British National Speedway Changes to .CO, Almost All Teams to Do The Same

103

A friend sent me something interesting and I thought it would be interesting to share for those who follow .CO developments as well as those who don’t think .CO has a chance of catching on in the “real world.” If you aren’t aware, Speedway is a popular motorcycle sport where the bikes have no brakes, can accelerate to 60 mph, and have just one gear. It’s a fairly popular sport throughout the UK.

According to the official British Speedway website (SpeedwayGB.CO), there are three speedway leagues in the UK:

  • The Elite League (The top league).
  • The Premier League (The middle League).
  • The National League (The league to hopefully train the youngsters).

In the Elite League, there are ten professional teams. Each of these ten teams (except for one) uses a .CO domain name for official websites. In the Premier League, all 14 teams use .CO domain names. Similarly, in the National League, all ten teams use .CO domain names. The British Speedway also recently changed from .com to .CO.

According to the former Edinburg Monarchs team website, the team recently rebranded to the .CO domain name per instruction from the BSPA. It seems that almost all of others have done the same.

From my perspective, I would imagine they did this for a couple reasons. First and foremost is that with .CO, all of the names they needed were available to register, allowing them to maintain uniformity among all teams in the three leagues. Secondly, .CO would allow them to have more of an international branding rather than .co.uk, which is more limited to just the UK. Perhaps this was done  more so  for the first reason, but both reasons would make sense.

With speedway racing a very popular sport in the UK, this is pretty big for .CO and gives quite a bit of exposure to the masses.

103 COMMENTS

  1. Very interesting. While I don’t see the sport getting great global coverage it does raise the questions you presented. Could be simply that the right of the dot was available as you stated. Dot CO definitely has some legs.

  2. Cool but it’s gonna take a lot more than a bunch of Brits on motorcycles to “catch on in the real world”, IMO.

  3. if you are not registered or registering

    .Co

    you are in big trouble

    While at first blush .CO may look to represent Company/Corporation/or other Commercially focused endeavors — the thing that makes .CO so remarkable is that the use of the .CO domain is not limited to those meanings. It has global appeal – and it has more flexibility than other domain extensions.

    Simply put, .CO is meaningful.
    Register your .CO domain today!

    http://domaindiving.info/102

  4. This is just another example that

    .Co

    is faster, quicker, and far superior than the longer version of .com

    If our globally connected, mobile connected world .Co not only has a global reach far exceeding .com but just simply makes sense.

  5. @Elliot Silver

    ok, I’ll rachet it down a bit.

    But everything I say is the truth.

    .com was a mistake to begin with,

    now everyone is correcting basically their site address to what it should have always been.

    There really is no reason to type the extra ‘M’.

    .Co encompasses .com and everything else.

  6. Let’s say at least 1000 people see a major site like

    speedwaygb.co

    and the .com site correctly forwarding to the .co site

    You have to wonder how many other people will follow the lead of a major organization’s site like this.

    The brush fire has begun and we will see many more sites forwarding to the faster and quicker .co addresses going forward.

  7. There are leaders like O.CO and speedwaygb.co who are at least 2 years ahead of their time and then there are followers.

    People will remember these companies for being prescient.

  8. Great article, El! And I agree with Michael Castello, whatever the actual reason was, we’re seeing new sales and acquisitions on a daily basis that prove .CO has some legs.

  9. @Elliot:
    For some reason, I don’t think that “Robert Cline” (James Kim for those of you who know how to use WHOIS) is listening to you. However, I have feeling that he may simpy be a double-agent. The world’s most vocal proponent of dotCO uses dotCOM for his homepage 🙂

  10. lol @David

    It still boggles my mind at how deeply invested in .co @Robert Cline must be. No random person would go to the lengths this guy does.

    Mind = blown

    Times 2

  11. It would be nice for some of the .CO proponents to actually call “Robert Cline” out for making ridiculous comments.

    He is doing nothing but a disservice to people actually interested in .CO and its future.

    Brad

  12. For someone who does not own a single .co, I think this is actually great for those who own it. I am still not in a hurry to buy .co because it is not like it is any cheaper when you do the opportunity cost. Honestly it does not matter what we all say in the end it will depend on Google or who ever becomes the google of the future and what the masses will choose to visit. For example will Americans visit Loans.com or Loans.co? To me one of them says credibility and I won’t say which, because I don’t really give a rats tail about this .co debate but I am very happy for those who are enthused by it.

  13. To me, it makes a lot of sense for the British to adopt .co. They are already using .co.uk so it likely feels more natural to get rid of the .uk and just get .co.

    Things are looking better for the .co domain. Past months have seen better sales and it is now at 2% sales volume on Sedo, on par with .es and .nl.

  14. By the way, a Big company contacted me by email and offered to buy my three-letter .CO domain. The company is using one of the meanings of the three-letter domain I have as its domain name. They would like to have it in a form of abbreviation, that’s the domain name I have. The company is also using the abbreviation in its homepage as its trademark.
    I have not yet responded to their offer because I don’t know how trademarks work in relation to three-letter domain names. I visited the USPTO website and I searched trademarks related to my three-letter domain name. The result was hundreds, if not thousands of companies using my three-letter domain as a trademark.
    Would you guys advice me whether or not I should respond to their offer?? please help me

  15. as I have said many times before

    LLL.CO ‘s are worth

    anywhere from

    $3,000 – $20,000

    by the end user, which will invariably be a mid to large company.

    @mava

    just curious, how much was their initial offer? And then I can tell you what you are likely to get.

  16. @ Robert

    Are you a successful domain investor, or did you fall off the back of the turnip truck and start buying .CO, and now you feel the need to pump it like you do.

    If you think you’re helping things, I think you are mistaken.

  17. @Frankie: To the average Joe, loans.com looks legit. Mainly because we’ve all been exposed to big name advertising using .com for 15 years.

    loans.co on the other hand looks like a trick to lure someone to a phishing site. As do all other .co names with the possible exception of o.co.

    It will take many years before folks realize .co is not a typo of .com. In the meantime it will stagnate and churn.

  18. @Elliot Silver

    these are all based on personal and other’s anecdotal information.

    10 days ago my sale of GEV.CO for $3,000

    BMR.CO sold for $15,000

    plus I know of over 30 LLL.CO sales anywhere from $1,000-$9,800 just in the last year.

    prices on LLL.CO are likely to increase in the second and third year by at least 50% my prediction.

  19. @ Robert

    What is your prediction based on? Previous successes or just wishful thinking?

    Trust me, you are doing a disservice to .CO domain investors by continually pumping like a cheerleader. It’s annoying to read.

    BTW, you are full of shit when you say “LLL.CO ‘s are worth anywhere from $3,000 – $20,000” when you’ve stated you’ve seen sales of $1k, so obviously you are wrong. Further, 30 sales does not mean the other 17500+ 3 letter names are worth anything.

    See… I am very much in the middle with .CO and don’t have strong feelings either way, but reading your posts almost makes me want you to be proven wrong.

  20. the problem with Americans is that we are ethnocentricism.

    we think we Americans are the center of the universe and that what we think must be correct 100%

    well I have news for us folks.

    Americans only make up 5% of the world.

    Most, I think over 60 major countries, i.e. – Britain, already use .CO so this is probably more known than .com

    yet 5% Americans think since .com is what we use, we have the kapash to think that this is true for everyone else.

    well the reality is that 95% of the people, .CO is used all the time and probably used more than .com

  21. @ Robert

    Elliot is right. Many LLL.co are struggling to sell for Mid $XX on domain forums, so your $3000 – $20,000 valuation is ridiculous. That is basically what LLL.com sell for and there is absolutely no comparison between the two.

    You can’t base the value of a group of names based on a handful of outlier sales.

    As far as your comment about America only making up 5% of the world. That might be true population wise, but it is not true financially. The United States has far and away the highest GDP in the world which makes up 25%+ of the global GDP.

    Regardless, .COM is the global extension. It is heavily used in every country. It has grown organically with the internet, with 25+ years of history behind it and is going nowhere.

    Brad

  22. @ Robert

    “well the reality is that 95% of the people, .CO is used all the time and probably used more than .com”

    .COM has close to 100M regs.
    .NET 14M
    .DE 14M
    .ORG 9M
    .INFO 7.7M

    .CO.UK has about 9M total domain regs. Most of the other ccTLD containing .CO have a limited amount of regs.

    Once again your “stats” are just total BS.

    Brad

  23. @Brad

    good try

    would it surprise you to know that, and I think even Elliot will back me up on this

    that 99M of the 100M regs are nothing,

    non existent sites, parked sites.

    I bet you there are more existent sites with the .CO extension than .com extension TODAY,

    not tomorrow, not in an year,

    TODAY I bet you there are more .CO sites than .com

  24. I own about about 360 .co domains. I have sold two. One of them was BMR (15k) and the other was Artemis (2.2k). I don’t get a lot of inquiries but when I do I try to find out who the fish on the end of the line is. The sale of BMR proved to me that it is a desirable and legitimate extension and one that companies will pay a lot for if it is their only option. I’m sure BMR would love to have been able to get bmr.com or bmr.ca but since they weren’t available they went with the next best thing to represent that they are a business enterprise. As far as the value of LLL is concerned, the point is missed. If a company wants a domain they will pay as little as they can and as much as they can afford to budget. As a domainer it is your job to find the sweet spot. There is no hard, fast way to value a domain and there never will be. It depends on too many factors to be decided by a formula.

  25. Responding to you is a waste of time, but I am not going to let you have your own set of facts.

    If you want to see how dominant .COM is –

    1000 of the top 1540 Alexa traffic sites are .COM (1 in 1.5).

    1000 of the top 75,000 Alexa traffic sites are .CO.UK (1 in 75)

    1000 of the top 612,000 Alexa traffic sites are .CO (1 in 612). The highest ranked .CO domain is T.co @ 2,791.

    Many, if not the majority of Alexa ranked .CO sites are COM.CO + EDU.CO, which are not all that relevant.

    Brad

  26. Elliot,
    Is there a reason why .co isn’t advertised currently on your site? I thought they had purchased for the whole year.
    Robert may be helping to keep investors out which is good for people looking to develop.

  27. @Robert

    But some three-letter ,COM domains sold for over $100K, and why three-letter .CO domains should sell for less than $20K? I think when it comes to three-letter domains .CO and .COM should be equal in value to end-users, specially if a company needs it, because they are abbreviations of company’s names. In my case the .com version of my three-letter domain belongs to one of the biggest banks in USA and I own the .CO version. The company that wants it is a multi-million company. My domain is the abbreviation of its name. If they don’t get it they will be forced to continue to use their three-word long name. To me, in this case, I consider my .CO domain name just as .COM domain.
    Please advise me on this.

  28. I love how Robert Cline beats the drum about .co and also promotes epier.com in his links and doesn’t own epier.co

  29. Im in UK and just to throw my 2c in-
    1) Noone, and I mean noone here I have spoken to has heard of .co – with some prodding they ask whether its a mistake or deliberate scam.
    2) Im sure Speedway has a caucus of very passionate fans, but trust me – it is nowhere close to being ‘popular’, its just not a sport that engages the national psyche and therefore any movements within it are not going to have some bigger effect.
    3) .co is never ever ever going to be accepted as a short for .co.uk – we see .co.uk as ‘safer’ , homegrown and somehow less open to fraud often than even .com since we regulate it ourself. Mention Colombia to anyone here and their mind turns to corruption, cocaine and war, sad but true – and not great for branding.

    I suspect whichever bright spark that advised the Speedway bosses that this was a good idea are those same ‘experts’ who regularly drop high traffic great names a year or so after these oddball moves – so in that vein I wholeheartedly support it. By that time they’ll have their fees and bonuses and leave it to the next bunch of hired IT help to fix.
    This thread is looking like some kind of demented asylum breakout 🙂 – great stuff

  30. Is this the big news following on from twiiter and overstock that will now have people renewing all their .co’s?

    This extension is heading for the same graveyard as .mobi in my view. The major news has dried up dramatically. I’d suggest anyone holding these, “right now” is probably is likely the best time to get out. Really the best time was probably 6 months ago when the hype was at its peak but in terms of what people can do going forward, now is it in my view.

  31. Robert Cline is most likely a .com investor doing negative marketing for .co by being a complete ass. I think its working.

  32. Once again .CO is mentioned and the comment board lights up like a Christmas tree. Much like you Elliot, I stayed in the middle on .co with cautious optimism. However, whenever the extension .CO is mentioned, everything starts going wild. perhaps this extension has even more legs than I thought.

    @Robert

    Why does anyone even refer to .com when talking about .co? There is no competition. .com has its place and so does .co. Two vastly different extensions. It may be somewhat counterproductive to constantly reference .com in .co conversation. When someone goes so over-the-top, it is hard to believe them or take what they say respectfully. Enthusiasm is great but a couple degrees backward to that is over-the-top-ness.

  33. Two vastly different extensions.

    The problem is, they aren’t “vastly different”.
    One is a confusing (to John Q) knock-off of the other.

    One has hundreds of billions of dollars of branding, is immediately and intuitively understood by every human on earth who has ever sat in front of a computer, television or listened to a radio.

    The other has Overstock, some ultralight “domainer development” and Robert Cline. Oh, and a billboard in Times Square, was it? That too.

    It will be interesting to see if .co ever grows legs- I’ve always said since day 1 that if it were to do so, it would probably be in places where .co.(ccTLD) was already in common use- but once you step outside the bubble of domainer fallacy (ie- you) and into the real world, the picture for .co as a global TLD is entirely different than what the Namepros type crowd seems to think…

  34. @LS

    My point exactly. Two totally different histories. and it should be left at that. .CO will have it’s own course. Of course at first it will apeear confusing, only because that’s all people know, “.kahm”. It is such a stretch to believ that eventually people will also know “.koh”. I don’t think it’s such a stress for John Q in the long-run. Repetitive exposure is the cure for any confusion.

  35. “Is there a reason why .co isn’t advertised currently on your site? I thought they had purchased for the whole year.”

    @ cm

    I am not sure what their marketing plan is, but they will be back in Q3.

  36. I’m in the UK and I agree with LindaM on all points

    “I suspect whichever bright spark that advised the Speedway bosses that this was a good idea are those same ‘experts’ who regularly drop high traffic great names a year or so after these oddball moves – so in that vein I wholeheartedly support it. By that time they’ll have their fees and bonuses and leave it to the next bunch of hired IT help to fix.”

    .. I think this may be the bright spark responsible 😉

    apmedia.info/portfolio.html

    @Robert …if you wave those .co pom poms any faster and you might take off 🙂

  37. well, I hope .CO registry will lower the renewal fees.

    Although I have made a few sales, GEV.CO being the most significant, I have only made

    $6,000 of my initial investment of $23,000 back so

    not the best. Therefore, I am hoping that the registry will lower the renewal fees on us all.

    Thank you for listening.

  38. First off, I am not a domainer, I promote websites by means of organic SEO and in that field .CO is among the worst extensions you can have, except of course if you are indeed located in Colombia.

    Problem being is that it is a country extension, nothing more. There is absolutely nothing global about it.

    Have you ever tried ranking a .CO website?

    A multitude of 100 (give or take) times more difficult than true global extensions like .COM .NET .ORG and .BIZ or visitors target country extension and it will get only worse as the Search Engines are more and more into “local” search and a website with extension .CO is COLOMBIAN and will NOT rank (easily) in any other country.

    For branding purposes it might be beneficial, but if you want visitors from Google/Bing/Yahoo please think again and do NOT use .CO.

    • “Have you ever tried ranking a .CO website?

      A multitude of 100 (give or take) times more difficult than true global extensions like .COM .NET .ORG and .BIZ or visitors target country extension and it will get only worse as the Search Engines are more and more into “local” search and a website with extension .CO is COLOMBIAN and will NOT rank (easily) in any other country.”

      @ Paul

      What experience do you have ranking (trying to rank) .CO Domain names, or is this an ASSumption based on, well, nothing? If you have tried to rank a .CO domain name unsuccessfully, by all means, please share your experience.

  39. @Paul

    “Have you ever tried ranking a .CO website?”

    Yes, it’s possible to get a .CO domain on page 1-2, even if it’s not a premium. A couple of days ago I was searching for ‘hydroponics’ on Google.co.in and found 3 .COs on page 2 out of 5,000,000+ results: HydroponicsSystems.CO – HydroponicsGardening.CO – HydroponicsNutrients.CO [google.co.in/search?q=hydroponics&hl=en&start=10]

    All of these 3 domains aren’t even fully developed websites, they have gaunt minisites that look like parked pages and highly doubt they have any SEO. Just imagine if the owner spent money on development and serious SEO.

    I’m sorry, but if you have problems ranking some .CO domains, I’m not that sure .CO is to blame…

  40. @em
    I’ll tell you, from my perspective, why these boards light up wihen there is an article about dotCo. I believe that one of the most important things to happen to all of us is for outside investors and endusers to come into our space. Our recent sale of Driven.com for 225K was to someone who had never purchased a domain name before in the aftermarket (they specifically needed that domain name for an upcoming project). The truth is that I had to go back and forth almost a month with them to educate them about the marketing power (and value) of a single word generic dotCom.
    My brother and I always do our best to promote our industry wherever we go. Five years ago some investors I know, heard abbout our success, came in and bought up some names. They had also been reading the blogs and were convinced by some “Robert Clines” to pony up. I was excited and asked them which names they bought. Their answer? “We bought a lot of dotMobi names.” I was mortified.
    You can easily guess that they lost their shirts. Worse, they will never again invest in domain names.
    DotCo has done quite well – if you keep their success in a healthy perspective. However, a lot of people read these blogs and when you have people like “Robert Cline” spouting that “I believe eventually everyone will be required to switch over to .co” it is imperative to speak up.

  41. @LindaM although I agree with your points and I think the high cost of the .CO extension will actually prevent it from being used for scams.

    Extensions like .info which go for pennies are the ones that get used by Nigerian princes looking for ways to withdraw their millions.

  42. Here’s a surprise result, looks like it is possible to rank well for that term using a .co

    Searching from UK – if I seach for just the keyword speedway using Google.co.uk then this is what I see

    speedwaygb.co is number one

    skysports.com/speedway is number 2

    wikipedia.org is number 3

    poolespeedway.net is number 4

    speed-way.com is number 5

    bellevueaces.co is number 6

    speedway-forum.co.uk is number 7

    lakesidehammers.com is number 8

    last 2 are youtube videos

    so 2 .co in the top 10

    ————————————————

    If I search using the “pages from the UK” option

    then wolverhamptonwolves.co is number 10 with the same ones as above.

    so 3 .co in the top 10

    ———————————————–

    If I search using google.com

    speedway.com is number 1 & 2

    speedwaymototors.com is number 3

    speedwaygb.co is number 4

    speedwayworld.tv is number 5

    skysports.com/speedway is number 6

    speedwaygp.com is number 7

    wikipedia is number 8

    poolspeedway.net is number 9

    kansasspeedway.com is number 10

    so 1 .co in the top 10

    It looks like it is possible but of course thats only testing one name and personally speaking i don’t think speedway is that popular in the uk, I’v had motorcycles for 30+ years and in all that time I have never came across anyone who goes to watch speedway…..but of course some people must be doing it. I think its more of a southern thing 😉

    will a .co rank as well for a popular search term…I don’t know.

  43. Looks like the article awakens the hibernating bear. You can count on Robert’s cheesy comment such as everyone will eventually be required to switch over to
    .co.

    That’s quite possibly the most unintelligent comment I’ve seen on any domain blog. Keep dreaming about your overrated extension. The dot com was never a mistake. It’s the best extension. If you owned better dot com, you probably wouldn’t be downgrading the extension.

    Simply put; your comments over time have little impact. I’m glad I have a cognitive perception; otherwise, I would have wasted money. Dot com can pay itself off in ad clicks. You can’t duplicate the same results with the dot co. Your lucid dreams seem as a desperate ploy to capitalize off the extension.

    No thanks. Dot com is the best extension. There’s nothing dot can do to overtake dot com.

  44. @Paul
    For branding purposes it might be beneficial, but if you want visitors from Google/Bing/Yahoo please think again and do NOT use .CO.

    I quite disagree with you Paul.

    .CO can rank quite well eg my mini site without much contents in it. Based in Australia, all search results are in page one:

    i3dtv.CO rank #1 at Google and Bing search when type ” i3dtv”

    Smart3dtv.CO rank #1 at Bing, #7 at Google when search keyword “smart 3dtv”

    3dLondon.CO #3 at Bing when search “3d london”

    3dPad.CO #1 at Bing , #10 at Google when search ” 3dpad ”

    So, there are possibility to rank well. I haven’t add good contents to those sites yet, I need to allocate times to add good contents and pages…

    Lets hope that .CO will get wider recognition in future…

  45. @Robert
    “would it surprise you to know that, and I think even Elliot will back me up on this
    that 99M of the 100M regs are nothing,
    non existent sites, parked sites.”

    That is wrong. The .com is one of the most widely used international TLDs and despite a large level of PPC parking and holding pages, there are millions of developed .com websites. Now even if just 1% of those 100M domains were developed into active websites, it would be more than the entire number of registered .co ccTLD domains.

    “I bet you there are more existent sites with the .CO extension than .com extension TODAY”

    No there are not. The .co still has a long way to go to attain the registration level of .com.

  46. @Jason

    While Robert obviously lays it on thick when he talks about .CO, you, while trying to reply to him, have done the same thing writing such a big post just to say that .com is better.

    IMHO there is no need to even trout .com in every single article dealing with .CO, because they are two different planets of two different galaxies.

  47. @ Robert Cline
    In September on The Domains I wrote you were the village idiot of .CO. Thank you for proving me correct.

    If we stop comparing .CO to .com it has it’s place. I highly doubt the folks at .CO were saying, “let’s over-take .com” before they launched. 17,500 LLL.co have some value well above $30. Few small businesses do SEO, as do few websites. Geo.CO have value to many businesses. T.co, X.co, O.co are not going anywhere and will only increase exposure to people behind start-ups of all sizes and industries. It is likely that O.co will support the stadium effort with TV ads during the 8 games with millions of viewers.
    Folks who say the Sedo 2% report shows how the extension is being dumped do not understand basic markets. For every seller there was a buyer. A market is out of balance when one half is missing, ie, what were .pro sales during the period? There are no .pro buyers but there are 9,276 .pro domains for sale at Sedo.

  48. It’s quite frightening to read the comments by ‘Robert Cline’.

    At least he’s being honest by saying he’s far from recouping his investments. Renewal time is approaching (ding ding).

    Carry on like this Robert and you will crash into a wall. You are the follower here, you’re chasing a dream.

  49. @Kate
    He use to list his buys. Many were not good, falling into the “I can register a domain so I must be a marketing expert” category. Generics have their place as investments, but, IMO, brandables will happen with end users (subzerorepair.co) but are a stretch as investments.

  50. hello everyone

    it has come to my attention that I will now be needing your help in trying to raise $15,000 in 2 months.

    If you have enjoyed my posts and my support, please help by making a charitable donation or contribution to my renewal fund which will soon be set up at

    Pledges.co

    Thank you for all your support in advance.

  51. @Joe: that I didn’t know and thanks very much for the link.

    That actually changes my perception of .CO, a lot.

    Indeed I never knew that somehow Google manually selected some ccTLD’s and gave webmasters the possibility to specify a specific region for it and may treat it as gTLD if the content is globally targeted.

    That is actually very surprising to me, but indeed it gives .CO a higher value, although I am not sure how Bing/Yahoo treat them.

    As for me trying to rank .CO’s, no, never owned one and I don’t have clients. I do however have experience in “normal” ccTLD’s and those are nowhere near as easy to rank as gTLD’s (at least of course for outside that specific country) and without knowing that Google let webmasters manually specify a specific region to .CO’s and may treat them as gTLD depending on the content, I commented here about it.

    So sorry that I didn’t give up-to-date advice for Google, indeed foolish of me to give advice on a matter for which I only suspected that Google treats .CO as every other ccTLD, but without knowing that they did a manual override for them.

    So my advice is NOT valid anymore, at least for .CO, but for “normal” ccTLD it still is.

    Do you also know what Bing/Yahoo think of .CO’s?

  52. @Paul

    Don’t worry, we’re here to help each other 🙂 Glad the link helped.

    As for Bing/Yahoo, I really don’t know. But I think that as .CO starts to rise in popularity, their plans will change accordingly (if they haven’t already done that).

  53. Thanks again Joe.

    Now I actually feel bad about not knowing this, for me major, fact before, as otherwise I probably would have bought many .CO domains in my field, instead of going for net/org/biz.

    There still are about 50 available though, so you just might have turned me into owning .CO’s! 😀

  54. Of course, but since I (mostly) buy domains to develop them and (mostly) hand register them, that has always been my motto.

    I do own a few hundred domains, but 95% are developed websites which make money, so I (normally) don’t buy domains for investing purposes anyway, but thanks once more for the advice!

  55. Are Investors or Inviduals Driving .Co Registrations?
    Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

    Data shows that bulk of domain registrations are not from domainers.
    Are domain investors or individual site owners and end users driving most of the .co domain registrations?
    I just got some data from the .co registry that suggests it’s the latter.
    Registrants with 50 or more .co domain names comprise only 1% of the total registrant base. What’s more, these people only account for about 10% of all domain names registered.
    That means people with fewer than 50 .co domains make up 90% of the total registration base.
    If you define people with 10 or more domains as “domain investors”, the number goes up slightly. About 2% of .co registrants have 10 or more domains, and the total of their portfolios is about 17.5% of all domains registered. This percentage is dropping every month.
    So over 80% of .co registrations are coming from people with fewer than ten .co registrations. Most have just one or two .co domains. I suspect some of the heavily domainer-invested extension are opposite of these numbers for .co.
    For the record, I own one .co domain name — DNW.co.
    In other interesting .co news, .Co Internet was recently nominated for a World Trademark Review Industry Award.

  56. The stats don’t really say much about the level of ‘development’ vs the level of speculation. And I’m not even counting the pure defensive registrations.

    Given that .co was *heavily* hyped to (foreign) speculators, there is absolutely no reason to believe there’s less speculation going on in .co than in previously released extensions. Quite the opposite.

    In fact .co was initially priced at four times the price of .com So you can expect smaller .co portfolios, but not necessarily fewer speculators.

    Today .co is no longer releasing stats unless a milestone is reached. They are secretive the same way as .tv, they would rather no disclose stats because imo they are not that rosy. Soon many landrush domains will be dropped en masse as speculators realize the lack of market and revenue.
    Domains that are not assets are liabilities 😉

  57. It is obvious to everyone the .COM is king, that makes sense because it has been around for a longtime and so matured with the internet. But like everything else around us, time can change everything with the right factors involved and I believe that .CO will find its place next to .COM in time. It will not be king of the internet but it will be king to all the other TLDs except .COM.

  58. @Kate That sums up the situation nicely. Most domainers investing in a new TLD concentrate on the volume of domain registrations without bothering to check the level of usage.

    Checking the level of usage and the types of sites in a TLD is a difficult thing because it involves skills and expertise rarely found outside search engine developers. Small samples (5000 sites or so) and statistical extrapolation to provide estimates rarely works well because of the fascinating ways that people have of breaking HTML and the different ways that PPC sites can appear to be genuine content sites.

    In April 2011, I ran a websurvey over 431,565 detected .co websites. These domains were purely .co domains rather than .com.co or its other subdomains. The results showed that 14.49% were Active/unclassifed. This is characteristic of a new TLD where development has begun. Development takes time and registrants have to see some value in their domains in order to develop them. This seems to be happening but in a new TLD grows from the ground up so the large domainer players with their high value domain sales don’t really matter. They make for nice press releases and provide reassurance for the investors but it is the small developers that create the momentum for the TLD that leads to general acceptance.

    Web development in a new TLD takes time because web developers don’t scale well horizontally. Most new TLDs have speculation. However the high initial registration fee stopped .co becoming an abject mess like the .eu Landrush. The .co registry stopped publishing stats around what would have been the end of the Landrush period. This is where the registration volumes start to adjust to the normal monthly rate. The Godaddy promotion has extended the Landrush and would have increased registrations in the US market. The reduced registration fee would also have had some effect.

    The big test for .co will be the anniversary of its Landrush. Many of the highly speculative domains will drop. Landrush anniversaries are hard times for true believers and fanboys as they have to make a hold’em or fold’em decision. But the .co Landrush Anniversary will be stretched over a few months longer than the typical one due to the Godaddy effect (a mini Landrush anniversary drop in the first part of next year due to some of the Godaddy promotion domains dropping). The upside of the Landrush anniversary is that it makes it easier to see development in a TLD. However it can take up to three renewal cycles before a new TLD matures.

  59. @ John McCormac

    I ask this with all sincerity. If domainers registering do not matter as much as development, why does it matter if they let “highly speculative domains ” drop? They should drop, no?

    Is the test not adoption by small businesses (and large) which use the extension in the public arena like T.co, O.co and the small businesses noted in the blog history. (ChapmanFord.co SubZeroRepair.co, etc.)

    I am not saying a dozen developed sites equals success. But most of the nay-sayers site things like poor SEO results which is less of a concern to most small businesses. IMO SomeIdea.co should be dropped and left for a end user to hand reg someday and only true generic’s and LLL.co are real investments to be made. Maybe 100,000 .co that could truly be called investments and not “back-wash” or “pigeon sh*#” to quote the greats.

  60. “.Co is about to hit its 1 millionth domain registered in little under a year of service (.com is at over a hundred million) and is about to set up a stable pricing plan for one letter and two letter domains.”

    and I reckon

    LLL.CO

    will be next to go through the roof.

  61. @BFitz
    “ask this with all sincerity. If domainers registering do not matter as much as development, why does it matter if they let “highly speculative domains ” drop? They should drop, no?”

    They will drop but it is the overall impact on confidence in the TLD that matters. An overspeculated TLD might have a greater than usual drop. Domainers tend to help promote new TLDs but it is development that gives that new TLD some value. You’ve got the long haul top domainers who have got a lot of the high value keywords and at the other end of the domainer spectrum, the small domainers who look on these big guys as being some kind of smart operators. The big domainers are in for the long haul whereas many of the smaller domainers will only last two renewal cycles if they don’t get into development. When the non-domainer registants see a large number of drops on the Landrush anniversary, they might question the wisdom of their registrations. The Brand Protection registrants (possibly just over 5% of .co) will renew. However the owner of a developed site might be more likely to renew.

    “Is the test not adoption by small businesses (and large) which use the extension in the public arena like T.co, O.co and the small businesses noted in the blog history. (ChapmanFord.co SubZeroRepair.co, etc.)”

    To an extent, yes. The key to development in a new TLD is small business. The large brands, Amazon, Twitter, Overstock have established brands and people already remember them as their .com URLs. The small businesses tend to rely more on word of mouth advertising than million dollar advertising budgets. So when people begin to use these small business .co sites and tell others, the ccTLD’s popularity will increase. Using the concept of .co being a kind of memory anchor for Company or Corporation was a very smart advertising move but the other sides to this triangle are the adoption of the ccTLD by small business users and recognition of the ccTLD the public.

    “I am not saying a dozen developed sites equals success. But most of the nay-sayers site things like poor SEO results which is less of a concern to most small businesses.”

    Every month, I survey approximately 300K Irish websites and analyse their use. This is the May 2011 survey result:
    http://whoisireland.com/irishsitessurvey.html

    I’ve also run surveys on millions of .co.uk, .eu and .mobi websites. SEO is highly overrated as it is nowhere near as widespread as people think. It is not uncommon to see Joomla users, for example, not even bothering to change the default Joomla metadata and index page title. Most small businesses, those who are not actively engaged in e-commerce and sales through their site, consider their website to be some kind of fire and forget brochureware advertising. In search engine terms, the web can look like a large city of one and two storey buildings with a handful of skyscrapers.

    “IMO SomeIdea.co should be dropped and left for a end user to hand reg someday and only true generic’s and LLL.co are real investments to be made.”

    Perhaps. But the high value generics are often long gone by the time that the average domainer gets to register domains in the Landrush. If it wasn’t for .co’s typo nature of .com, the LLL.co domains would be worth a lot less than they are at the moment.

    “Maybe 100,000 .co that could truly be called investments and not “back-wash” or “pigeon sh*#” to quote the greats.”

    The danger for most new domainers when it comes to new and unproven TLDs is that they use .com values to ascertain whether a domain in these new TLDs is valuable. This leads to a lot of multi-keyword registrations. The value of .co has not stabilised yet and while the big ticket sales of one letter domains might give the fanboys some hope, it is the quality of these 100K .co investment domains that will be established in the next two years. But the .co registry’s marketing of the brand and the ccTLD has been one of the best of recent years.

  62. It’s definitely a nice thing that an org like this paid much attention to integrate the .co in their line which will definitely help spread the word that the tld exists.

    I do own a couple of .CO domains and as much as I’d like to think positively about the outcome of things, Cline’s over-optimism over things is just mindblowing and doing much of an opposite effect on my eagerness on things.

    It’s funny though how Elliot goes “Stop being annoying!” :))

  63. @ Mike
    Thank you for the thoughtful response. I would like to add that I have seen no evidence of traffic from typos. I owned a decent City.co and know the .com owner. My traffic was 1/10,000’th his a month. According to Sedo, Restaurant.co gets about 25 direct navs a day. I would guess Restaurant.com is in the thousands per day with their marketing efforts. The “high value generics” (including LLL) being long gone is my point for those who have them–all of this news is good and the junk that will be dropped is irrelevant.

  64. There are primarily 4 types of people posting here.
    1. The person that invested on .CO after weighing up the risk and taking a chance in an unproven domain, with possibilities of massive returns
    2. The person that invests in .COM and fears that the possible future success of .CO does not inevitably reduce the value of their investment.
    3, The random person coming into this blog to see what people have to say.
    4. Then there is Robert Cline. The eccentric mad man that either has too much time or money on his hands, that is very successful with his trolling (he gets most of you hook line and sinker)

    Let’s face it. .COM investors are putting down .CO either because they got burnt in the past with other new domains (like the .me’s, .tv’s and .mobi garbage), or they worry for a possible reduction in the demand for an already oversaturated .COM market.

    There is no right or wrong here, only speculation. Either way, some people will be eating their words and bowing their heads in shame if .CO gains traction.

    I invested in around 80 .CO’s. Many are 1 word and I am greatful that I managed to get them (I think that the registry made a mistake by not holding onto them). I will sit and wait, watch the advocates of .COM post their usual drivel and have a good chuckle with Roberts posts (I do not condone them however).

    The main thing here is no one knows the future. Big money is made with big risks. I can afford my risks as I have the capital and a good career. People that are in category 3, follow you instincts. Don’t listen to the people that come in here to dump on .CO. They do it out of fear or they have made big mistakes in the past. Most domainers are sheep and very few are intelligent.

    .CO is not for all domainers. Many are stuck in their ways or are just plain ignorant or stubborn. These are the ones that post the same drivel, contributing nothing to these blogs. .CO is for peope with passionate dreams that like a little risk. It’s also a long term investment. .COM is safe and steady. It’s easy to flip and has a long standing reputation. Just rememeber that everything has to start somewhere, and there are always going to be two sides. Eventually, one prevails.

    Invest in .COM or .CO, I don’t care. But if you are going to post here, backup your claims with substantial evidence and educated responses. I like Elliot and his blogs but it attracts so many scared and indecisive sheep.

    Personally, I see .CO with a possibility to overtake .ORG and .INFO within a few years if it continues to build momentum. 5 + years it could contend with .NET.
    Everything is speculation here, but this is an opportunity for some people to make a small investment for a possibly substantial return.

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