Since the introduction of the ccTLDs years ago, I had always assumed that Google would treat them for what they were, but I was wrong. I guess I never really gave them much attention as I had no interest in them. But the reason why I bring it up is because of its relationship with SEO.
Today, you could use these regional and ccTLDs and you’d have a fair chance of ranking in any country:
.EU and .ASIA
.AD, .AS, .BZ, .CC, .CD, .CO, .DJ, .FM, .IO, .LA, .ME, .MS, .NU, .SC, .SR, .SU, .TV, .TK, and .WS
In addition to these existing ccTLDs, all of the new gTLDs will also be treated as a gTLD. This kind of surprised me because when you go through the list, there are some domain extensions that are clearly geo-targeted, such as .BERLIN, .LONDON, and .OKINAWA.
The reason why some of the ccTLDs are being treated as a generic TLD is because of how they are being used. Domain extensions like .CO, .FM, .IO, and .TV all have been widely used as a generic extension even though the real intent was to use to them as country level extensions. .FM and .TV were so well promoted as gTLDs that I had no idea that they were actually ccTLDs. Plus, the acronyms make perfect sense for specific industries, like .FM for FM radio, or .TV for TeleVision.
As for the new geo-targeted gTLDs, I’m not sure why they would be treated like gTLDs because they’re obviously targeting a specific place in the world, and they’re actual names of cities, not acronyms that could be used to fulfill a certain industry.
In any case, John Mueller of Google has said that the treatment of the new geo-targeted domain extensions could change as they see how these domains are being utilized.