Last month the .CO domain was made available to the general public in a land rush style buying spree. While the .CO domain is not new, it has become the most popular domain TLDs of 2010. This is because it is being marketed as an alternative for the popular .com domain names which are harder and harder to get. According to Web Host Rating, “in years past, the .co domains did not show up in international searches, and were most commonly found when one executed a search within the region of Columbia.”
What has been big news is that Google has revised their position and has enabled international targeting for all .CO domains. This means that the .CO domain is being recognized as a general TLD and for those that bought .CO domain names their investment just got a lot more valuable.
So what is international targeting? Well Web Host Rating has a great explanation of international targeting -
“There are over 200 different types of domain TLDs in the world, most of which are country codes for specific regions. For example, the TLD for the United Kingdom is .co.uk. When a domain is set with a regional TLD, search engines will usually direct traffic from the same country. In other words, when you conduct a Google search in India, there is a good chance that a significant amount of your search engine results will be .IN domains (Indian Domains). However, there are some domain TLDs that are open to international targeting, which means they can appear frequently in any search results from any country in the world, such as .com domains. By having an international domain web site owners can specify thier specific and intended targeted audience, without limitation to a preset country.”
To support the statement that the .CO launch was tremendous check out these numbers:
- 11,000 names applied for during the Sunrise Period
- 28,000 names sold during the Landrush Period (closed July 15, 2010)
- Total paid by applicants for Sunrise and Landrush names: over $10 million
- Total .co names registered as of this writing: 489,884
So what is the long term impact of this decision? Even though there has been much support for the .CO domain over these last few months, there have been many people who have hesitated to buy a .CO domain because it is not an international domain. Because of this change you can be sure that many more people will be buying. Another important thing for .CO as an international domain is that traffic levels are expected to increase as they start appearing in search results around the world. This means an increase in value for those who bought good names and bought them early.
Quick note on the .CO contest – If you are following the Twitter id @DotCo you probably heard of this contest. The way it goes is you post on Twitter your guess on when the registrations of .co will reach 500k. As of writing this post the counter on the DotCo website was 488,453 (2.45 p.m Sept 9th 2010) . What is your guess ? Tweet away. Advice from @DotCo “When u tweet your guess, try to put in sentence format! eg, “I guess #dotco will break 500k .COs on Sept 20!”
For more info on the .CO gTLD impact check out these articles:
And of course, to get your own .CO domain, check out Network Solutions .CO page.Google+