Q: I received an email from Go Daddy today announcing the release of the new .CO domain names. Is this the way we should go?
Short answer: You may want to register it so nobody else gets your name, but I wouldn’t recommend actually using it (except to have it point to your .com domain name).
The part of your domain name after the dot is called the top level domain name. Back when .biz came out, it was promised to be the next great thing for business. In reality, how many .biz sites do you go to? They’re typically used by someone who’s set on a name but can’t get the .com because it’s already taken. Hey, I was guilty of this. The first website I built was for my mom’s store, which had already been called The Last Straw for over 20 years. We couldn’t bear to use any other name, and .biz was up and coming at the time… (BTW, that store has been closed for years now and has no relationship to the current www.thelaststraw.biz.)
Web users have been well-trained to automatically enter .com when typing the name of a website. Our actions demonstrate the added value of these coveted domains. If you try to start using a .CO top level domain, most people will think you just left the ‘m’ off! People aren’t used to it. It’s not really any easier, or any more recognizable. Even in the global community, which is what Go Daddy’s using as a selling point, .com is incredibly well established and respected.
Even the search engines recognize .com and tend to give it a little more clout than those .biz or .net names. Ironically, the most benefit you may get from registering your domain name with .CO is to collect the would-be visitors who accidentally leave the ‘m’ off themselves! If you register it and point it to your site, they’ll end up at the right place even with this little typo.