Dot .CO madness: What domains did I spend my money on?

Since the .CO Registry opened up its gates ten days ago, more than 370,000 .CO domains have been registered.

Initial concern over the long-term visibility of .co domains was calmed down by Google’s reassuring statement that .co domains will be given equal treatment among .com, .net, .org and the various other TLDs and ccTLDs.

A lot of domain investors went after generics – keywords that retain their strength regardless of how exotic the TLD might be; the added bonus, in this case, being the relation to .com and potentially typo-traffic. Some domain investors, like Mike Mann, went after super-generics, such as, and

Others foolishly registered blatant trademarks of existing .com domains – an example is

Personally, I decided to limit my .CO acquisitions to geoDomains.

I went after a small group of domains that had the following characteristics: the .com was either undeveloped and parked, or its developed status was so antiquated as if we were stuck in 1995. In total, I invested in about 50 .co domains with the intention to develop and not park. It’s the first such group registration that I’ve performed with a strategic plan in mind.

Elliot Silver’s experiment with shows that several other domain investors had similar ideas in mind. I’m just glad I did not compete with those; essentially, the niche market I went after was wide open and I’m happy with my domain acquisitions.

In the coming weeks a development strategy will be put in place; the .co TLD offers plenty of opportunities for search engine ranking and visibility, simply because the .com guys are sitting on their parked domains and virtual laurels for too long.

A developed .co domain with a matching keyword will outrank a parked .com any day.


  1. Domain Joe says

    I saw this article ticker taped on [URL removed], but just don’t get the hooplah over the .CO extension? Everyone seems to be forgetting that it is JUST a ccTLD. C’mon. Who really wants to be tied in to the country of Columbia and be subject to their laws?

  2. Sorry you missed the waterfront property tour, Domain Joe. Plenty of inner land left, look around, read some reviews then come back to share your results (and not just spam a URL) 😉

  3. I really don’t get the hoopla either and the use as a Geo extension for anything but Colorado or Colombia makes particularly little sense. There are a good half dozen extensions I’d prefer over .co for a geo for anything outside the above locations.

    If you are a company and want to put your corporate info on the .co, maybe, but you could do the same on a .US if you are in the US. It’s at least “our” TLD. If you are hoping for typos, then by all means, but that’s not my cup of tea. If you are actually going to develop it and/or brand on it ?? then you should be getting the best possible domain you can afford and that makes sense for the content and audience and there are very few .co’s that fit that description IMO.

    I’m not a .com snob. I realize there’s branding potential for extensions like .me, .tv and even .in. But .co is just too confusingly similar to .com, which is not what you want in a brand.

    If you can make it work though, more power to you!

  4. Andrew – there’s a positive marketing force that drives .co forward; technically, it’s Colombia’s ccTLD. In reality, the 370,000 domains already registered would not have happened without a strategy – or “hoopla” as you call it 🙂

    Now, with regards to geoDomains, surely you can *try* to achieve similar results with any TLD as an alternative to .com. The difference between .co and .us is that .us is pretty much stagnant. There is no force behind it, no campaign reaches out to the general public and media. Maybe they would change that, but I see .us generics selling for $$$ for the most part as a result of this lack of traction.

    As with every new market, it’s best to proceed with caution and to invest an amount of dollars you’re comfortable with.

  5. i suppose any .co generic domain name where the keyword has a high monthly search volume and the .com equivalent is just parked would be good buy.

  6. Ed – that’s a very good observation 😀

  7. I bought some lottery tickets myself. As much as I want to be, I have a hard time being bullish on .co. It’ll definitely be a developers extension and I don’t mean minisites. Dotco’s big start was due to twitter & the fact they had the top tech entrepreneurs behind it like Jason Calacanis. I think it will be adopted by and fairly successful with techies who love short brandable names & can market them on twitter, Digg, etc where the extension doesn’t matter as much & Internet Marketers.

    How good it will rank remains to be seen regardless of what G says. It still has to prove itself to G as a trusted extension. I typed in into G’s search engine only for it to ask me if I meant That’s another hurdle to jump over.

  8. Well it’s apparent that there’s a huge market out there marketing new TLD’s.

    There’s so many cybersquatters and people who haven’t a clue, the TLD industry is going to grow like crazy just to keep up with them all.

    I would love to see the .co take off, will it? Oh yes, for it has and it will.

    You know, the TLD industry reminds me of the MLM arena (multi-level-marketing)in a big way.

    For the individual joining mlm the odds are stacked against them, only like .5% ever make any money. Notice how I didn’t say a lot of money.

    Now the one’s that make the real money are the guys selling “How To Make A Million Dollars In Your Basement Systems With MLM” to the ever growing market of 99.5% of I’m gonna make it in MLM’ers.

    It’s comical actually… thanks for the laugh! Think I’ll go spend my extra cash on some pet rocks.

  9. Shawn – as with every new product or service, one should make thorough research and minimize loss by spreading their investment across several “pet rocks”. If you were guaranteed overnight success in domaining then obviously you were approached by an MLM vulture and not a domainer.

    Chris – Opportunity knocked and Twitter (and others) seized it. For what it’s worth, .co has the advantage of close visual and typing proximity to .com – not to mention, that several national ccTLDs still utilize a 3-level domain system e.g., etc. alongside a single ccTLD.

  10. I agree .co will definitely pay off BIGTIME one day. All those who say not are because they weren’t intelligent enough to secure any! Their loss for SURE!!! Here are some of my .co domain I secured. Basically, whatever I could find without paying a pre-registration fee! God Bless! Joe

  11. that was above

  12. @acro

    I never said anything about overnight success, but I did say “I would love to see the .co take off”. Especially for all of you that are heavily invested into them.

    Your right though, it is long term for sure..

    Just like the .tv’s it’s only a matter of time before they are worth millions. Just keep paying those reg fee’s.

    I’d be really interested to hear when a .co makes first page of the natural search results for anything of value

    and by the way, we did buy a couple “pet rocks .co’s”, and the .com equivalent’s brought in some huge returns. So when those pay off I’ll take you all out to dinner and we can all bask in our success.

  13. Shawn – is still available 😀

    I don’t consider 50 .co domains to be a heavy investment; I have less .info and .biz though 🙂

    The .tv issue seems to be a whole different chapter that is marred by selective “premium” pricing.

  14. for me, the worst part about .co is having to read through the same arguments over, and over, and over again in the comments of every .co related blog post. one of these comments looks like it was literally cut and pasted from a comment i just read yesterday on MHBs blog. if you’re going to disagree, which is fine, at least add something useful to the discussion at hand. Sorry Acro, just wanted to voice that.

  15. hey Mike 😀 – There’s a spammer going around who’s copying and pasting legit comments left by others elsewhere, this way he gets past the WP spam mechanism. But I agree, one has to do their own research before adopting any new TLD or service.

  16. @Acro

    Your right it is 🙂 is up for the taking!

    Thanks for the great reads Acro, keep up the good work!

  17. It will take .co domain names 60 years to get to where .net domain names are today. As long as millions of generic or premium .com and .net domain names are still out there in hands of speculators, not in hands of end-users, I do not see why people(end-users) would decide to buy .co domains at almost the same price. This is the same reason why all other domain extensions failed in the market. The problem is that generic or premium domain names are not making it to end-users. They are just changing hands between speculators. And this got to a point where even speculators no longer want to buy domain names because they having hard time to sell the ones they already have. The reason why generic or premium domain are not making it to end-users is because people already have realized that you don’t have to have or buy a generic or premium domain name to start a business online. You just need a reasonably easy-to-remember domain name. It could be ,,,,,, ,,, and etc etc etc etc. This kind of names will never finish. You can register them anytime. Does the domain name suggest domain name registrar? The answer is no, yet Godaddy is the world leading domain registrar. Don’t listen to Rick Swartz or Rick Latona. They themselves don’t a shit. They were just lucky. Rick Latona is domain crook. He creates domain conferences just to eat get people’s money. Nobody needs domain names at exorbitant price. Did you know Sedo reports fictitious domain sales. They register any domain name and then sell them one buy one everyday to themselves and then report the sale. That would make you think that domain names are really selling, then you would list your domain at Sedo and pay advertising cost. They live on this. Be smart. Get yourself a life. Stop domaing for nothing.

  18. Emma – You come forth as an angry domainer. Not to mention, your reference to “60 years” is just laughable. The commercial Internet itself is 15 years old, where do you pull these overblown figures from? The .co registry has been open to the public for LESS THAN 2 WEEKS – what exactly are you expecting it to achieve in such a short period of time?

    And yet, 370,000 .co domains are now registered.

    Your accusation of Rick Latona stems from some personal issues or are you once again pulling stuff out of your ass? In the domain industry people should form their own opinions but be prepared to back them up with facts versus throwing out venomous generalizations.

  19. If I am wrong, why then generic or premium .com and .net domain names are not making it to end-users? Why are they just changing hands between speculators? Remember house market was like this and you know what happened, it collapsed, cause you a market of a product with just speculators, with no end-users is a fake market. Domain name business is coming to end. Don’t go by what Sedo and Afternic report. Their reports on domain sale are fictitious. Most of those sales never took place. They just want you to think that domain names are selling well. They aren’t.

  20. Emma – I’m amazed at the amount of generalization and blanket statements you manage to throw out there. You must have some real reason to be so upset; lack of premium domains perhaps? End users are constantly acquiring domains, do they have to ring you up so that you approve the transaction? Also, if there is so much gloom and doom in domaining, what are you doing here? I’m sure you have better things to do with your own business. Jeez.

  21. A developed domain in any TLD will outrank a parked .COM. I don’t know if any of you noticed (or don’t want to talk about it), parked domains listed earlier in first 10 results of Google are now not even in 200 since 03/2010. Also, type-ins are a thing of the past due to browser behavior. A parked name won’t get traffic unless a user types in the exact URL, or if they type an exact keyword without spaces and press Ctrl-Enter, when the browser will try to search for, net, org in that order (sorry, no other TLDs). I am talking here about FireFox plus Google on Ubuntu linux, but I am sure it won’t be much different with other browser, search engine and OS combinations.

    And, finally if the user does get through to the parked domain, only the naivest of them would click on some ad instead of hitting the back button. So, development IS the done thing now to make any ROI, period. You could start with a mini-site, better still a blog, which would at least get your name indexed reasonably and then continue with full-blown development.

    In this scenario, a nice brandable or a decent one/two word generic .CO can work wonders, especially if the top TLD versions are parked.

  22. Developing the corresponding to a parked .com is a smart idea acro 😉

Speak Your Mind