Originally Published on Friday, February 11, 2011 .CO, the next .COM or the next .ME? .CO is being advertised by domain name registration companies as a .COM alternate by associating it to “CO”mpany, “CO”prorate, “CO”mmerce, etc… GoDaddy, NetSol and others are now defaulting it or adding it to their .com domain availability search results and registration checkout process. As a new product available to purchase, it’s a new revenue stream for them so they’re going to keep pushing .CO for a while. The .CO name doesn’t carry the weight in how search engines rank websites to justify a purchase if a customer is looking to get better rankings with a better .CO name. BUT, Google could one day decide to consider it equivalent to .com, .net, .org and the name might be beneficial. That would rock the SEO world way too much though so that is unlikely to happen, but never say never about another companies future policies. Popular views floating around in blogs and commentary about the .CO name: Yes Register, It’s the next big thing Don’t Worry About It – They are vanity names — .mobi, .tv, .me were hyped and never hit big Maybe — Register just in case It becomes popular later Yes for Typos — Just another business expense to keep competitors from registering similar names to your .com. Register for websites where search is not a factor, use for alternate emails or printed materials where customer needs to reference the ad to get the site address. Fisherman’s Inn could have a coupon site they advertise in the newspaper as “Get Coupons online at Crabs.co”. But even then, many of those people will probably type .com from habit. Because of the early stage of the domain availability and the uncertainty of its future influence, any registration of .CO names for profit or higher search rank is speculative. If you want the new name and can afford it, there is no harm in registering an new name. Just remember you’ll need to renew them annually just like any other domain name and .CO prices will generally be higher than .com names. More About .CO.CO is the TLD (Top Level Domain) for the country of Columbia and as such is designated as a geo-located extension. Any searches done in America will still have .com, .net, .org take precedent over .CO names… at least for now. For example, CorsicaTech.co will most likely not come up (until Google changes its algorithms) when searching for “new york it services ” because CorsicaTech.com is the global level domain name which ranks higher than country extensions like .us, .uk, etc… and the .com name is already established and has been registered for a much longer time period. Searches done in Columbia will factor in .CO, just as domains with .US sometimes show up in searches here. If we were in Columbia, and had a separate CorsicaTech.co hosted site, then that would probably come up first. Global extensions (.com, .net, .org, .biz etc…) will show up in searches done in any country. Furthermore, because .CO is partly managed and regulated by the Columbian Government they could mark up domain prices or change registration terms etc… any time they want whether it’s fair or not. The .CO name doesn’t fall under any US authority for fair practices so it’s a good faith partnership that ICANN has with Columbia and the organizations Columbia has managing the domain.

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