When starting a business online, one of the first things you need to look into is getting a domain name for your website.
While you’re searching on different sites to buy a perfect domain name, you might find yourself with an interesting question. Should you buy a .co or .com domain name.
In this article, we’re going to walk you through a detailed comparison between .co vs .com and the advantages of picking one over the other.
Difference Between .co and .com
To understand the difference between .co and .com domain extension, there’s a small history lesson that we have to talk about the internet.
In 1985, when websites were starting to pop up, different extensions were created to differentiate websites on the web.
Sites ending with .org were meant to classify organizations, .biz was meant to classify businesses, and .com was meant to classify commercial organizations.
Back then, there wasn’t any law holding people back from creating any one of these sites using the extension they preferred, so most people stuck with .com because everyone else was using it.
This created even more demand for a .com domain extension and brings us to where we are now, with over 126 million .com registrations out there.
.Co was actually created by one of the top domain registrars, GoDaddy, to combat the landscape of the .com demand.
GoDaddy understands that with that many users on .com, it’s hard sometimes to find the URL you would want and have to sacrifice the quality a little bit for availability.
Let’s go through a couple of other comparisons to help you make a decision on what extension to get.
.Co vs .Com: Availability
When it comes to choosing between these two, one of the only positives of picking a .co is its availability. Because .com is so popular, it’s getting very difficult to find a domain name that you would like to use for your sites.
Let’s say you want to create a website. You go to a site to try to find available domain names, and you choose something like xyz.com.
The chances are that someone already owns that domain name. The only way you can get that particular domain name with the .com extension is if its owner is ready to sell it. Even if they are ready to sell, they would definitely sell it at a very high price.
On the other hand, if you look for the xyz.co domain name, it has a big chance of being readily available already and for a reasonable price.
If you think of a website name you must-have, but it is taken on .com, your best option would be to use a .co extension for your site.
.Co vs .Com: Popularity
One of the biggest reasons to not use .co is that most people don’t understand websites and think every site just ends in .com. If you hand them a business card or they see an ad with a site that ends in .co, they might just assume that’s a typo and go to the .com version.
One of the worst things that can happen when you’re marketing your business is market for your .co website, and then your future customers are typing in .com after the URL instead of .co.
Most of the time, this would mean you’re actually sending customers to your competitor because if you guys have the same URL with different extensions, you two are probably doing the same kind of work online.
.Co vs .Com: Pricing
When GoDaddy started the .co domain extension, one smart thing they did is, they raised the price for .co extension over .com.
The reason this is a good idea is that it stops businesses from grabbing both when they buy a domain. This allows the domain market to stay separated and actually be two different markets.
What most people would do is just hold onto the .co domain extension and just redirect it to their .com version or just never use it. This means, later on, someone else can’t come along and use it to set up a website with similar names and later become a competition.
.Co vs .Com: SEO
If you don’t know what SEO is, an easy way to explain it is to describe it as the practice of getting Google and other search engines to show your website on the first page of their platforms.
Now, according to Searchmetrics, Google has stated before that they prefer .com extensions and rank those better than the other extensions (though we still think it is a myth).
So if you have a good looking website on a .com extension and a good looking site on a .co, the website on .com will most likely still rank higher.
This should be a big indicator of why you should stick with .com. In almost every kind of online business, you want people to find you organically on the search engines.
Choosing something like .com is just one factor in the entire SEO game that can really help your chances of ranking on that first page of Google and other search engines.
When it comes to choosing a .co or .com extension for your website, the almost clear cut answer is choosing a .com. One of the main factors is it’s just not as confusing. Most people will see an advertisement promoting a URL with .co and just assume it’s a typo and go to the .com version instead.
Just the popularity alone should be enough to stick with .com, but if you really need more of a push, the SEO benefits stand alone on it’s worth.
Every site we have has a big focus on SEO, and yours should too, and hindering it in any way (in this case with a .co extension) doesn’t look good.
The only reason we could tell you to choose a .co extension is if you have a brand already or a brand in mind that you have to stick with. If you have a viral YouTube or Instagram page that you want to create a website for and the .com is taken, you can go for the .co version.
What are your thoughts about the .co and .com domain extension? Have you seen any differences while ranking the sites with different domain extensions, or is it just a myth?
Do share your experiences in the comments section below. It would certainly help other readers and us.