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Google Announces Dandelion, Which Uses Dandelion.CO

Google’s parent company Alphabet runs a division called X. For X, the “mission is to invent and launch “moonshot” technologies that we hope could someday make the world a radically better place.”  In an announcement made on its X.company blog, the launch of Dandelion was announced. According to the blog post, “Dandelion will offer geothermal heating and cooling systems to homeowners, starting in the northeastern United States.”

From a domain name perspective, the announcement is interesting. Dandelion is using the Dandelion.CO domain name instead of a .com domain name. Dandelion.com is registered to someone in New York City, and it is unrelated to X’s Dandelion.

NameBio shows that Dandelion.CO last sold in 2013

Heritage Auctions Brokering “Major .CO Portfolio”

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HA.com LogoAron Meystedt, Director of the Domain Names and IP category at Heritage Auctions, emailed me about a portfolio of domain names his company is brokering on behalf of an undisclosed client. The portfolio is made up of approximately 750 one word and short .CO domain names.

Here’s what Aron said about this portfolio:

One of our clients is selling the best .co portfolio on the market. There are approximately 750 names, and a majority of them are ultra-short and one word names perfect for branding – and could easily be sold one at a time.

Some of the domain names in the portfolio that Aron highlighted and that I saw include the following one word .CO domain names:

Kernel, With $100MM in Funding, is Using a .CO Domain

The other day I read some tech industry headlines about Kernel, “a human intelligence (HI) company developing the world’s first neuroprosthesis to mimic, repair and improve cognition.” According to TechCrunch, the founder of Kernel is going to be investing $100 million into this startup. Interestingly, as highlighted by Doron Vermaat on Twitter yesterday, the company is using the Kernel.CO domain name for its website:

A  Whois search shows that Kernel.CO was created

I Don’t Get .Web Domain Names

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Earlier this morning, Andrew Allemann broke the news that the auction for the .Web new gTLD extension “has concluded with a $135 million price.” I really don’t understand why .Web is so appealing that an entity reportedly paid 9 figures for the rights to operate the extension.

In my opinion, Internet-related terms such as “web” and “world wide web” are less widely used today than years ago. Web seems almost passé , in my opinion, although the longer term “website” is still used by pretty much everyone.

I did a Google Trends search of “web,” and the results seem to corroborate my opinion on this. Aside from a slight increase in the last couple of years, there has been a significant downward slope for “web,” as you can see from this screenshot I took:

.CO Hits 2 Million Registrations

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Because .CO keeps its registration numbers private, I haven’t been able to keep track of how many .CO domain names are currently registered. I just learned that there are now over 2 million registered .CO domain names.

According to a press release I received from Neustar, the company that operates the .CO domain registry, “.CO has surpassed 2 million total domain names under management.” Interestingly, the growth rate for new registrations grew from 10 percent in 2014 to 18 percent in 2015. I would imagine quite a bit of this strong growth is due to investment from Chinese domain name buyers. I don’t know if there is an easy way to track how much of an impact the Chinese market has had on registration numbers though.

In addition to the Chinese registration component, .CO has been very well accepted in the startup space. My perspective is that there is still a “coolness” factor associated with .CO domain names. For instance, Taco Bell recently announced a TA.CO website launch and social marketing campaign. Other major Internet companies like Twitter and Google also prominently use .CO domain names.

Congratulations to Neustar and the .CO management team on this achievement.

Here is the press release I received:

Taco Bell Promoting Ta.co

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It looks like Taco Bell is promoting its new website and Ta.co domain name on Twitter. If you have a look at Taco Bell’s Twitter page, you can see the company has a Ta.co graphic background, and the avatar also has a Ta.co logo. The promoted url is also Ta.co.

Ta.co

When you visit Ta.co, you are redirected to Taco Bell’s website, which can be found on TacoBell.com. I think this is a simple marketing tactic to capitalize on the short ta.co url. Here’s what the company says about Ta.co on its website:

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