Difference Between .CO and .CM

I’ve seen people compare the soon to be released Colombian .CO domain names to the Cameroonian .CM domain extension, with the main comparison being the assumption that the purpose is for typosquatting. I can understand why people would say that for .CM, but I believe there is a big reason .CO is very different, and it primarily revolves around the marketing of the extension.

Just like .TV isn’t billed as the Tuvalu extension nor is .ME is billed as the Montenegro extension, .CO won’t really be billed by registrars as the Colombia extension to most companies and domain buyers. You can see in many of the marketing materials that .CO is being billed as the extension for Companies, where Company is most frequently abbreviated as Co. A company known as “The Sports Car Company” would likely be interested in owning SportsCar.co, not to capitalize on .com traffic, but because that’s an extension of their brand.

I am sure there will be plenty of people who acquire .CO domain names primarily for the typo traffic that may occur as a result of the visitor forgetting the “m” in .com. However, there is a real business reason to use .CO in addition to this usage.

When I was at TRAFFIC in Amsterdam last June, I was strongly considering a bid on Vegas.cm. I had no idea what the traffic would be like, but I assumed it would be considerable. I thought that it would be a great generic domain to monetize, and I could even build it out. In reality, I don’t think building Vegas.cm would have been a smart move for my company because it doesn’t make much sense. Really, what could .cm actually mean?

On the flip side, I could easily see building out on Vegas.co, especially if I had significant interest in Las Vegas tourism. I would probably start a tourism LLC called “Vegas Tourism Company” or something of that sort, and Vegas.co would make sense. It would be more memorable and logical than the .cm could be.

I know that many domain investors will pooh pooh what I am saying, but it will all boil down to marketing.   I don’t particularly like .ME or .TV domain names, but they can and do sell for decent money because companies are buying and using them. From an investment standpoint, if I can buy a domain name at a reasonable price and can then sell it for much more, I would obviously do it – whatever the extension. I happen to think businesses will adopt .CO.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Love the .co ad right under the article. You are a paid extension pimp. ADMIT IT!!! Your recommendation will end up bilking many naive newbies out of their lifetime savings. .co is not .com but .con.

    • @ Larkin

      They are advertising, but it’s my opinion, and I did NOT get paid for this article. I also highly doubt any newbies reading this article will spend their “lifetime savings” on .co domain names. Like any domain extension, people should certainly do their research before buying and buy for the right reasons. My article is to point out that there is much more utility to .CO than .CM and I think it’s getting a bad rap.

  2. @ Kevin

    I think the “when” in your comment should be an “if.” 🙂

    However, I don’t know what the effects will be. I suppose it depends on how well the .LLC is marketed by the registry and registrars. It seems .TV, .ME, and .CO are all being heavily marketed and will be targeting small businesses. With consumer awareness comes usage, and with usage comes increased value.

  3. I can see this extension taking off, because it is a catchy one. There are plenty of keywordCO.com out there, I have one myself, out of all fifty or so names I own. I will probably buy one or two .co names, because diversification is important. I just don’t like the thought of this extension giving domain investors worse reputations. Good luck to all 🙂

  4. @ Kevin M

    I was intrigued by your comment…

    Search for “llc” in Google – 331 million results. Search for “co” – 3.3 BILLION results and mostly related to large companies. Interesting, no?

  5. Elliot, I perfectly agree with you. I’ve been thinking the same since the first time I learnt about the .co launch – It’s a great abbreviation and many users worldwide are used to it because of their countries using .co.xx TLDs. The typo thing is really a minor reason to reg a .co domain.

  6. *

    It doesn’t matter how the registry and domainers bill .co; it only matters how Google and the other search engines rank them.

    I’m sure .co will rank very high in Colombia.



  7. I think you make a good point about .CO having better utility then .CM but either one is going to be very difficult to market in our established .COM world.

    People complain about .net bleeding traffic to a .com counterpart but either .co or .cm will be way worse for this.

  8. Whoever owns SportsCar.com will be hoping the prospective buyer of SportsCar.co has very deep advertising pockets, because without any doubt whatsoever, all that ad spend will result in significant leakage to the .com.

    If there wasn’t such an animal as .com, then I would buy the suggestion that .co is a very good fit for a company.

  9. .co is also for Colorado. It may not make much sense to a German visitor but Denver.co makes sense to everyone in Colorado and to much of USA. Some .cctld extensions are bad (Minnesota / MN for example) but .co is much better since it has the first two letters of th estate.

    I disagree with Eliot on .co since anyone with deep pockets /serious business plans will seek the .com.

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