The Colombian domain name, .co, has been approved by Google for use internationally which comes as a welcome surprise for many.
Just days after the domain was put up for sale across the globe, Google has explained their stance on the Colombian domain after some initial confusion as to how .co would be handled in search engine queries.
As an alternative option to the extremely popular .com, registrars are publicizing the Colombian domain. Keep in mind, though, that Google holds on locally to country-specific top level domains. This means that sites ending in a .co.uk extension fare better in Google searches throughout the UK than they would elsewhere.
Extensions such as .net and .com are more neutral top-level domains and can reach far globally or have a specific target through the use of Google’s webmaster tools. But it seems now that .co will have the same reach.
Not all country specific domains are treated equally. Some of them, though, such as Montenegro’s .me and Tuvalu’s .tv, are treated the same when it comes to Google searches. How will searches treat content within .co pages?
Even though the .co domain is still Colombia’s country-specific extension, a Google spokesperson said this may not be the case in the future. The spokesperson went on to say, “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 geo-targeting options in Google Webmaster Tools.” Google, by self-admission, says that in Webmaster Tools, only neutral top-level domains like .com and .org can use geo-targeting. Since .co is now part of that, it is on the same playing field as a .com or .org domain.
The .co domain will also allow people to get the domain name they really want. If it is already taken by a .com extension, .co makes endless possibilities available to you.
The explanation on Google’s part came only a few days after the Colombian domains became available to the public. This made some buyers very curious as to whether or not their URL purchase would be worth a lot more in the future. Time will tell, but why not take the risk?