Yes – .CO Ranks Just As Well As .COM

This has been a hot topic that I get asked quite a bit so I thought I’d do a quick post about it. With all the buzz around .CO many people are coming to me and asking the golden question, “Can I rank as well with a .CO domain name as I can with a .COM domain name?” The answer to this question is – yes!

Since .CO is not branding itself specifically as the ccTLD for Colombia but instead as a TLD that can be used all over the world Google has allowed you to Geo-Target it using Google Webmaster Tools. For the record this is not new news, I first reported this last year shortly after it was announced by Google yet this is still a common question.

If you haven’t used Google Webmaster Tools before it’s pretty easy to get started with. Simply visit Google.com/WebMasterTools and you can easily setup an account. Once you’re setup you’ll add a small snipped of code to your website and Google Webmaster Tools will begin tracking your site. You can then login to Webmaster Tools and select Site Configuration -> Settings. At the top of the screen you’ll see geographic target. This is where you can tell Google that your .CO site should be targeting the United States.

Of course you don’t have to take my word for it, below is a video by Matt Cutts from Google explaining how Google treats .CO domains:



{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Troy October 5, 2011, 2:38 pm

    Morgan,

    How are your .co sites doing in the rankings? I recall you are the owner of Bimmer.co. Has it been ranking well for you?

    Reply
  • dcmike77 October 5, 2011, 2:45 pm

    That’s not clear to me. Just because you can geo-target doesn’t mean it ranks as high as .com.

    .tv and .me are also geo-targetable – so can they rank as high as .com ?

    Reply
  • Steven October 5, 2011, 3:31 pm

    Sure, there is the ability to do geo-targeting with .co, but you make an entirely unrelated and inaccurate jump in saying that means .co ranks just as well as .com. That is simply wrong as .co does not receive the same ‘bonus’ that google gives .com/.net/.org domains for organic rankings.

    Reply
  • Stardom October 5, 2011, 3:57 pm

    you should have used the word ‘technically’ and realistically, ‘highly unlikely’
    as I have never seen any .co website appear in any search result

    we are all aware of webmaster tools for .tv, .me and .co
    however seeing the proof in the pudding is something entirely different

    and what does bing and yahoo think of dot co?

    Reply
    • Morgan October 5, 2011, 4:14 pm

      Thanks for all the great comments!

      @Steven – .CO actually does rank just as well as .COM. Google does not give .COM/.NET/.ORG any bonus. This is a myth that was dispelled a long time ago. If you registered a .CO and a .COM domain each with the same keywords in the name they would have an equal chance of ranking well.

      @Stardom – remember, there are so many more .COM domains registered it’s no surprise that you don’t see .CO or many other TLDs when you search in Google. This really doesn’t have anything to do with ranking though. .CO has only been around for a little over a year, .COM has been dominant for over 15 years…big difference 🙂

      Reply
  • Nima.Co October 5, 2011, 4:16 pm

    I have to agree with, Morgan, on this one. I’ve been running an ongoing case study on the .Co gTLD with my domain investing blog and I have multiple page 1 and position 1 rankings for industry specific terms. As you can imagine all of my “competitors” are for the most part .com’s. I say competitors, because we’re competing for similar search terms, but in reality they are friends.

    Reply
  • Joe October 5, 2011, 4:37 pm

    @Stardom

    “I have never seen any .co website appear in any search result”

    If you search for Charlotte Church on Google, CharlotteChurch.CO is second on page 1, while the .com and .co.uk are nowhere to be found .

    Reply
  • Steven October 5, 2011, 5:26 pm

    “Google does not give .COM/.NET/.ORG any bonus. This is a myth that was dispelled a long time ago.” What’s your authoritative source for this? My experience shows otherwise.

    Reply
    • Morgan October 5, 2011, 5:32 pm

      @Steven – my source is Matt Cutts from Google, who is the authority on the algorithm. He has been quoted saying this many many times as it comes up often at SEO forums and seminars.

      This question also came-up at Domain Roundtable in 2008 when Matt Cutts was there and he re-iterated again that Google does not give .COM, .NET, or .ORG any bonus in search. You can read more about it here:
      http://www.seo.com/blog/conferences/matt-cutts-does-domain-roundtable/

      This has come-up in the SEO talks at all the Affiliate Summit Conferences I’ve attended. Very common misconception.

      Reply
  • Steven October 5, 2011, 5:56 pm

    Thanks for the link Morgan, but that’s not exactly what Matt Cutts says (at least in the link you provided). It’s from 2008 and then Cutts said that the original google algorithm did not consider TLD, but now (2008) some TLDs were already treated differently (cheap ones – like .info I’d guess) and “they might start considering TLD in their algorithm if they’re not already doing so.”

    I can find numerous blog posts on both sides of the issue from many “experts,” but I haven’t seen anything Matt Cutts specifically said recently that .travel or .co for example get the same exact treatment as .com, all other things being equal.

    Reply
  • Steven October 5, 2011, 5:57 pm

    I’ll add that I have not been to affiliate conferences to hear from Matt directly as you apparently have, but I’m pretty sure someone would blog his exact words somewhere if he made a clear statement on the issue.

    Reply
  • James October 5, 2011, 6:03 pm

    @Steven
    “My experience shows otherwise.”

    This just shows that you may not be as experienced as you think! 🙂

    Reply
  • RAYY.co October 5, 2011, 9:25 pm

    @Stardom

    “I have never seen any .co website appear in any search result”

    If you search for i3dtv on Google, i3dtv.CO is in 1st and top 3 spots on page 1, while the .com and .net are existed.

    i3dtv.pl is in number 7 spot.

    Reply
  • RAYY.co October 5, 2011, 9:29 pm

    Also If you search for i3dtv on Bing, i3dtv.CO is in 1st and 2nd spots on page 1.

    Reply
  • Troy October 6, 2011, 1:26 am

    I do believe that Rayy.co has us all writhing in the crushing grip of reason…

    Reply
  • RAYY.co October 6, 2011, 2:22 pm

    @Troy

    Morgan is perfectly right…”Yes – .CO Ranks Just As Well As .COM”

    If you search for Smart 3dtv on Google and Bing, Smart3dtv.CO is in 1st and 2nd spots on page 1 as well…lol

    Reply
  • Deborah November 24, 2011, 8:19 am

    I have seen ginsengbenefits.co at the top for ginseng benefits. I think Google played a trick. They knew there would be a lot of spamming on the .co domains. They did not let them rank the first year. I had a friend buy the electricianlondon.co. We built it out with links and could not even find it on page 30 for those search terms for a solid year. Suddenly, it started showing up on page 3 or so for those search terms.

    Regarding TLD. I bought cordycepsbenefits.org. That puppy went to page two for cordyceps benefits with absolutely no backlinks. Very little content.

    I’m still researching the .co domains because strange things happen with them. I have noticed the Googlebot will not crawl them for weeks after I add them to my server. It gets the other sites within a day or two. I’m still trying to figure out why.

    Reply
  • Salil October 19, 2013, 5:15 am

    Can we geo target .co in bing?

    Reply

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