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One-letter domain sales not enough for .co

Kevin Murphy, May 18, 2011, 10:09:55 (UTC), Domain Registries

.CO Internet has added another high-profile customer to its roster of .co domain name registrants with the announcement today that Amazon has purchased four premium names.

Amazon has acquired a.co, k.co, z.co and cloud.co. The deal follows the allocation of t.co and x.co to Twitter and Go Daddy respectively and Overstock.com’s purchase of o.co.

While this is undoubtedly great news for .co’s visibility, it seems to me that .CO Internet is in danger of looking like a one-trick pony due to the brand’s over-reliance on high-profile short domain deals.

If Amazon throws its marketing muscle behind cloud.co, that will prove much more useful in terms of awareness-raising than the allocation of more single-character domains ever will.

It remains to be seen what Amazon plans to do with its three new short .co domains. It would be much more useful for the TLD if they are used for purposes other than URL shorteners.

There are only 36 such domains available. If people only associate .co with short Twitter links, the appeal of the TLD could be checked.

.CO Internet knows this, of course, which is why its marketing strategy from the start has been focused on gaining rank-and-file support from entrepreneurs and web developers.

Right now, I can’t help but feel that the longevity of the .co brand could benefit much more from a successful start-up or two than yet another single-character domain sale.

Prices for the Amazon domains were not disclosed. The four domains combined could feasibly have fetched a seven-figure sum, judging by the $350,000 Overstock paid for o.co.

The registry has also for some months been trying to sell off i.co, and has engaged Sedo as its broker.

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Comments (9)

  1. Francesco says:

    I wonder what Cloud.com will do if Amazon start pushing their cloud.co though… They can’t be too thrilled about the idea.

  2. Juan says:

    Kevin,

    I understand your concern, but the benefits of having a global brand promoting a service or product on a .CO, far outweighs the risk of being perceived like a one trick pony, particularly when the registry continues to grow.

    I used to get blank stares every time I told people I worked for .CO – now I get comments such as “oh yeah… Like that thing overstock is doing now”.

    That is priceless.

    Juan

  3. M says:

    Juan, How many .co domains have been registered up to date?

  4. Juan says:

    We’ll report the numbers soon.

  5. Adam says:

    Great job .CO team. I can’t wait to hear those numbers as they are very helpful metrics to promote .co sales and projects.

  6. Slate says:

    I am looking forward to seeing the numbers report.
    I am a little upset when .CO stopped posting the up to date registry numbers.
    It was fun to watch the numbers go up.

    Personally I have been keeping an eye on SEDO lately. There have been a steady stream of .CO domain sales there. I have to say that the numbers are not .COM status numbers, but the ROI for domains that where purchased less then a year ago is outstanding.
    I invest in many different things, and to date my best investment has always been real-estate however I have never been able to invest $30 (in this case) and flip for $X,XXX in less then a year (that is over 100 times the original investment).

    Point being… I am looking forward to seeing .CO continue to grow.

    Just my point of view.
    Cheers

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