co.com LLC is a global domain name registry that offers businesses, organizations and individuals, short, memorable and recognizable .co.com domain names through a worldwide distribution network of domain name registrars and resellers. co.com LLC is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA and was founded in 2013 by three entrepreneurs with more than 40 years combined experience in the domain name industry.
Mike: Can you explain CO.COM. This is truly a domain name that is being repurposed, is that correct?
Ken: .co.com is an SLD (Second Level Domain) in which registrations are at the third level. The .co.com Registry will be accepting and supporting registrations just like any other extension (.com, .net, .biz, etc.). We will accept registration through our accredited registrars, maintain a centralized database, and maintain the zone file so names can resolve on the global DNS. .co.com will be available to any business, organization or individual.
Mike: Why CO.COM as opposed to some thing else? Does the “CO” hold some significance?
Ken: “CO” means “company”, so it is very broad and generic. In countries where there is an existing .co.countrycode extension, it has taken on even broader meaning of “commercial” entity. Most smaller businesses were not even online when the very best .com domain names were registered. Demand for domain names ending in .com continues to be very strong with 30 million + new domains begging registered every year. Most of those names are long, hyphenated or not very memorable.
The introduction of .co.com is a second chance for businesses to get a short memorable domain name ending .com (e.g. plumbing.co.com, realestate.co.com, gold.co.com, solar.co.com, tour.co.com, companyname.co.com, anything.co.com). Many businesses with an existing .co.countrycode name which is targeted at a specific country, also have international customers. They will use a .co.com domain to market to those customers.
Mike: Do you have any insight on how search engines… Google, for example, will treat CO.COM names?
Ken: Google, of course, does not share details of its search algorithm. The primary factor in page-ranking .co.com websites will likely be no different than those for other extensions, with fresh, relevant and engaging content being primary factor influencing ranking. Having said that, exact match domain names do have some influence. Short memorable domain names, including those with generic words that are long gone in .com, are available in .co.com. The combination of great content and an exact match .co.com domain name is ideal. It is also very rare for a co.countrycode domain to be ranked highly when searches originate outside of the country. A co.com address will likely be viewed by the search engine as a global domain name, which should help with global ranking.
Mike: The timing is interesting, along with the beginning of the new gTLDs being released. How will CO.COM fit in with the competition?
Ken: We believe that launching along with the other new extensions, at a time where consumer awareness of new naming alternatives will be very high, could provide a major uplift for .co.com registration volume. Most of the new gTLDs launching now are focused on specific niches or verticals. The more broadly applicable new gTLDs will not launch for quite some time. We are suggesting to registrars that when a user searches for a domain, and the .com is not available, and there is no strong signal for one of the new extensions, that they suggest a .co.com. With 30 million + .com domain names registered every year, and hundred of millions of searches taking place, .co.com is very well positioned..
Mike: Are there any sites operating on CO.COM at the moment? If so, what are some examples. If not, what are some that are in the pipeline that you are aware of?
Ken: Of course, our registry website is live at http://registry.co.com. A number of major global brands have registered their .co.com domain name. There are others in the pipeline, but it can take many months and even years before their is a significant online presence in any extension. We will certainly be highlighting the many excellent websites we expect to appear in .co.com, especially those that represent examples of the various use-cases for a .co.com domain name (Use of short memorable generic words, International marketing for companies with a co.countrycode domain name, etc.). Use of .co.com domain names if the most effective way to raise awareness and is the key to a sustainable business model in any new extension, so expect programs that incentivize and reward use.
Mike: You have a sunrise period from February 24 to March 23. Followed by the landrush and general availability. What will the pricing look like in these periods?
Ken: Registrars will determine the retail price, and each of them has a different business models and offerings. As with most extensions, we expect retail pricing to vary quite a bit between registrars and to change as we enter the various launch phases Sunrise (Now), Landrush (begins April 8), and General Availability (begins July 8). Having said that, we do not expect the kind of complicated pricing schemes and high pricing levels seen in some of the new gTLDs. Registrants should shop around and select their registrar based on a number of factors, including price and what other services and support are offered.
Mike: What is your 5 year vision of CO.COM. Where do you see the company in the not too distant future?
Ken: Five years is an eternity on the Internet and technology world, but we will work to help small and medium size businesses compete effectively. Many small businesses will take the opportunity to register a short memorable .co.com domain name ending in .com. Businesses with .co.country code domain name spaces will be utilizing .co.com for their international marketing in a significant numbers. We are working on what we believe will be some very compelling value-added services that will help businesses manage their online presence, get found, find customers, and convert site visits to revenue.