What's in a name?
July 28, 2010 12:53 AM   Subscribe

The new ".co" domain suffix—is it hype, or is it as big as everyone is making it out to be?

I bought some .co domains recently. Maybe one thousand dollars worth. ($29 a pop on godaddy.)

As long as I acquired only top-level non-copyrighted names (nywork.co etc), and unique brands (wedo.co), was this well-spent money? Not .us or .info domains, but actually important and potentially value-worthy?

Are these .co domains going to rank?
posted by Mike Mongo to Technology (24 answers total)
 
Dunno on the ranking question but as a side note, names cannot be copyrighted. You're probably thinking of trademarking, but even with trademarking the trademark is only (only supposed to be) valid within a single industry - Apple Computers vs. Apple Records is the classic example.
posted by XMLicious at 12:58 AM on July 28, 2010


Has any previous newly-introduced TLD become value-worthy, by your standards of value?
posted by Mike1024 at 1:00 AM on July 28, 2010


I'll vote hype. I wouldn't want to start a business on a .co domain, since everyone, their mother and their smartphone keyboard are going to mistake it for .com anyway. But then, I have no experience trading domains at all.
posted by themel at 1:32 AM on July 28, 2010


The .co has been useful to know where a company is, for example .co.uk. otherwise, .uk, .be, .de are also useful for that reason. I don't really see what a .co does that .com doesn't.

However, I think some domains could be reasonably successful, simply because of so many companies etc who buy all TLD's to protect their name/brand etc, it being far cheaper to buy a name that go through the process to remove a squatter.
posted by quarsan at 1:36 AM on July 28, 2010


.co domains will be useful as another source of novelty domains (where "co" is the end of some word or string) as well as catching people who meant to go to .com addresses and showing them ads. I wouldn't see much of a future in .co domains otherwise -- certainly no more than other international domains have been, and especially not given that this one will very often be seen, as themel noted, as a typo of .com.
posted by ctab at 1:49 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


As long as I acquired only top-level non-copyrighted names (nywork.co etc), and unique brands (wedo.co), was this well-spent money?

I'm going to have to go with "no" on this one, for much the same reasons others have given. There's nothing particularly noteworthy or interesting about a .co domain.
posted by Justinian at 1:58 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Adding new domain suffixes can be profitable for ICANN and its stakeholders: they make money from those with existing domain names who buy up ".co" just in case of a problem - and they make money from those who speculatively buy what they thing are attractive domain names.

The problem is that the multiplication in the number of suffixes is not getting matched by a corresponding multiplication in the suffixes users search for or trust. In the UK I will try xxx.com and xxx.co.uk if I am looking for a company. I won't think to try xxx.eu, xxx.info, xxx.co, xxx.tv or any of the other variants. If I do find a company at one of these then I will tend to be suspicious about whether it is a legitimate operation. The upshot of this is that the value of domains with non standard suffixes is going to fall: more supply - less demand.
posted by rongorongo at 1:59 AM on July 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Two years ago, the search bar was the new address bar: the domain name didn't matter, but the brand and the search ranking did. Now "find us on Facebook" is starting to look like the new search bar. In short? Your money would have been better spent elsewhere.
posted by holgate at 4:30 AM on July 28, 2010


How is the .co of Colombia a new TLD? Because someone decided to make money with it outside of that country?

And what if Google and its ilk decide to pinpoint every .co-domain to Colombia and its region, so those sites simply won't show up when people outside of Latin-America search for websites?
posted by ijsbrand at 4:39 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


How is the .co of Colombia a new TLD? Because someone decided to make money with it outside of that country?

Not really a new TLD, but this is more or less what happened: Colombia recently decided to allow selling of .co domains to just about anybody, instead of only people/organizations in Colombia.
posted by Dr Dracator at 5:19 AM on July 28, 2010


I would generally want to ask people if they thought [new money-making idea] would work before dropping $1000 on it, not after. Personally, I wouldn't buy a .co domain unless it was for a novelty reason (like part of a word, as ctab suggests), because I think there's a risk people would see it as a typo for '.com'.
posted by impluvium at 5:24 AM on July 28, 2010


If the .co domains you bought were worth significantly more than $29 each, then GoDaddy probably wouldn't be selling them for that little...
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:36 AM on July 28, 2010


Did you buy dis.co?
posted by box at 5:46 AM on July 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


I don't understand your examples as being valuable. I can't think of why nywork.co or wedo.co make fun words/brands (like dis.co or del.icio.us for example); I went to the .com version of those and didn't particularly recognize the sites. Why would they be "valuable" as .co? Maybe I need to be more awake to get it.

In any event, I certainly wouldn't have spent $1000 gambling on this, but it's your money and it's gone, right?
posted by asciident at 6:05 AM on July 28, 2010


Probably about as valuable as .biz is. Mainly as a signifier of a highly sketchy website or business plan.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:11 AM on July 28, 2010


I'll vote for not a good investment. A few years ago, Dreamhost offered up the .la domain name to wide use, exclusively. They made a number of the domains pricey (like, porn.la was 10 grand or some nonsense). They obviously expected it to be huge, presumably thinking businesses in Los Angeles or Louisiana would all be on board. It flopped and Dreamhost admitted 3 years later that it was a foolish business move and they discontinued selling it. And, to my mind, LA is a much more desirable suffix than CO, which will always be mistaken for .com.
posted by dobbs at 7:16 AM on July 28, 2010


I think domain names are overhyped anyway. Very few people type in a name any more. You search on Google, then click on the link. Later you bookmark it.
posted by musofire at 8:16 AM on July 28, 2010


Redirecting people to a .co domain would probably be great for phishing, if you're in to that sort of thing. Which, combined with the low utility of the tld otherwise, makes it unfortunate that it was ever offered in the first place.
posted by Jpfed at 8:31 AM on July 28, 2010


When I got the email from Go Daddy talking about how .co would be the next big thing, I flashed back to the email they sent about .biz and .info being the next big thing. Then there was .mobi because everyone would be using their phones soon. Everyone in Europe was going to take .eu names. Everyone in Asia was going to jump on the .asia bandwagon.

Unless you grabbed names like co.co, bus.co, dis.co or similar cute ways to spell words in English or other languages, they will probably be worth much. Or if they're really short and spell something for URL shortening services.
posted by birdherder at 10:35 AM on July 28, 2010


is it as big as everyone is making it out to be
No, some of the largest, most trustworthy domain resellers arent even bothering to sell .co

Are these .co domains going to rank
Any name can rank if it holds good content

I think you'd get a better return spending a thousand dollars on lottery tickets.
posted by Lanark at 11:03 AM on July 28, 2010


I think domain names are overhyped anyway. Very few people type in a name any more. You search on Google, then click on the link

Yep, there was a fairly recent FPP on Facebook login on the search phenomenon, and some of the consequences thereof.
posted by 6550 at 11:40 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't understand your examples as being valuable. I can't think of why nywork.co or wedo.co make fun words/brands (like dis.co or del.icio.us for example); I went to the .com version of those and didn't particularly recognize the sites. Why would they be "valuable" as .co? Maybe I need to be more awake to get it.


I should have said hypothetical examples, asciident, as I bought similar names but used these one merely as examples as publishing the ones I bought my have seemed kind of self-linkish/and creepy.
posted by Mike Mongo at 7:38 PM on July 28, 2010


I see. Even still, I think the general consensus still holds. The only ways you'll make any of it back is if you bought very short ones for URL shortening, already-established brands that may want the .co for typos, or domains that make something fun with the .co ending in the word(s).
posted by asciident at 9:26 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


The only ways you'll make any of it back is if you bought very short ones for URL shortening, already-established brands that may want the .co for typos, or domains that make something fun with the .co ending in the word(s)

YEAA!
posted by Mike Mongo at 9:50 PM on July 28, 2010


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