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Evaluating Internet-Based Information: Web Domains

What are domains?

The domain is the end-part of the web site address. Most U.S.-based web sites use the following domains: .com, .org, .edu, and .gov. But what do they mean?

Think about domains: Compare Weather.com with Weather.gov. Both happen to be trusted web sites with good information. Weather.com is from the popular and well-known Weather Channel, while Weather.gov is from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a government agency.

The following is a description of the most popular internet domains:

.com = commercial entity, business

Examples:

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/ - Note: many media outlets end in .com

Dunkin' Donuts: http://www.dunkindonuts.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/

Segway: http://www.segway.com/

.org = organization, or non-profit

Examples:

American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: http://www.mfa.org/

United Nations: http://www.un.org/

.edu = educational institution, mostly colleges and universities

Examples:

Southern New Hampshire University: http://www.snhu.edu/

Smithsonian Institution: http://www.si.edu/

.gov = Government agency or department

Examples:

Federal Communications Commision: http://fcc.gov/

NH.gov (official New Hampshire government web site): http://www.nh.gov/

U.S. Senate: http://www.senate.gov/

The White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/

Geographic domains

Web sites based in particular countries may use a country code as part of their domain. Here are some examples:

.au = Australia | .ca = Canada | .cn = China

.de = Germany (Deutschland) | .fr = France | .in = India

.jp = Japan | .mx = Mexico | .uk = United Kingdom | .us = United States

Examples:

BBC News (British Broadcasting Corp.): http://news.bbc.co.uk

Louvre Museum (Musee de Louvre): http://www.louvre.fr/

Official Site of the Government of Mexico (Sitio Oficial del Gobierno de Mexico): http://www.gob.mx

University of Toronto: http://www.utoronto.ca/

Other domains:

.biz = commercial entity, business

.int =international organizations (although many use .org instead)

.mil = U.S. military web sites

.mobi = mobile web sites designed for web-enabled smartphones (e.g., an iPhone, or BlackBerry)

.net = stands for "network," but open to any web site. Some business/commercial sites use this.

Examples:

Strange Brew Tavern (Manchester, NH): http://www.strangebrewtavern.net/

United States Navy: http://www.navy.mil/

Use Google to select domains

You can limit your search to specific domains by using the Advanced Search feature on Google.

1) Click on the 'Advanced Search' link on Google's main search page.

2) Type your search term in the search box labeled 'all these words' - for example, type in "Bush tax cuts" with quotation marks around your phrase

3) In the search box labeled 'Search within a site or domain', you can type in the specific domain you'd like to search in - for example type in .gov

4) Click on the 'Advanced Search' button

 

 

 

5) In the image below, you can see the results we have from this search. Notice that all of the search results point you to a website at a .gov domain.