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DOT CO

One of the things I noticed lately is the amount of .co domain names sprouting up on the Internet. The .co extension stands for Columbia, but it has recently been recognized as a global TLD, which is why the .co is creating so much chatter. I just bought my very own .co domain name and I feel that it’s important for other businesses and bloggers to do the same.

It Is Officially An International TLD

Recently, Google and other search engines have started considering .co as an international top level domain instead of a country-code domain. There are many country-code domains being pushed by large registrars like GoDaddy (such as .ws), but these domains lack the ability to be marketed globally. For example, if you have a website called VectorImages.ws, it will automatically be targeted in Google towards residents of Western Samoa. Yes, you can change this in Google’s Webmaster tools to target users in the United States, but then it will scarcely appear in results to India residents. If you have VectorImages.co, it will automatically show up in searches around the world without having to limit yourself with Webmaster Tools. There are many other international TLDs, but some popular ones include .com, .net, and .org.

Save Money By Registering New Instead of Buying Used

In a world where .com domain names have been available since 1985 (see a list of the oldest .coms), it’s pretty hard to find one that you like that isn’t already taken. This isn’t necessarily a problem because with enough money, you can convince anyone to sell the domain to you. I paid $200 for OmegaWeb.com, but if you were interested in a domain like ProBlogger.net or DailyBlogTips.com, you would be paying a premium price – if the owner even wants to sell, that is. Some quality .com domain names sell upwards of $10,000 with the good ones even going in the hundred thousands or even millions of dollars. Since the average individual doesn’t have $100,000 or even $10,000 just sitting in their bank account to invest in a domain name, it would be helpful if you could register one brand new for about $13. The .co domains have only been popular for about a year now, so it’s very possible that you can find a really good domain that hasn’t been registered yet. GoDaddy only charges about $13 to register a new .co.

To put this in perspective, I recently registered the domain MyDr.co that I plan to start a medical blog on. The .com version of this name could’ve sold for $500 or even $1,000 to the right buyer, but I got the .co for less than $15.

Backed By Major Registrars and Companies

In addition to Google, Yahoo, and other major search engines, many registrars are also starting to support .co. It costs registrars thousands of dollars to support each domain extension, so it’s astounding that so many companies are starting to offer .co registrations. Some of the major ones include GoDaddy, Register, Go.co, and Domain Monster.

There are also many retailers and companies starting to use .co domain names. Online retailerĀ Overstock.com started campaigning about a year ago for their O.co URL. The California-based clothing company Hollister has been rocking their domain Hollister.co since 2010. There are many more companies that use and trust .co domains to be the core of their online business.

It’s Short

If you have the URL www.ushistory.org/american_revolution/women/index.html, having the .co extension instead of .org would be one less button to push. That doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but it allows visitors to come to your site one second earlier. In the case of my domain name, MyDr.co, having the .co instead of .com makes the whole domain six letters instead of seven. Plus, MyDr.com just looks longer.

It Sounds Cool, Flows, and Sticks

In addition to being short, the .co domain names just sound cool. Hollister’s company name is actually Hollister Co. so they can simply tell their customers to visit www.hollister.co instead of www.hollister.com or www.hollisterco.com. This not not only sounds cool, but it goes along with their branding, it makes it easier to remember (since “Hollister Co.” is printed on all of their clothes), and it seems more custom.

It’s Over To You

Now it’s your turn… Do you have a .co domain that is failing with organic traffic? Do you have a .co domain that’s making you hundreds of dollars? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

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