Domain names are one of the quickest and most effective ways of identifying a webpage. Learning to read domain names will enable you to quickly identity a webpage’s country of origin (e.g. .au, .uk, .jp), and the entity (e.g. .edu, .gov, .org) that has produced the page.
When you run a search using a search engine, often the full web address (URL) will be displayed along with the results. Before opening the webpage, you can often check the URL to get an idea of the type of organisation or group who has published the site. This allows you to begin evaluating the quality of the information before you even open it!
What does it mean?
An educational institution, e.g. a university, college, high school or primary school.
harvard.edu – Harvard University, USA
uni-stuttgart.de – University of Stuttgart, Germany (Germany doesn’t use the edu domain)
Australian educational institution.
anu.edu.au – the Australian National University (ANU)
cit.act.edu.au – Canberra Institute of Technology
kurnaicollege.vic.edu.au – Kurnai College, Victoria
The .ac refers to “academic” and is used by United Kingdom, Indian and Japanese universities.
ox.ac.uk – University of Oxford, England
du.ac.in – University of Delhi, India
u-tokyo.ac.jp – University of Tokyo, Japan
gov (or go)
defence.gov.au – Department of Defence, Australia
health.act.gov.au – ACT Department of Health, Australia
deplu.go.id – Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Indonesia
An organisation (usually non-profit and community groups).
alia.org.au – Australian Library and Information Association
satsonline.org – South African Theological Seminary