.TK is touted as the #1 ccTLD, but is it for the right reasons?

ugh

ZDNet published an article this week about the popularity of .TK and it’s position as the #1 ccTLD with .CN coming in at #2. That being said, I think .TK is the #1 ccTLD for one reason and one reason only, it’s free, not because it has anything to do with the tiny island of Tokelau and popularity of websites and content related to the island.

The small Pacific island Tokelau is still the most populated country-level domain in the world, outnumbering the 20.8 million domains that use China’s .cn. 

UK registry for .uk domains has published its latest topsy-turvy map of the world, with land mass weighted according to the number of registered country-level domains. 

As it was two years ago, Tokelau remains the world’s ‘largest’ country, thanks to its free registration policy; the number of .tk domains reaching nine million in 2012 and from there tripling to 31 million by 2016. Today, the number of .tk domains stands at 21.2 million, but it still remains the largest, just ahead of China. (Source – ZDNet)

.CN on the other hand, and other popular ccTLDs like .DE, .IT, .ES and many others are popular because they are used for real websites in those regions, you know, like ccTLDs were intended to be used for.

.TK on the other hand is mostly used for, well, spam and scams. While .TK is still technically a ccTLD I really don’t think it’s fair to include it in articles alongside legitimate ccTLDs like .CN and .DE that are being used like they were intended. In this case, just like .TV isn’t popular because of Tuvalu, it really should be thought of as a gTLD, one of the only free gTLDs out there.

When it comes to ccTLDs I think the reality is, .CN is #1 and .DE is #2. Am I being too harsh here? What do you think? I want to hear from you – comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Brad Mugford December 29, 2018, 1:55 pm

    .TK is a joke and should be dismissed from any analysis of ccTLD stats.

    Even with free registrations it lost 10M+ regs from 2016 to today. That says a lot.

    Brad

    Reply
  • Ravi December 29, 2018, 5:51 pm

    Valid point…

    It doesn’t make any sense when these domains are offered for free..

    .tk registry should follow .be motto of taking down spam websites within 24hrs…

    At least if they follow some rules they can get some genuine registrations…

    Reply
  • Suresh Raghavan December 30, 2018, 6:37 am

    You are absolutely right , cctlds that matter are the large countries , developed and growing economies. Period

    Repurposed cctlds have their limitations. .tk is an extreme example

    Reply

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