What does Google think of .co domain names?

28 replies
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Hi all,

I've seen loads of discussions over the years about the relative 'weight' that Google places on certain domain extensions.

Now that the frenzy of the .co domain landrush phase is over, I'm keen to know what your thoughts are regarding these new domains and how YOU think Google 'weights' them compared to others.

Here's what I reckon, based on my own personal experience:

1. com
2. .org
3. net
4. .co.uk (for UK based websites)

5. .co?

Feel free to chip and let me know what you think. I ended up buying some pretty awesome .co domains. The question I really have is should I start building a few sites on these domains or maybe wait a few months / years.

Thanks,
Martin
#domain #google #names
  • Profile picture of the author paulgl
    It has to be like everything else, not really an issue either way.
    For search traffic, that is.

    If .co gets more ink now that indeed the rush is over, you may see more.
    The trick is for the internet to get people to think .co is indeed a real
    domain. Supposed to be for COmpany or whatever.

    There are some potentially strange things that can happen.

    People think you left off the m and will type domain.com.

    People forget to type in the m for dot com, and a dot co gets
    a lot of error traffic.

    Let's not forget the potential Colombian connection. People see a
    two letter extension and think "country."

    Even though I don't think much of domain extensions either way,
    .co just looks feels awkward. It's neither one nor the other.

    Now I'm one who does not think SEO by feelings is the way to go.
    The problems above are not SEO related. Except mistaking a .co
    in results as being country specific.

    If you are trying for 100% traffic from google, that may be a small
    problem.

    I think the average person seeing something like moneytalks.co
    in advertising would think it's a typo. At least for a while.

    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin N Smith
      Cheers Paul. So, in your honest opinion, do you really think that a .co domain has an equal chance of getting to #1 in Google as an equivalent .com domain?

      Assuming ALL other factors (for ranking purposes) are the same on both sites.

      Thanks
      Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author Jordan Kovats
    I thought or read that .co also represents Columbia. If so, how many .mx rank with .com's?
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin N Smith
      Originally Posted by theseoguys View Post

      I thought or read that .co also represents Columbia. If so, how many .mx rank with .com's?
      but mx domains aren't being marketed as TLDs so it's not the same comparison.
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      • Profile picture of the author paulgl
        I think .co is one of those things that was country specific, then opened
        up to the whole world, no questions asked.

        Since people click on search titles, not really noticing domains, .co
        certainly has an equal chance as any of them.

        But remember, this is for search traffic.

        Another potential problem is people linking to you. They might
        put the m on without thinking.

        If you got some really cool ones that have potential type in
        traffic from people leaving off the m in .com, that could be
        a good problem.

        The only extension I remember having a problem was .biz.
        It was looked upon as spammy in its youth. That's not a problem
        now.

        A .co stands as much chance as anything now to appear in results,
        all other things being equal.

        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author Martin N Smith
          We're now 2 months in. I'm keen to know if anyone has had any joy in the SERPS with a .co domain name?

          Cheers,
          Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author TomBond
    Domain name doesn't make a difference, just go for it. Be brave and test it yourself and then you can tell us all about it
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  • Profile picture of the author jhonsean
    .co .co.uk .net and so forth. In google eyes these domains is all the same when it is crawled and indexed. If you have any observations with it kindly tell us.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeb
    Let's put it this way...How many times have you seen a .co domain rank in the serps for good keywords?
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin N Smith
      Originally Posted by Zeb View Post

      Let's put it this way...How many times have you seen a .co domain rank in the serps for good keywords?
      Sorry mate, but this is irrelevant. .co domains have only been around for a couple of months and it takes AGES to rank for decent keywords. I reckon we should reconvene in 12 months when we've all had a chance to do the usual SEO on our .cos.
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      • Profile picture of the author Martin N Smith
        Right then everyone. It's been about 2 months since I started SEOing the heck out of a couple of .co domains, and my initial conclusion is this.

        Google is NOT treating .co domains the same as .com, .org, .net or .co.uk.

        Unfortunately, based on my findings so far, it appears that the .co domain still has some way to go to convince Google that it's not just another spammy sister of .biz.

        I've literally FLOODED my .co sites with unique content (we're talking 15 articles a week for 2 months), done all the usual on-site optimisation and methodically built high PR links but still they're not shifting in the organic SERPS.

        And before anyone talks about sandbox or Google penalties, i've been extremely careful NOT to build too many links at this stage.

        Both sites went in around the 24th-25th page and, two months later, BOTH are still stuck in the same position.

        I'll keep you posted.....

        Martin
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      • Profile picture of the author Zeb
        Originally Posted by Martin N Smith View Post

        Sorry mate, but this is irrelevant. .co domains have only been around for a couple of months and it takes AGES to rank for decent keywords. I reckon we should reconvene in 12 months when we've all had a chance to do the usual SEO on our .cos.
        Not irrelevant? It only takes a couple of days for google to index a new high level TLD (com/net/org) site. You can even rank a new domain with an exact match in the top 10 of google if the competition is weak, within a week. Notice i mentioned competition.

        Anyways, i see that you've tested out these .co domains and not getting much results. I commend you for taking the time and sharing with us the results.
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        • Profile picture of the author paulgl
          Has nothing to do with the extension .co The land rush was on...

          Websites do not exist in vacuums. You can't know why google loves
          sites above you. You don't know what they are doing.

          Making a judgment on extension by not being successful is really
          a stretch.

          This forum is filled to the gills with people with dot coms that
          failed. Does that means they should try a different extension?
          Of course not.

          Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author makingiants
      I don't think I ever have.
      Just go with the .com just to be safe.
      .org and .net are also acceptable.
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      • Profile picture of the author Martin N Smith
        Originally Posted by makingiants View Post

        I don't think I ever have.
        Just go with the .com just to be safe.
        .org and .net are also acceptable.
        Yeah - provided they haven't all been snapped up by the b@stard domainers!
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    • Profile picture of the author Bojan_Djordjevic
      Well duuh... These domain are young hence no domain age power! They went live like 2-3 months ago. I am using .co and I have no problems indexing my site and get idexed at same speed as .com ...

      It will take some time to get it aged so its good for scalping only.. At least for a while...
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  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    I don't think it will be viewed any differently to any other geo-specific TLD. I do agree about the .com typing thing, and I reckon thats why people snapped them up.
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  • Profile picture of the author IndigoJack
    Matters not one jot. I have a .co domain and it is building up nicely just like any other new domain.

    People who search online for something don't give a hoot what your domain tag is - they are hunting for what you do.

    If you come up on the search results page and they click thru and you are what they were looking for, or even remotely interesting, they will save you to their Favourites/Bookmarks. They do this and return to visit you without ever taking any notice of your domain name.

    I wouldn't worry about a .co.
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  • Profile picture of the author hearme
    i personally think its all about marketing the fm domain was not good in the starting but after its launch its going pretty fine .
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  • Profile picture of the author mascomasco
    To me,it doesn't matter the extension you use if its .com, .info, .net and .org.But .co looks somehow but the basic line here is your backlinks,SEO work and content.With this,it might works.All the same good luck to you and let know of an update.
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  • Profile picture of the author usearchme2
    Have just got a .co domain myself am interested to see how it performs, gonna take some time to get some decent results though

    Woc
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    There are new, but like any domain, the backlinks, age, content all play a factor
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    • Profile picture of the author Jubbs
      Has anybody else noticed that .co domains don't seem to rank for the words in their domain name. so widgets.co will not appear in any of the results in Google even if you set the number of results to 100 and search every page.

      Does anybody know of a .co that ranks for the words in its domain name?
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      • Profile picture of the author Martin N Smith
        Originally Posted by Jubbs View Post

        Has anybody else noticed that .co domains don't seem to rank for the words in their domain name. so widgets.co will not appear in any of the results in Google even if you set the number of results to 100 and search every page.

        Does anybody know of a .co that ranks for the words in its domain name?

        Nope!

        Like some of the previous posters, I believe the .co domains are either suffering from the 'aged' factor (i.e it'll take a good 6-12 months before Google gives them a fighting chance of ranking for decent KWs) or the 'spammy' factor (i.e are they just another .biz).

        I'd be really interested to hear how everyone else is getting one with their .co domains.

        Cheers,
        Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author ashokpobox
    Google has clarified its stance on the .co domain, days after it was released for sale globally. One of the concerns registrants of .co domain names have voiced is if Google will treat the domain as specific to Colombia instead of a generic, international domain name. This is a valid concern given that country code domain names are the top factor Google considers when figuring out who content is created for.

    According to a story at PCPro.co.uk, a popular computing site, Google has confirmed that it will allow .co to be treated as an international domain name.

    "While the .co domain is still assigned to Colombia at the moment, a Google spokesperson said that would soon change. “We will rank .co domains appropriately if the content is globally targeted. Webmasters will soon have the functionality to be able to specify this by using the geotargeting options in Google Webmaster Tools.”

    Google has announced that the .CO Top-Level Domain (TLD) will have all the same geo-targeting options available to the other generic TLDs, such as .com, .net, .biz and .org.

    "We will rank .co domains appropriately if the content is globally targeted. Webmasters will soon have the functionality to be able to specify this by using the geotargeting options in Google Webmaster Tools," said a Google spokesperson, as quoted in PC Pro in a July 22nd article.
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin N Smith
      Originally Posted by ashokpobox View Post

      Google has clarified its stance on the .co domain, days after it was released for sale globally. One of the concerns registrants of .co domain names have voiced is if Google will treat the domain as specific to Colombia instead of a generic, international domain name. This is a valid concern given that country code domain names are the top factor Google considers when figuring out who content is created for.

      According to a story at PCPro.co.uk, a popular computing site, Google has confirmed that it will allow .co to be treated as an international domain name.

      "While the .co domain is still assigned to Colombia at the moment, a Google spokesperson said that would soon change. "We will rank .co domains appropriately if the content is globally targeted. Webmasters will soon have the functionality to be able to specify this by using the geotargeting options in Google Webmaster Tools."

      Google has announced that the .CO Top-Level Domain (TLD) will have all the same geo-targeting options available to the other generic TLDs, such as .com, .net, .biz and .org.

      "We will rank .co domains appropriately if the content is globally targeted. Webmasters will soon have the functionality to be able to specify this by using the geotargeting options in Google Webmaster Tools," said a Google spokesperson, as quoted in PC Pro in a July 22nd article.


      Thanks for this but it's old news. I actually read the original article back in July and changed my Geo-targeting settings in webmaster tools about 2 months ago.
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  • Profile picture of the author tih
    Thanks for raising this topic. I am having this doubt (weightage of .com with other TLD's) since many days.
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