How do .co extensions compare in rankings to .com

The size and scope of the Internet continues to grow rapidly. With no sign of slowing, somewhere over 20 million websites are created each year. As a result, the popular .com extension is quickly filling up with every imaginable domain. Many web developers are now using other top-level domains, such as .co, out of necessity.

However, another consequence of this growing Internet is an increasingly level of competition. Websites have to take advantage of the highest SEO standards to keep top rankings for search engine results. As a result, many have been questioning the effectiveness of these alternative domains.

Logical Application of Top-Level Domains

There are a number of good reasons for website administrators to be concerned about extensions. The most obvious lies with competing websites. The popularity of the .com extension will likely encourage users to go to these sites in lieu of a .co. This may, as a result, force that particular .com higher in the Google search engine results.

Moreover, users who are unfamiliar with a companies domain will expect it to be a .com. This could result in both confusion and lost sales. Those users that are converted to a competitors brand because of this mistake represent a double loss and further harm to the companies brand.

Google’s Response

Matt Cutts, a well known spokesperson for Google, has answered this question in depth. He explains that Google is looking for quality and credibility. While specialized domains like .edu or .mil may have some expertise for certain queries, the majority of searches do not take the domain into account. Website owners should not be concerned with their particular top-level domain, as long as they fill it with a well designed and high-quality content.

Overcoming Branding Competition

Company trademarks should protect against the misuse of an alternative domain to steal or mislead customers. Any online business should be using a reputation management campaign to prevent these sorts of abuses. There are also many online services that will monitor online information related to a company and can help to pursue any legal action against the abusers.

Through this reputation management and a strong branding campaign, any business should have nothing to fear from a .co or any other extension. As has been increasingly true of every search engine, content is king. Websites that are geared toward providing content that is both informative and relevant will find themselves successful, regardless of their domain or the copy on alternative websites.

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