The Internet is awash with all sorts of different types of domain names. Traditionally, someone in the United Kingdom might have gone for a .co.uk or a .com domain for a commercial entity, or a .org.uk or .org for a non-profit organisation, for example.
Over the years, people have started using alternative domain names. For instance, some websites have used domain hacks such as del.icio.us (Delicious) and blo.gs (Blogs). ICANN, the non-profit organisation responsible for top-level domains, even has a list of companies looking to register all sorts of weird and wonderful top-level domains!
One top-level domain that has been registered for some time and has fairly recently been offered to individuals, commercial and non-profit organisations is the .co domain. You may have heard of this domain ending being publicised at some point in the past; if you are thinking of getting a new domain name, should you consider getting a .co?
What is a .co Domain?
A top-level domain that is being pushed by many domain name registration firms is .co, but you might be wondering what exactly is a .co domain?
The .co domain is technically the top-level domain that is assigned to Colombia in South America.
It was only ever available for registration to individuals and other entities within Colombia itself, but as of 2010 domain registration requirements have been relaxed; this has meant that, for the first time, it was now possible for foreign parties interested in .co domains to start buying them and using them for non-Colombian websites.
According to some recent statistics, more than 200 million .co domains have been registered by people and organisations outside of Colombia – something which has obviously opened up a whole new source of revenue for the firm that administers this top-level domain.
Photo via Flickr
Why should I Get a .co Domain?
.co is a top-level domain which has obviously grown substantially in popularity in just under 3 years, but you might be asking yourself whether you should be getting a .co domain too?
Here are Some Reasons why you should:
- It’s memorable – just like .com and .co.uk domains are memorable, so too are .co domains;
- Visitors have a smaller domain to type in – you might think that one or two characters isn’t much overhead when typing in a domain name into your web browser, but it can make the world of difference if you are tapping the domain name into a touchscreen device such as a smartphone or tablet;
- It’s affordable – unlike some domains, .co domains are actually quite inexpensive to purchase;
- Great for misspelt domains – if you have a .com domain and someone forgets to type in the ‘m’, you will be able to capture those visitors rather than having them visit a non-existent (or worse, competing) website!
Won’t .co Domains be Bad for SEO?
Actually you will be pleased to learn that Google responded to this very question in a YouTube video – the short answer is no, they won’t be bad for SEO! This means you can use .co domains for any non-Colombian websites and not suffer any penalties from search engines such as Google.