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?”

  • 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.

  • 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

    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,

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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 .

  • 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 ??

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 .

  • 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

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