1 Year Later: Was .CO A Huge Bust?
Let me start off this post by saying how funny it is the way things play out sometimes. I had the idea to write this post sometime early this morning, however, I was only able to write the title before I had to leave for a bit. I come home only to see this post on TechCrunch. A post stating how Google has bought the domain G.CO which it intends to use as a “shortcut” URL for its products and services.
But I digress, back to the main point of this article. In two days, the .CO domain registry will celebrate the first anniversary of its public launch and don’t forget the fact it recently hit the 1 million registered domain mark after ten months of existence. That’s not too shabby, however, there is no question the launch of .CO was surrounded by a lot of hype which contributed to the rapid adoption. On top of the hype, several corporations had to secure their domains as well as bid for new ones that they want to secure (e.g. A.CO goes to Amazon, G.CO goes to Google, etc).
You may look at the numbers by themselves and say “Wow. 1 million registered domains is a lot of registrations in 10 months.” But we cannot forget that when you register a domain, you (by default) are locked in for at least a 1-year period. Now that we are coming up on the first year of the existence, it will be interesting to watch and see how many of the .CO’s are not renewed and hit the open the market (again).
Did people and companies end up using these domains? It’s one thing to make sure you secure your name or company/brand, but what about registrations that went unused? These .CO’s aren’t cheap. They cost $30/year and depending upon how many you have that adds up, especially if they aren’t bringing in any real return. To be honest, over the course of the past year I haven’t visited more than 3-5 websites that use .CO as their “main” domain.
As I previously wrote a little over a year ago when I discussed whether or not you should buy a .CO, I think it’s still up in the air. So far, I’d call .CO a bust. It didn’t live up to the hype, I haven’t seen any major new startups using the .CO TLD. And aside from Google’s plans which I mentioned above, I haven’t seen any established companies use a .CO for anything useful.
Could year two be the year where we see .CO take off? It could, but until it does I’m calling it a bust.
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