The short answer is that your extension only matters is if you have a country code specific domain name but you want your website to have a world wide appeal. If your site was say a .ca (Canada) instead of .com it would be much more difficult to rank for US searches but easier for searches in Canada.
As for having a .co, a .co is a perfectly fine domain extension. Having a top level domain name is all the same.
Google treats a .co and a .com the same. Perhaps a .com would do slightly better if you had identical websites with identical link profiles but my most profitable website right now is a .co – so it can tell you it really is not a big deal.
Get the .com if you can get it of course, but if the domain name you want is taken by a squatter, then getting a .co as an alternative is a fine choice.
Get your .co domain name at Namecheap
Yet there are still people out there who worry what the “best” extension is because they read something about .co somewhere and want to make the right decision from the start. These are the kind of people who worry for no reason.
Perfect example is this kind of email:
“Hey Dave, I read about .co being a new type of extension for new websites. Do you think it’s better to go with a .co or a .com for my blog on tourism in Vietnam? Can you let me know what you think about all this? Thanks!”
“What do I think about this”
Yes I can, .co, .com, it does not matter as I keep saying.
Pro tip – when someone asks you “what do you think” – it’s always an indication that they’ve not done any research and are worrying about something that is most likely irrelevant.
I always instruct people I work with to register the .com for their first website or blog because it’s the gold standard. But there is nothing wrong with any of these other extensions. I have a health website that uses .org and a teaching website that uses a .co.
Both rank fine because a .co and a .org are considered top level extensions and are treated equally by Google and other search engines.
When I got started online the name and extension mattered quite a bit for ranking for specific phrases, it still helps today of course, but it’s not weighted the same way. If I wanted to rank for a phrase like the “best combat knife.”
I would rather build a website on CombatKnifeGuide.com than any other extension or keyword mix because .com is the most universal extension and it most clearly describes what the website is about.
But if the site was CombatKnifeGuide.co does not mean the site is going to fail and get NO traffic from search. That’s silly. Both are considered top level domain extensions so you’re really worrying about nothing.
Again, it only matters if you’re using a country specific code like .fr (France) or .de (Germany).
SEO is simple now
Focus on having good on page SEO for a new website or blog. That means having pictures, videos, internal links and external links and your keyword variations on the page. Make content that is best in class and meets the search intent better than other websites.
80% of your SEO strategy today is really content and keyword research. Building links through email outreach and networking has its place but this should not be your primary focus. Your time is much better spend on your website creating great content.
The usage of alternative domain extensions is still in its infancy but it will grow over time. A .co is now used as a modern alternative to a .com. A .io extension for example is now used for apps and start up companies.
The .co was designed to allow someone to actually get the domain name they want at a reasonable price instead of paying some huge inflated fee to a domainer. Because in reality, .com has been around for two decades and every possible combination of words you could want for a website has been registered.
I remember I wanted to register crushable.com for a dating website I wanted to build. Crushable was owned already and the person or company selling it wanted $3,000! No thanks…this is the reason why .co exists.
To alleviate the restrictive and frustrating nature of trying to register the .com you want, but can’t because it’s already taken by someone who is not even using the domain name.
So the same story repeated a bit though with .co.
The day .co became available all the “good” logical and descriptive domain names were taken by domainers and companies with no intention to ever make these domains into real websites, but rather – to mark the price tag for them up from a few dollars a year to a few thousand dollars. killing the very market they want to see grow.
Like blue.co for example. Really good domains like this were gone on day 1.
In a nut shell, if you can’t get a .com but can get the .co, go for it.
It’s better to have to have DavidsTea.co than something like DavidsT.ea or DavidsTea.org.
Cute is not clever.
Cute is confusing.
Also while I have nothing against a .org, if you’re a business you want a .com or a .co. The .org extension is more ideal for information websites than a company.
In the end what matters is whats best for your customers and ideal internet user.
If people can’t find your website, you loose for sure.
If your strategy is to get traffic from Google and search engines, then the .co extension is of little relevance. If you rank well, people will find you and will remember the .co extension. If you have a local business, just drive it into peoples head that it’s .CO not .com – but only if you can get your business name as a .co without having to add any additional words onto the domain. If you’re building a blog or content driven website, try to get a .com.
The .co used to be the country code for the country of Columbia but has since been transformed into a top level domain extension to give people more flexibility with getting the domain name they actually want. The .co extension has grow in popularity of the years and is now much more main stream than it was before so it’s really up to you to make this decision.
Me personally I would always go with a .com, BUT if the .com is be squatted on by a domainer and I can get the .co instead, I would simply go ahead and get the .co.
Ready to get your .co? Head over to Namecheap