I was asked by a client if he thought getting a .co address was worthwhile. To be honest I hadnt heard of any new TLD that had been created (TLD means Top Level Domain, ie .com, .net plus country codes like .nz)

In fact it is actually the Columbian country code that has been opened up to be registered by anyone.

So what’s the big deal?

In the sales pitch, the people running this launch have this to say: (found as a sponsor post on Read Write Web)

The .co TLD will provide companies with a TLD that represents “company”,
which is a viable and possibly even superior alternative to .com. With
the .com domain inventory nearly exhausted, .co gives businesses the
opportunity to brand themselves online to the fullest extent possible.

LEt’s break that down into it’s parts:

  1. .co to represent “company” a viable possibly superior alternative to .com – To be honest, I can’t see much to this, ok it is 1 character shorter and to some areas, like URL shorteners (apparently, Twitter is looking at t.co as an in house URL shortener) it is useful to achieve their requirements. But for the majority, overcoming the habit of the .com is going to be hard to break.
  2. With
    the .com domain inventory nearly exhausted, .co gives businesses the
    opportunity to brand themselves online to the fullest extent possible. – Excuse me, the .com space is not nearly exhausted, this is just an excuse for lazy marketers. Agreed, most simple words are already taken, but it is no where near exhausted.
    It also raises the possibility of more domain name disputes as existing brands have to fight again to save their brands form being hijacked.

As I mentioned before, .co is actually the country code for Columbia. I can expect some technical issues with the search-ability of sites with .co as their TLD.

Google bases it’s local and pre-filtered searches based on the TLD and/or the location of the server that a site is hosted on. As an example for a New Zealand company it is important that either the site has a .co.nz domain or is located on a NZ based server. This gives Google an idea as to who to provide results to for this site.

When you have a .com address on a US based server, you need to use Google Webmaster Tools to tell Google that your market is in NZ, if that is the case, as it not necessarily easy to determine this just from your content.

How quickly will this issue be fixed once the .co TLD is released. Similarly, Google will need to be told that your intended market is not Columbia, given that is what .co domain really means.

I believe this is a marketing opportunity, pure and simple. I cannot see any real credible reasons for creating this confusion between the established .com and a new ambiguous player in .co

My advice to people is to ignore .co. If you need a global domain, go for .com. If it is taken, look for creative ways to claim a .com domain, as I expect it will take many years (if at all) for the .co TLD to mean anything to anyone outside Columbia.

Please comment if you have received any correspondence about this, how are your registrars selling it to you?

9 thoughts on “Should I get a .co TLD. Is it worth it?

  1. I disagree. At this point all the good .com’s are taken. .CO is more globally recognized I believe. I know a lot of people are doing well with them – bahamas.co, countrycodes.co, hexadecimal.co hell, overstock is pitching o.co hard!

    1. I agree that there are a large number of good .coms taken, but with some ingenuity there are plenty more. It is just easier to register a .co

      What are the copyright and trademark connotations of registering a .co ? Given they are intended for the same marketplace (ie not country specific) I could see lawsuits starting in a .co name was registered that had a .com of the same.

      I am sure that there will be successful ventures using .co

      My biggest problem was the hype added to it given the problems I indicated.

      Thanks for your comment, great to hear other peoples views

  2. This is no different then the .me marketing ploy a few years ago and .co isn’t as brandable as .me is for alot of website possibilities. Don’t fall for this crap unless you’re a search engine markteter looking for exact match tlds.

    .co simply doesn’t roll off the tounge like .com .net .org or .me. How do you even say it? c-o? or co? as in the short name for company?

    1. I agree about it being a marketing ploy. Some other domain name extensions (TLD’s) like .xxx, .me, .mobi and .name are (or will be) created for specific and distinct site types. But this one is only out to make the creators money, nothing else.

      Thanks for commenting

  3. Yup, I agree that it’s just a marketing ploy like a few claims in the comments. .com is clearly the #1 TLD. Plus, many who aren’t aware of the .co will think it’s a simple misspelling of the .com and might add the ‘m’ at the end of your TLD. It’s definitely overrated IMO. Although I wouldn’t mind owning a one-letter .co. 😛

    1. Overrated definitely, it even makes the web space even more cluttered. Locally we have two community sites, one with the .co.nz and one with the .co Which one is the official? Why do we need two? Thanks for your comment

  4. I agree with those that do not like this marketing trick. I have not seen any .co domain coming up for anything really. Also indexing some of the trial domains faced some hardships. CO was pricey – 30 dollars for this nothing tld was money down the drain…

    1. Down the Drain is right, if they were serious for it to be a real alternative to .com, then the price would have matched. The fact they made the price so much more, is such an obvious marker that they are trying to make as much money as possible (not that I have a problem with that specifically) from something that is not that valuable.

  5. .co is certainly a solid investment, and for people having issues with the .com similarity try telling that to the dozen of countries that use .co in their cctld. Oh dear. Sheepy sheepy.

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