Is It Worth to Buy Domains with the New .co Extension?

By Daniel Scocco

questions and answersThis post is part of the Friday Q&A section. If you want to ask a question, just write a comment below.

Colby asks:

Just got a notice the .co domain is now available. Do you think this is going to take off?

A small bit of background information: In march of this year a company called CO Internet S.A.S announced that they would start managing domains with a new extension: .co. As of today these domains are already available, and you can get one with most big registrars.

Given the similarity of .co with .com, many people are claiming that .co domains might go mainstream, so trying to register premium domains with that extension (e.g., weightloss.co) could be a good idea. That is basically what Colby is asking.

One thing I know for sure: .co or any other extension they come up with will never take the crown out of the .com. If you want to build an online business, getting the .com version of your domain is a priority.

The next question is: will .co become a viable alternative to .com, as .net and .org are? We can’t say yet, but I wouldn’t count on it. We have seen many new extensions appear over the past years (e.g., .us, .tv, .biz), and none of them managed to establish itself. In fact, most of these extensions are associated with low quality, malicious and spam websites.

The .co extension has the advantage of being similar to .com and easy to remember, but I am not sure if this will be enough to make it go mainstream.

I for one won’t be buying any .co domains. My policy with domain names is the following: if the website I am building is a serious project (e.g., a startup, a blog with a big potential, a company website) I always go with a .com, even if I need to spend some money to grab a good domain. If I am building a mini website, on the other hand, I consider the .com but also the .net and .org versions of the domain I want.

Another point to consider is that there are more extensions to come shortly. If you remember well, ICANN announced last year that any company with enough infrastructure (i.e., money) could launch and manage its own extension. Extensions like .sex and .music are already on the way.

What will the consequences be? Only time will tell, but I suspect the confusion that will emerge out of all of this will only increase the strength of the .com extension. In other words, when in doubt people will type the domain followed by .com.

But what do you guys think. Will the .co extension establish itself as an alternative to the .com? Will it reach the same level of the .net and .org extensions?



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51 Responses to “Is It Worth to Buy Domains with the New .co Extension?”

  • Thrifty J

    Question: How do you manage your websites? By that I mean do you have a reseller account with each on their own, or do you use shared hosting for a bunch of smaller projects? I’m starting to expand and want to do it the right way from the beginning.

    Thanks Daniel

  • Damar

    Hmm . . .
    It seems very simple πŸ˜€

    • Kamal Hasa

      Simple.. Hmm I dunno what you are referring to.

      Anyways .CO will revolutionize the market but the price has to come down. It should be more or less equal to .com to compete in the market.

      You like it or not but the domain grabbers out there have already picked up all the nice ones πŸ˜‰ It’s business after all..

      • Web Marketing Tips

        Who is going to miss such great domains … now they make very good amount of money from that.

  • thebloggingrobot

    I completely agree with .com, and the only other domain I would possibly consider is .net, but only if i also owned the .com.

  • Paul

    Isn’t .co just the country code for Colombia? Like .tv is for Tuvalu and .me is for Montenegro?

    • Corey

      It used to be for Colombia only, but now it is an international domain extension, which is the reason there is so much interest. People have been trying to convince the Colombian government to release DotCO to the world for years.

      Nothing will trump .com as a global domain, but this is an impressive alternative. When there are 90 million .com domains registered, it is time for a solid alternative. It will be nice to see startups launch on a URL like “Zipper.co” instead of “Ziprr.com”.

  • Dev – Technshare.com

    Nice Post.
    I’m totally agree. I never buy domains other then .com, .org & .net.

    Good Question Colby.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ~Dev

    • Web Marketing Tips

      .Co is good one.

      Big guns like Ed also started challenge.Co

  • TODHD

    I don’t think I will be buying any .co domain names anytime soon

  • Nabeel | Create Your First Website

    Daniel,

    I too was confused and had this question regarding .co (I typed this as .com by mistake just now, but then removed the m) domains.

    So thanks for sharing your opinion of .co domains. Your advice makes sense.

    Kindest,
    Nabeel

  • MK

    I think that .co is the same thing as .biz,.us,but .com,.net, and .org.
    But it is hard to say in the future.

  • Shaun

    I know .co.uk is popular here in the UK, so country relevant domain names still hold weight if that’s the area you’re targeting. As for .co domains, I’m not sure. I was ready to buy a couple names in areas I may to get into, but I’m not sure any more… It’s interesting to see that some of the big niches have been snapped up already from looking around however.

  • Keith Davis

    Hi Daniel
    I went with the .co.uk because that tells people where I am and the .com had already gone.
    I’ve noticed that some websites will just reject blog comments if you post using the .biz extension – guess it is just treated as spam.

  • gokul|MyBlogTip

    ya iam agree with using .com domain.

  • Deena

    For sure .com rules but I got very excited when I heard about .co and contemplated purchasing deena.co. I finally decided to do it because it’s better than .im or .biz and having a domain deena.anything is a great option, in my opinion.

    I have a good feeling about .co. It does not look spammy or unprofessional like .biz or .tv. Short, easy to remember, similar to .com (and to .ca, the Canadian ending).

    I’m curious to see how much we’ll start seeing it but I am happy to own deena.co. I think .co will become widely used.

    • Lawrence

      Deena—well said…I think this is a no-brainer—like Kate Plus 8—this is com less m—all the other extensions suck….i call it dot “CO” (as in co-worker) not as 2 letters….i think it sounds better….I purchased about 200 names—-I cant tell you the rest…I will make over $1 million—-peace

  • Karen

    Hi Daniel,

    I remember when the .name extension was hyped and if you were a professional, you just had to go get it, before someone else got your name. I bought into that hype and it never went anywhere and I let the extension lapse.

    You are so right that people should concentrate on the .com extension. Nothing will surpass the cache that having that extension has. You may want to buy all the other extensions for your business, only because you don’t want a spammer to get them, but then you can drive the traffic back to your main .com site.

  • Dean Saliba

    Will these be more expensive than .com? I normally buy .info domains because they are cheap.

    • Deena

      I actually paid $28 for a .co domain! Very expensive compared to some others.

  • Christopher Hofman

    The argument that .co Will not be popular because I only go with .com is not an argument.

    Facts are:

    – more abbreviation options with .co than .com
    – The .com domain Well has dried up. There are plenty of .co
    – .co is intuitive and catchy

    Will anyone remember ìf .com or .co came first in 5 years from now?

    New company websites and blogs looking for a decent, memorable domain today Will Pick .co because .com is not available. This means that .co Will be The choice of The next generation – a domain 2.0

  • Mathew Day

    I think (.com) will still be the most popular for a good while.

  • redwall_hp

    Here’s my take: http://www.webmaster-source.com/2010/07/21/co-a-domaining-disaster/

    .CO domains are a bad idea. I’m all for ICANN coming out with new TLDs, such as .music, but re-purposing Colombia’s TLD is a bad idea. It looks like a misspelling of .COM, for one.

  • UM3$H

    What is the main advantage? I still didn’t get it.

  • Pankaj – Webmaster Forum

    Hey Daniel,

    You might think of getting a domain with your name danielscoc(dot)co just to have it. πŸ™‚

  • Web Marketing Tips

    Well important thing is to check how Google will give weight to .Co

  • Peter J

    it depends on how google treats the domain names, they might be poorly treated like the .info domains are.

  • Daisy

    I will stick to the .com. A few years back I bought some .eu domains and that didn’t work so well. Ah well, live it learn it!

  • Josh Garcia

    In the past, I’ve purchased .biz, .net, and .info. I’m just going to stick with .com. Thanks for sharing your answer with Colby!

    Chat with you later…
    Josh

  • Tom | Oral Answers

    Great article, Daniel. I think most of us understand what an extension is, but most people have only heard of .com, .net, and .org. If I printed my website as OralAnswers.co on a business card or anything else, I think a majority of people would just type in OralAnswers.com assuming I made a typo.

    By the way, I think you forgot the word “It” in your title between the words “Worth” and “to”. Thanks for the great explanation to an interesting domain name issue.

  • Voeding

    Co domain is worth, my friend told me doesn’t matter what TLD you have most important point is “The Man Behind The Gun”..

  • Bertrand Mellie

    The success of the new .co (Columbia) extension will depend on one thing only.

    How will Google handle it Γ’β‚¬β€œ is it just a Columbian extension or will they treat it as a global TLD.

    If you have a Columbian web site you will be OK for everyone else itÒ€ℒs up to Google

  • eldo

    great article Daniel! It’s a new extension but will it be a new rival to .com extension? People says that it can be great extension for business, but till this minute I have no idea about it. Yeap, once again your article give some a bright light =]

    • Deena

      Eldo, yours is the one comment I like so far because I find it very strange when people try to project the future. Who the heck knows! Everyone seems to be so sure that it won’t be successful. Actually my gut tells me it will be widely used but who the heck knows. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, as I wrote above, I did buy deena.co because I think it’s damn cool to own deena.co. πŸ™‚ And I don’t think people will get confused between .co. and .com.

  • Janay Gioia

    I most likely would not have contemplated this was beneficial two or 3 years ago, yet it is interesting how age evolves the way you react to stuff, many thanks for the post it genuinely is pleasing to see anything sensible now rather than the typical rubbish masquerading as blogs and forums around the web. Cheers

  • Vince

    .com, .net, and .org are the best domains for me depending on the purpose of your website.

    .com is really the king of domains, but if .net can be the queen.

    .org is best if your blog is an organization. So pick what’s best.

    .co, .me, etc…. are just subsidiary domains. However, if you rank well on the search engines, this really won’t matter that much. After all, people finds you on the search engines.

    The biggest set back however is about “memory”. Your second time visitor has to remember your domain well. If you have a domain which is very uncommon, then your chances of keeping your visitor longer will be a little far.

  • GM

    It will be hard to market the .co domains because if you include the domain name in your marketing materials, people would think you committed a typo error “.co” instead of “.com” and they will visit the .com domain.

    Also when mentioning the .co domain verbally — people are just used to hearing .com, so unless you stress the “.co” part (Dot See Oh).

    This might be minor, but could be a deal breaker for some.

  • Paul

    Daniel, I basically agree with you 100%. I can understand a few high value keyword landgrabs that might have decent resale value, but I see no real reason to go grabbing .co’s except *maybe* for catching typos (but really, how much type-in traffic do we depend on?)

    Other TLDs like .tv have some value in that they match existing real-world acronyms (ie “television”) so they make neat little “tv channels” for certain brands.

    Other TLDs work because of domain name hacks (eg bit.ly)

    I just don’t see the same in .co

  • Roshan Ahmed

    Yeah, I don’t think that it will enter the mainstream either. First of all, it would take some time for search engines to gt interested in them and many people may not register with .co since there’s a high chance for others to mistake it and got type it as .com .

  • HyperComps

    I think its funny that people are ignoring .co domain extension. This domain is next in the .com series. People think .com was going to dominate the internet alone? No. not likely. Seems HUGE companies are jumping on this domain extension, so why wouldn’t you?

    Google has stated that it will be handling .co’s just like it does with .com’s. This is what would either make or break this domain extension, but it made it. Its crazy, some people will turn instant millionaires off this.

    I suggest everyone doing some REAL research into this topic before posting. 90% of these posts are just chit chatting, which is fine.. but don’t claim to know something you DON’T. Think of domains as real estate… they will never go away.. theres only limited amount.. and theres beach front houses. If you can get your hands on these “beach front houses” now, you are set.

    Best of luck to everyone, hope you all take advantage of this amazing opportunity to make some money. Think about it this way, $30.00 for a .co may seem like a lot but making $4,000 instantly off a domain sale will surely turn your mind around about that. Funny thing is its REAL.

    Get with it or umm get over turned by the global campaign that is about to rush these .co’s into main stream.

    By the way .net, .org, .biz, ect.. are not in the same bracket as .co’s. People need to read on what search engines are doing, not what people are doing. Search engines are what dictate the overall success of a domain extension.

  • Ivan

    The “co” TLD already belongs to Columbia, so I see this whole “rush” for a pretend “com” alternative as a bit of a ripoff.

    If you buy a “co” and host it in US, where is your target market, as far as Google is concerned? We already know that Google uses the country-specific TLD as a target indicator, so how do you propose to show Google how this is supposed to work?

    • Corey

      Ah, but Google will reportedly be treating DotCO as an international domain extension now. It will no longer be Colombia-specific:

      http://domainnamewire.com/2010/07/22/report-google-to-treat-co-as-international-domain/

      DotCO has transformed into an international domain. Will it trump .com? No, but I see it becoming a significant and popular alternative and a great domain extension for development. Jason Calacanis has been recommending DotCO domains to startups left and right on his “This Week In” podcast.

  • Lisa

    You guys are forgetting that many people are often in a hurry when typing domain names into browsers. How often have you typed google.co and hit the enter button before typing the “m”? If you can grab the .co extension of a popular website, you’ll get tons of accidental traffic!

    • Ivan

      I don’t know about you, but I don’t know of any legitimate businesses who’d be interested in “tons of accidental traffic”.

      While it looks like Google intend to provide a workaround for the whole “let’s treat .co as if it was a .com equivalent”, as others have already indicated, there are usability problems with the thing looking like a typo.

      I do see some value in using the “co” TLD for URL shortening services, although I think all the useful ones have already been taken.

  • John Paul

    I preffer to use the .com damain rather than .co .I don’t understand why to use another domain name extension while there is a commonly known .com ??

  • John Paul

    Yeah I am still using digg for its reall worht to used,and its good to know that they made some changes on their rules .

  • Lawrence

    I have over 200 domain names, which in my opinion are well thought out: refidepot.com, foreclosuregeek.com, and some dot “co’s” (I think people need to pronounce it like “koe” like in “comaker.” ) I can tell you that the market in com or co is soft. I have put about 20 names on auction at Godaddy– not one bite. I even have Republicanparty.co and Democraticparty.co. DerekJeter.co, I paid to put them as a”featured listings”–not one offer(2 weeks so far–) Does anyone know a better forum thanyer GoDaddy for selling? I essentially cornered the legal field buying-up dot cos (slipandfalllawyer.co, computerlaw.co, etc). Any help to get these sold or to make money from them would be appreciated. Im not familiar with blogs. If someone can SesameStreet me thru the process and partner-up that would be great.

  • Nate @ House of Annie

    Completely different question, hopefully to be answered in another Friday Q&A post:

    How long after moving content to a new domain do you wait until you NOINDEX the old domain? Do you do it as soon as the new site goes live, or wait until the new site picks up PR?

  • Edwardo Emran

    Let’s see did anyone ever think that people would LOOK at the .co’s as standing for Company???? I think with that said it could fly. I mean .us you can look at as US or United States correct. Also what about typos did anyone ever think that when go to type in a .com you can forget to hit the m then hit enter….then look up and see what you just did. Also just like a Domain the shorter the better? Just My 2 cents. But hell I picked up Arron.co, Layla.co, Reyna.co and leann.con…why as ever one of these domains have 22,444 to 91,760 exact searches in Google….so if the .co’s fly’s I have GOLD. We all know what you could sell them for if they were .com’s .

    Good luck everyone,

  • Walls Blank

    For every extension added some “opportunist” can buy it and benefit off of the effort you have put into creating your site. I’m glad to learn that there will be other .___ because this could be a nasty cycle of people paranoid about protecting their name. Is there a law that says a competitor can’t have your name as a domain name? Let’s say you were imasupertastyapple.com and you made pie. Now .co comes along and a competing bakery that also makes pie purchases it.

    Or worse, and this has happened to me, the opportunist is a porn site.
    This is going to get nasty. At least I am not directly in a field to be significantly impacted… again… I hope.

  • Edwardo Emran

    Wow did anyone take a look at the prices for the Sedo .co Auction??? I mean click some for the hell of it! oil.co is $100,000 – $249,999 USD or how about men.co Reserve price range: 25,000 – 49,999 USD. Man if the stage gets set and people buy at these ranges I would say there is some money to be made….we will have to hurry up a wait? I just changed all my names to $7900 each just in til’ the auction comes and goes…better high than low I can always go down….up is hard. Just my 2 cents.

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