The Online Marketing Company shenanigans.

The .co Boom

Business, Marketing | 13 Feb 2011

For those of us who make our living on the internet finding useful domain names is proving more and more difficult. As the .com era reaches its 25 year peak with over 90 million dot com’s registered, entrepreneurs are looking to branch out to avenues that are more feasible for their goals of short-tailed URL’s.

The .net and .org boom was a short lived phenomenon with internet users being less trustful of their qualities. But in 2009, when the government of Columbia allowed public access to their assigned extension of .co, the tech world noticed.

The .co internet is a venture formed between Arcelandia S.A. and Neustar Inc. to promote global access to their new extension. Recently, after the extension went public, businesses in the know quickly picked up all the one word URL’s their budget could handle. Twitter, for example, recently picked up “” for a reported $85,000.

Entrepreneurs who missed the public drop of the .co in early 2009 are collectively kicking themselves. Today, some short tail .co extensions are selling for upwards of $50,000 a piece.

The main advantage for the .co is a psychological one. According to a recent study, consumers trust .com’s far more than .net’s or .org’s. The sites that the average consumer uses are typically .com’s, and with repeated positive exposure to those sites they naturally become more trustful of them. But according to psychologist Dr. Harvey Reid, the similarity between .com and .co is close enough to “get under the radar.” In all likelihood people won’t even notice the one character difference, allowing marketers to get short tailed URL’s with almost the same psychological value. What’s more, “.co” usually represents “company,” or “commerce,” which will further gain consumers trust when visiting a website.

Brand protection is another factor. Upon initial release of the .co extension major brands were given the opportunity to buy their respective domain. Though many jumped on board you can go to to check on the status of a particular brand or keyword that you may have your eyes on.

While .co grows in popularity it will almost certainly edge out .net and .org for the second most popular URL extension. It has opened a flood of new opportunities for entrepreneurs that want short tail URLs without losing their customers trust in the process. Will the .co be the next .com? Probably not. But as .com’s become less available .co will be biting at its heels as a worthy second place contender.

.co domains are available through participating registrars. To learn more about the .co boom, feel free to visit:

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