Is .co the new .com?

The .co domain real-estate space has recently become quite popular due to a global trend to seize new domain names and an increase in branding initiatives. Despite .co being assigned to the district of Colombia, it has re-branded itself to stand for company, community, and content. Technically, the domain is on equal footing with .com as the search engines do not discriminate or neglect the .co domain. Currently, there are about 6.3 million sites with a .co domain, in comparison with about 94.7 million sites with a .com domain. Normally, domains are best used as a reflection of a local geographic area; i.e.. using .ca if you are a Canadian company or sell products/services within Canada. However, .com was the norm for a global presence, despite falling under American administration and jurisdiction, until Colombia decided to open up the .co domain for international registration. So, in some ways, .co has really become the new .com.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Many businessmen would question the need to migrate towards or use a .co domain instead of a .com domain. The answer revolves around what purpose a business wishes to use their website? If it is for business within Colombia then .co is definitely the best option, but businesses can still benefit from a .co domain even if their target audience resides completely outside of Colombia. For one, businesses can grab a domain name that is best reflective of the image they wish to project or even their brand name if it is unavailable in .com. Secondly, .co is alluring due to an appeal as trendy and new, which can match well with brand images of innovation and a connection to the zeitgeist.  Thirdly, ICANN has come under criticize for being too controlled by the US and .com shares similar risks should the US decide to act in self-interest. In particular, global companies are realizing that the US holds power upon .com domains, for any reason, and can potentially restrict or shut down them if it so chooses. Thus, .co domains allows companies an alternative to the existing .com domains to provide for a increased security and a greater reach both for branding and use in social networking; i.e Twitter has adopted a .co domain as well. Currently, the only main disadvantage stems from the novel timing and consequently the domain’s recognition. Thus, .co doesn’t have the domain awareness of .com; though this is due to change over the coming years. For more information on the opportunities of .co check out their branding and media promotional website.