as the .ca is the Internet country code top-level domain for Canada, .to is the Internet country code top-level domain of the island kingdom of Tonga.

If you want to do well locally in Google, you need to consider a domain’s geographic target.

This is the problem… Country codes automatically target that country, in this case Tonga. The .to will be defaulted to target traffic in Tonga. According to Wikipedia .to is often used unofficially for Torrent, Turin, Toronto, or Tokyo.  Officially, however Google only recognizes this as a domain related to Tonga.

When using a generic top-level domain, such as .com, .org, .net, you can log-in to Google Webmaster tools and manually set your target for a particular geographic location. But if you use a country code, webmaster tools doesn’t allow you to change the country you’re targeting.

This from Google’s Matt Cutts:

Do you want to rank well in Canadian search results?

To rank well in search results within Canada register a .ca domain or a generic top-level domain and then set the geographic target to Canada.

3 thoughts on “Should .to domains be used in Toronto?


  1. i) Consider “www.Dine.to” and type “dining in toronto” into Google and see where this domain lands.

    ii) How about “www.Jobs.to” type “jobs TO” or “post jobs for free in Toronto” into Google.

    The country effect of ccTLD’s can overridden by the server location as well as source of inbound links.

    I do agree the dot.com are more powerful in terms of Google ranking, if you can get one.

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