In the ideal world, you would have no trouble registering your website with a .com domain extension. However, most .com names are already taken. So, you may be forced to look at alternatives, and this is where “.co” domain extensions come into the picture. Domain registrars suggest the .co extension as a good alternative for .com. But, even though a .co domain extension helps you to keep the actual domain name you desire, is it worth choosing?
Is .co a good domain? A .com extension is undoubtedly the best choice for a domain name. However, if you cannot get it, then the .co extension is a good domain to get. The .co domain extension is recognized by search engines like Google as a top-level domain extension, and it is suitable for global businesses. So, the growth potential of your website with a .co extension is as good as what it would be with a .net or .org extension.
Let us now take a closer look at this domain name extension and try to understand the pros and cons of choosing it.
History Of The .co Domain Extension
When it comes to selecting a domain extension for a new website, the obvious choice is .com.
However, with over 100 million existing .com registrations, the name you desire will most likely be taken.
In this case, you can either consider a different domain name or a different domain extension.
If you prefer the second option, then .co is one of the best alternatives to consider.
In the past, .co domains were associated with businesses and websites in Colombia.
However, GoDaddy introduced .co as a mainstream domain extension in July 2010. The intent was to allow real businesses to get their desired domain name with a .co extension when the .com counterpart was unavailable.
Since then, it has been widely accepted as an international domain and is at par with .com, .net, and .org domains.
The appeal of the .co domain lies in its simplicity. Also, this domain name is just like .com, with one letter missing. So, we can easily associate .co with terms like company, corporation, or commerce. That is why the .co domain extension is more relevant than .net or .org for commercial businesses.
Is .co Better Than .com?
This depends on what benefit you are considering.
The most popular domain extension is .com. It is the domain that an internet user will usually think of while searching for a website. If you have a .com website, you do not have to worry about not being found.
But since a .co domain isn’t as memorable, you will have to place more emphasis on branding the .co extension.
You should also consider how most visitors will reach your website. Is it by directly keying in your URL? If so, then having a .co extension can be confusing as most internet users tend to type in .com. So, your .co domain may get mistyped as a .com, and your visitors may end up visiting a different website.
However, many people use search engines to visit websites. If this is how you get your traffic, the exact URL or domain extension is irrelevant. Using an alternate domain extension like .co will not affect your SEO ranking. So, potential visitors who are looking for services or products that you offer can simply click on search results and reach your website.
In essence, if you can get the .com domain, it is always the best choice, especially when you rely on direct URL input for website traffic. But when a .com domain isn’t available, or your visitors could find you through search engines or directory services, .co domains will work just fine.
Another concern regarding the domain choice is pricing.
The .co domain extensions are usually more expensive than .com. This is mainly to deter squatters from purchasing .co domains in bulk and not using them. This is what usually happens with .com domains. There are a lot of people who just buy .com domains and park them so that they can sell them at a higher price later. And in worst cases, these .com domains get used to create link farms by people trying to game search engines.
So, the price premium on .co domains discourages such people and gives serious buyers the option to find the exact domain names they desire. This tactic will hopefully attract only serious buyers who will use .co domains to develop quality sites for real brands and not use them for domain parking or link farms.
Recommended Further Reading: How To Register A Domain Name (and Why You Shouldn’t Get It For Free)
Do .co Domains Rank Well?
Visitors may not always arrive at websites by typing the direct URL. They may get there through search engines. So, you should understand how your domain choice will affect your search engine rankings and business prospects.
The good news is that as far as search engine rankings are concerned, choosing a .co extension won’t pose a problem. Simply using a .com will not boost your rankings in any way. Neither will your search engine rankings or positions be compromised because your website isn’t a .com.
Search engines like Google recognize .co as a GCCTLD or generic top-level domain. So, it is just like a .net or .org website.
Now, let us talk about where you stand against a .com website with the same name.
I already mentioned that Google and other search engines treat .co in the same manner as .com. So, if you are up against a .com website, the other site will not enjoy any ranking advantage just because of its domain extension. You both will be treated in the same manner.
The rankings will be based on the Search Engine Optimization of either website. If you have quality content and your SEO strategies are superior to that of the .com site, you can outrank it.
Is .co Safe?
Yes, .co is just as safe as other domains like .com, .net, or .org.
The only risk you run with a .co domain extension is losing your traffic to a .com competitor. If your .com counterpart offers similar services as you do and potential visitors reach that website by misspelling your URL, you may end up losing your hard-earned traffic to your competitor.
However, you can make your .co domain extension part of your branding. If your product is different or unique and you sufficiently stress on the .co part of your website URL in your branding and messaging, then people will discover you.
Related Further Reading:
- 4 Big Reasons Why Domain Name Privacy Is Worth It + (Get It For Free)
- Are Domain Names Case Sensitive? Answer Is Yes And No – Here’s Why
- Master List Of Valid Domain Name Characters (+Invalid Ones)
- Is .info A Good Domain? (Here’s Everything You Should Know)
- Are .biz Domains Any Good? Should You Use Them? (SEO Impact?)
Benefits Of Using A .co Domain
In general, a .co domain offers the following advantages:
- .co domain extension helps you to get the website domain name you desire. If the .com version is unavailable, you need not compromise on your original choice of the domain name by replacing it or finding a close alternative. In most cases, you will be able to register the exact same domain name with a .co extension and use it.
- With a .co domain, you can keep your website name short and relevant. Since short and uncluttered website names are memorable, it is a win-win situation.
- Website names with .co extensions are easy to remember and recollect.
To Wrap It Up…
Should you register your website with a .co domain?
It depends on what will work best for you and your business. Although .com domain extensions are always the best choice, you may not be able to get the one you like. In such a scenario, .co is a domain extension that is easy and cheap to obtain. Moreover, .co is short and memorable.
This domain extension is also globally recognized and relevant for businesses and commercial establishments. Being shorter than most other domain extensions, it will allow you to keep your website URL short and crisp.
Finally, .co is considered as a generic top-level domain by Google. So, with good SEO tactics, your .co website can outrank the .com counterpart and help you to establish your online presence. That is why .co is an exciting option for all types of businesses and individuals to pursue.
Now, the choice is yours!