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Google approves .co domain for international use

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By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 22 Jul 2010 at 12:45

Google has clarified its stance on the .co domain, days after it was released for sale globally.

Registrars are pushing the Colombian domain as an alternative to the largely oversubscribed .com. However, Google normally keeps country-specific top level domains local, so those with a extension rank better in the UK but not as well elsewhere.

It’s still disappointing how the domain has been advertised without it actually being ‘fit for purpose’ from the go

Neutral top-level domains such as .net and .com can have a global reach or be targetted at a specific area using the search giant's webmaster tools.

Some country specific domains have crossed over, such as Tuvalu's .tv or Montenegro's .me, which Google now treats generically.

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."

The clarification comes days after the .co domains went on sale, leaving some buyers wondering if their URL investment would pay off.

Joe Williams, of SEO Training UK, said Google's statement should "make for plain sailing soon."

"Although it’s still disappointing how the domain has been advertised without it actually being ‘fit for purpose’ from the go,” he added.

User comments

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Joe Williams talks about "fit for purpose". This is neither the responsibility of Colombia or Google. They were never "not fit for purpose" since purpose is the responsibility of the domain owner, not the registrar or search engine.

By milliganp on 22 Jul 2010 on .CO

This announcement is huge and I wish Google had defined their intentions before the land rush registration.

.CO serves an entirely different purpose if treated as a gTLD instead of a ccTLD.

They are now far more valuable! .CO truly has a good shot now of becoming mainstream.

You can buy aftermarket domains & .CO Domains at

By mediaoptions on 22 Jul 2010

Fit for purpose

The fit for purpose quote was in regards to how web hosting companies have advertised the .CO domains, nothing to do with Columbia or Google. Many do not mention the domain extension has Columbian roots and promote it as being ‘commercial’, ‘commerce’ or ‘company’. This is what I think is misleading and a little irresponsible.

Quotes do not always come out in the bigger picture of the context that was intended :).

By Joe_W on 23 Jul 2010

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