Should you buy the new buzz domain name – .co

Dot-co (.co) is the latest buzz in the domain name world. It became the fastest-selling TLD (top level domain) when it launched to the general public recently.
And it has created a demand far bigger than previous attempts to expand the domain market, such as .info or .biz
We’ve been asked a few times how important these domains are for new businesses in the UK.
And what people really want to know is: are they worth buying for a new or existing business?
It depends on a few things, but there are notable points to bear in mind.
.co is the local country domain for Columbia in South America. Many countries only allow registrations within the country of the registrant.
But the Colombian government has opened up their registration process to the whole world in an attempt to provide a much-needed alternative to .com (and make themselves some money in the process)
But while it has technically become global, in practical use will search engines penalise countries outside Colombia for using it?
Google has promised it will treat it as a global domain, in the same way it does for .me (Montenegro) and .tv (Tuvalu), and it is likely the other search engines will follow.
So it’s good for global brands, what about use in the UK? .co.uk is still the preferred top level domain for UK businesses, but .co is a good third alternative after .com.
Most major brands have, for a long time, had the right domains for their websites. And for them, the registration of .co has been for brand protection, ie, to stop others, particularly competitors, registering a domain which potentially could become the most valuable.
Indeed it is the huge take-up of .co domains by brand holders that have made this domain so successful.
But if they put it into a drawer and don’t use it, its shine will diminish and it will lose value.
Would we recommend them?
If your business trades only within the UK, I would say carry on the search for a good UK domain. If your product or service has global appeal, try for a .com first, then a .co
We have bought some and we would advise our customers to do the same based on the above principle.
It’s still early days and only time will tell whether .co reaches some sort of critical mass as an acceptable global domain. But it is probably the best suffix to become available for a while, so this is our chance to embrace it, not ignore it.