The .co extension has been available for domain registrations for a while now. But is it really worth registering domains with this TLD (which technically stands for Columbia)? Some webmasters rushed to register popular keyword phrases in their .co form and others sat idly by, saying they had no value.
Personally I registered three .co domains relevant to my niches when they became available. I also let two of them expire as I could find no real use for them. Another I kept “just in case.” And I’ve since registered a fourth (and I’ll share the purpose of that one shortly). Have you registered any?
Why People Said .co Domains Were a Good Idea
Here are some of the reasons some webmasters thought .co registrations would be a great idea when they became publicly available.
- The TLD is short.
- It can represent “company” for business use.
- The .co TLD is similar to .com, so easy to remember.
- We already see .co in similar extensions like .co.uk (meaning people recognize it).
- You can redirect it to your main site to catch traffic from .com typos.
Will .co Domains Ever be in High Demand?
On the surface, those sound like pretty good reasons to consider registering .co domain names. But will they ever really catch on with the general public? I’m betting they won’t. We’ve seen a lot of TLDs come and go without making waves, despite all of their initial hype. For example, .biz never really caught on with businesses and the .info extension is notoriously popular with the spammer crowd rather than general browsers of the Web.
Good Uses for .co Domain Names
That said, I do see some good uses for .co domain names. Here are two of the biggest.
- Custom URL Shorteners — This is why I registered the fourth .co domain I mentioned earlier. I’m rebranding my business in coming months and the new brand name has a three-character abbreviation. So I registered the short nll.co version to use it as a custom URL shortener for links to my network of websites when promoting them via social media.
- Brand Protection — This is another good reason to consider .co domain registrations, even if you don’t plan to use the domain for a site of its own. The idea is just to stop competitors from registering the domains to infringe on your trademarks. It’s cheaper to register the domains than to take it up in court later. It’s the same reason some companies register the .com, .net, .org, and other popular versions of their company names up front.
I don’t believe that .co domains will ever really dominate the Web. They’ve come so late in the game that there are already too many options that can be confusing to your average visitor, and there are more to come. But what do you think? Did you invest in any .co domains? Have you seen a worthwhile return on that investment? What are you using the domains for? Or, if you chose to ignore the .co extension altogether, why did you make that choice? Share your comments below.