What Is a .cc Web Address?

by Laurel Storm

In addition to the widely-known generic top-level domains such as .com, .gov, .edu, .net or .org, you probably have also encountered country code top-level domains such as .it, .de or .jp. All ccTLDs consist of two letters, and are originally intended for use by the corresponding country or autonomous territory. Although many countries require a proof of residence for an individual to register for a Web address with their specific ccTLD, others allow anybody to do so. Such is the case for the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, to whom the .cc ccTLD belongs.

More Domains Than People

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are an Australian territory, composed of 27 islands located in the Indian Ocean and inhabited by less than 600 people. Although a handful of .cc addresses, such as tourism websites, are associated with these islands, a far greater number has been registered by individuals from all over the world in search of a unique address for their website.

Common Convenience

Groups, organizations and individuals associated with anything that can be initialized as "CC" frequently register a .cc domain -- country clubs, Christian churches, cycling clubs and community centers can all benefit from the added mnemonic device offered by the address. Open-source or open-hardware projects may also use a .cc Web address, since "CC" is the abbreviation for the Creative Commons public copyright licenses they are released under.

The Name You Want

Another reason to register a .cc domain is name availability. "Example.com," "example.org" and "example.net" are probably all already taken, but "example.cc" might not be -- and a site name listed under this domain will likely be far easier to speak out loud, and fit into letterheads and business cards, than an alternative name you would have to settle on if your preferred one was taken on top-level domain.

Spammers and Scammers

Companies might register short .cc Web addresses and then offer others the ability to register sub-domains for those addresses, either for free -- relying on their ad revenue for profit -- or for a fraction of the cost associated with registering a normal domain name. Such free or cheap domains are often used by spammers and scammers, which has at points led to an address being banned from search engines — as was the case with Google dropping all websites with a "co.cc" domain name, when it was found that this space had been registered to a single company and outsourced to a variety of spam operators. While similar activity is often more common to ccTLDs belonging to smaller nations or territories such as the Cocos Islands, it doesn't affect your ability to register and successfully operate a website under this address.

About the Author

Laurel Storm has been writing since 2001, and helping people with technology for far longer than that. Some of her articles have been published in "Messaggero dei Ragazzi", an Italian magazine for teenagers. She holds a Master of Arts in writing for television and new media from the University of Turin.

Photo Credits

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