Google Evens The Playing Field: .CO Geo-Targeting Confirmed!

I thought this headline might get your attention. As usual Domain Name Wire has beat me to a great story 🙂 I only kid – Andrew is an awesome guy and does an excellent job of breaking news! DNW is a blog I’ve been reading everyday for three years…there’s very few blogs I can say that about! This story dovetails perfectly on a post I wrote yesterday, Why People Love To Hate .CO…And Why I Love .CO!

I got a lot of comments from people with their FEARS about .CO. There is nothing wrong with being scared – but part of taking a risk means believing in something and knowing that you’re taking a risk. For me, my #1 concern was how Google would treat .CO. If they kept it as a ccTLD like .ie, .fr and many other ccTLDs then it would be harder to rank in Google US.

Well the news this morning made my day…and here it is straight from Google themselves!

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. (Google to Treat .Co as International Domain – Domain Name Wire)

This means that .CO domains will have the same geo-targeting options that .com domains have!

Even Google themselves says within Webmaster Tools that only neutral top-level domains like .com and .org can use geo-targeting. Since .CO is now in there that puts it on par with a .com or .org domain.

This has been my #1 hesitation with .CO and I think the top objection I’ve heard so far. With that out of the way I think that a lot of people got some great domains this week and I’m looking forward to seeing some .CO sites on the first page of Google! I’m working on one of mine now so stay-tuned – I want to be one of the first 100 .CO sites on the Internet 🙂

As always I encourage you to share your opinion! Comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Ms Domainer July 22, 2010, 11:58 am

    *

    First rule of journalism: unless the Google “spokesperson” has a name, nothing is for certain.

    I hope it IS true, though.

    *

    Reply
  • jeff July 22, 2010, 12:04 pm

    How much to ask for a geo .co? I emailed companies and one wants to buy. I guess I should have waited for the namejet auctions to end… What are the prices up to? 😛

    Reply
  • Troy July 22, 2010, 12:25 pm

    Whoa! This is great news… It means that Google will be guaranteed to give a .co site the same rankings they currently give .biz.

    Awesome. That means my .co’s are worth the same as .biz!

    Reply
  • nr July 22, 2010, 12:28 pm

    i agree with Troy. i dont see how it makes .co any different than .biz

    Reply
  • Morgan July 22, 2010, 12:59 pm

    Haha @Troy – that’s one way to look at it 🙂

    Just think – if .CO was treated like other ccTLD’s, let’s say .FR, then you could not Geo-Target and you’d be stuck in Google.FR.

    Instead, they are treating .CO like a .COM, .NET, .ORG, and yes – .BIZ. However there are for more .COM, .NET, and .ORG names out there so not sure why you’d want to highlight .BIZ.

    Remember, this is a TLD for Developers not Investors. I think if you buy names you plan to develop and turn-into brands your in good shape. Being able to Geo-Target to the US means that you have the same chance as a .COM to get ranked – to me that’s a big deal!

    Reply
  • Troy July 22, 2010, 1:10 pm

    But Morgan, you are looking at the issue from the angle that this announcement puts .co on the same par development wise as a .com, .net or .org. That is not true thought. Not geotargeting is not even half the battle, probably not even 10% of the battle.

    The real battle is that there is no way in hell Google is going to rank .co’s anywhere near the top three. Sure, you can still make money on alternative tld’s, Bruce Marler seems to be making money hand over fist on Missouri.me, but how much more money would he be making if he had dropped 50 grand on Missouri.org or Missouri.net? In that case I would be much more comfortable with the business.

    With all the effort, press releases, blog updates, links from other blogs, videos, sttended conferences and more, Missouri.me still does not rank on the first 100 pages of google under the search term “Missouri”. That is a serious problem, that is a problem that can possible crush a business in time and that is the same thing we will most likely see with .co’s.

    I don’t think that people that paid $29 for category killer .co’s are dumb, far from it, they will sell for a good profit, but they will sell to other domainers, stupid domainers that did not get in on the main rush, then, 2-3 years later you will see .co’s dropping left and right and you will see category killer .co names on ebay that wont even sell for $10, just like we have seen with .me.

    Could someone please give me a strait forward reason why .co is ANY DIFFERENT than .me or .mobi? (or any other release for that matter).

    Keep being that optimist Morgan, it will help you appreciate life much better, but there is a difference between seeing the glass as half half full and drinking a half full glass of poison with the idea that positive optimistic thoughts will turn it into water in your stomach.=)

    Some people see a glass half full, some see it half empty, they are both right. But an optimistic viewpoint will not turn poison into water, no matter how much we smile about it.

    Reply
  • Kevin M. July 22, 2010, 3:13 pm

    @troy – Stop making sense, stop making sense..!!

    I gotta agree here Morgan with Troy and others. Point in case, how may .tv’s does one find in the top 3 pages of Goog.., heck any of the big 3? Ten years later!

    For someone like you that will take advantage of your seo and developing skills, the Google ‘acceptance’ of .co could and will probably help you build out a nice site. But I think that yours (and others) ‘cheerleading’ of this anouncement as ‘great news’ for .co, leads to a sorta ‘justification’ for many, of .co’s validity as a good buy/investment that they have/will made. Unfortunately we all know how 90% of new extension ‘investments’ turn out. Great!, if one is a registrar!!

    Reply
  • Ed from htmlpress.net July 23, 2010, 4:10 am

    Great news if you have a generic .co domain (that is to be developed) wherein the corresponding .com is only parked. You can benefit from the mis typing and have better chances with the search engine ranking.

    Reply
  • Troy July 23, 2010, 11:51 pm

    And the first .co auctioned off is a bust.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/WACKY-CO-Domain-name-4-sale-/170516741884?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Domain_Names&hash=item27b396fefc

    Wacky.co ended a three day auction today on ebay and did not even get an initial bid of .99 (in full disclosure the seller was asking for a $38 shipping fee as well).

    While I am sure that some .co will sell, this does say quite a lot about the possible situation.

    Wacky.com was registered in 1995 and would probably have sold for 5000-10000 in my opinion. The .co did not even sell for a total cost of $39. Seems to back up my viewpoint on .co just being like .me. The only difference here is that the .co registry paid to advertise on a ton of bloggers blogs and this could have possibly swung all their opinions in favor of .co. To be honest, I don’t know what has made so many domainers love it but there is no denying that they do=).

    Now comes the time when we will see if it really has any value.

    Reply
  • Bruce Marler July 24, 2010, 9:40 am

    Troy,

    I appreciate the nice comments about the Missouri.me site and our launch. But I was literally in the process of putting together a blog post discussing how people look at the most obvious term that someone may be trying to rank for when they look at a domain when in reality what someone may be shooting for my be much different.

    We have never tried to rank for Missouri, actually if we ranked for Missouri we would be doing zero value for our customers. We shoot for, and rank, for very targeted terms that convert well for our hundreds of advertising customers. The big different between the web and legacy advertising is the ability to target much more effectively using SEO. I know that if I rank for certain terms when that visitor comes to a certain page on Missouri.me they are likely to convert to a click/customer for my customer.

    We preach that day in and day out to our customers, its no longer about broad reach when it comes to local, its about very targeted marketing online.

    I do appreciate the comments but your comment was timely in that I was working on organization of a blog post about that specific thing.

    One a side note, we recently inked a partnership with a regional media company because Missouri.me is ranking well on many terms they would like. We are now working together for the betterment of both companies. We rank above the .COM portal they have for many terms with our .ME, rather competitive terms too.

    Morgan, great post bud!

    Bruce

    Reply
  • Troy July 24, 2010, 10:22 am

    Bruce,

    Thanks for clarifying some things but in my defense I want to say that I never claimed that you were trying to rank for “Missouri”, that was not the point of my comment at all.

    The point of my comment was to point out that .me domains (and really many other smaller extensions) simply do not have the ranking power that the top three have. You site is a good example of this.

    Again, I believe you when you say that you are not trying to rank for the term “Missouri” however, if you were trying to rank for the terms Missouri you really would not be doing much different at all. The plan to rank for the term “Missouri” would include a handful of things to do such as:

    1. Build up backlinks that have the word “Missouri” in the anchor text.
    2. Include the word “Missouri” in the page title of the home page.
    3. use a domain name that includes the word “Missouri”
    4. Use the word “Missouri” prominently in the text of the home page.
    5. Use the word “Missouri” in the meta tags of the home page

    Whether of not you are consciously trying to rank for the term “Missouri”, the truth of the matter is that you are doing each and everyone of those things. You have over 600 backlinks according to BacklinkWatch.com and the large majority have “Missouri.me” as the anchor text. Your page title include the word “Missouri” three times, your domain name is Missouri.me, you use the word Missouri multiple times on the home page in spite of the home page being very low on text and you use the word Missouri multiple times on the keywords and meta tag section.

    Truth of the matter Bruce is that it is good that you are not “targeting” the word “Missouri” because after all you have done it is pretty certain that you simply would not get it. And if Missouri.com, Missouri.net or Missouri.org did what you have done so far they would most likely be on page 1 of Google for Missouri. Missouri.me has done a ton of work and is not even on the first 100 pages.

    I don’t know why everyone is scared to admit saying that these smaller extensions such as .biz, .me and .TV suck for search engines. Lets all just admit it.

    I am not attacking you individually, you made a choice to work with .me instead of a better known extension and as a result you have probably saved hundreds of thousands of dollars that you would have had to have used to purchase the names you have in a better extension. This is not an attack on you, you have made a choice and it seems to be doing well for you, but the simple truth is that .me sucks on the search engines, you have simply been able to compensate for that.

    Congrats to you for building a winning business on a sub par extension. That is something to be proud of, but take the credit for your work and at least admit it is a sub par extension that does not rank well at all on Google.

    Reply
  • Evie July 24, 2010, 1:34 pm

    Any domain with and name or extension with GREAT content will find it’s way to the front of the pack.

    Reply
    • Morgan July 25, 2010, 1:02 pm

      Well said @Evie!

      Reply
  • Ed from htmlpress.net July 24, 2010, 4:18 pm

    Interesting topic forming here which made me do a quick research. So far I think if you have all these other extensions (.me, .biz, .tv) you can benefit from it by getting a niche keyword — and some good publicity with some pretty good backlinks. An example is the keyword “despicable”. When i type this i see a dot me website on the first page of Google.

    The surpising keyword is Wordpress. I get Wordpress dot tv on the second page of Google. This domain name has the same registrant as Wordpress dot org. Personally, I think the jury is still out on these extensions.

    Reply
  • Troy July 24, 2010, 4:56 pm

    Ed,

    Despicable.me is the official website of the movie “Despicable Me”. It would look pretty stupid for Google to rank another website over the official website.

    I think the jury came back in the room a while ago and I think all the facts seem to make that pretty clear. As for now .com, .net and .org are without a doubt the best extensions for SEO in the United States. Naturally you can choose to develop some other extension, but in the words of Frank Shilling, you will have to commit to working “twice as hard and three times as long”, which is what current .me owners are having to do.

    Reply
  • Ed from htmlpress.net July 24, 2010, 6:18 pm

    Troy,

    I appreciate your reply and I think we can agree on what Frank Shilling said that one will have to work “twice as hard and three times as long”… to achieve a good ranking in the major search engines.

    (I did one more research this time on the keyword “anime” and found animefreak dot tv website on the second page of my Google search results.)

    Reply
  • 3ddi3 October 31, 2010, 7:03 pm

    This is such good news for business owners with a .co extension! Thanks.

    Reply
  • ilginç ürünler April 10, 2013, 7:28 am

    What about .pw domains? It is still not available for geotargeting on webmaster tools.

    Reply

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