.CO Internet is putting 100 .co domain names that failed to auction during its landrush last year up for “re-auction”, and it looks like there are a few possible gems on the list.
The company said last week that the 100 names are the last of the domains that went to auction but failed to change hands due to a lack of bidders or non-payment by the winner.
While the first auctions were restricted to only those who had paid the landrush fee, this time around anybody can participate. Pool.com will again handle the auction.
There are some potentially nice names, such as accidentlawyers.co, injurylawyers.co, seoul.co, comicbooks.co and businessintelligence.co.
Click here for the full list of names.
Two thirds of .co domain names due to expire in July were renewed, according to the registry.
In its monthly newsletter, .CO Internet said that its renewal rate was 66%.
A company spokesperson confirmed that this figure is for the entire month, which includes the July 20 one-year anniversary of the repurposed ccTLD going into general availability.
What this essentially means is that about one in three .co domain names registered for a year during the initial landrush a year ago were allowed to expire last month.
According to HosterStats, which categorizes over half a million .co domains according to how they’re being used, about 73,000 .co domains – roughly 13% of the total – are now classified as expired.
.CO Internet says it has over one million registered domains.
If the company was publicly traded, investors and analysts would be looking to the renewal rate as an indication of the financial health of the company.
VeriSign typically reports a .com/.net renewal percentage in the low-to-mid 70s. If .co has a similar ratio, that’s not necessarily positive.
Today is the one-year anniversary of the .co top-level domain entering general availability.
As you may recall, .co got off to a flying start, selling about 100,000 names in its first half hour and over 200,000 registrations during its first day.
The question is: how many of those domains will start expiring today and drop over the next few months?
A recent HosterStats survey, from June 1, apparently found that approximately 41% of the 593,622 .co domains it was able to detect were presumed parked.
The survey was not exhaustive, as .CO Internet reports over one million registered .co domains today, and HosterStats acknowledged that its breakdown may differ from the actual numbers.
Still, the data suggests that .co is likely just as heavily speculated as other TLDs, and that some short-term speculators will let their domains expire over the coming days and weeks.
HosterStats’ John McCormac wrote in a comment on an earlier DI post:
What typically happens just after a Landrush anniversary is that the percentage of PPC in a new TLD falls as many speculative domains that could not be flipped or monetised are dropped. The developed websites percentage increases but getting development started in a new TLD is a slow process and takes a few years.
Of course, .CO Internet is all about encouraging development. It has pumped millions into marketing the TLD as somewhere for entrepreneurs to get a good name for their sites.
But with a substantial base of speculative registrations, it seems inevitable that .CO is going to take a hit today, as the first-wave land-grab begins to die out.
I’m not sure whether this will massively impact the number of domains .CO Internet reports, however.
My estimate is that .co currently stands at over 1.1 million domains. It grew from around 600,000 in late December to one million in May, according to registry publicity.
Even if it starts to lose tens of thousands of speculative domains this week, I don’t think .CO will have to stop saying it has more than a million registrations any time soon.
The company does not publish its exact numbers. Chief executive Juan Calle has stated that he thinks registration volume is a poor metric for judging the “success” of a TLD.
UPDATE: The original version of this article stupidly used the word “drop” quite a lot, when “expire” was the more correct word.
The .co registry .CO Internet has announced the winners of its inaugural Bulby Awards, given out to the best .co sites.
Key registrar partner Go Daddy won an award (for x.co), as did the companies’ joint Super Bowl spokesmodel Joan Rivers (for joan.co).
Go Daddy’s Bulby was for the Best Use Of A Single Letter Domain. It beat Twitter (t.co) and Overstock (o.co). Rivers beat the singer Charlotte Church for Best Personal Site.
Sociable.co beat domain blogger Elliot Silver (bahamas.co) to the Best Content award.
The winners were tallied up from votes submitted online, .CO said. The results can be found here.
Afilias does something similar for .info domains every year, but its awards have cash prizes.
Do I have to write another 19 of these stories?
.CO Internet has announced the sale of the domain name g.co to Google. It will be used – shock! – as a URL shortener for Google’s services.
While the selling price has not been disclosed, I believe the starting bid for single-character .co domains is around $1.5 million. I expect Google will have paid more.
Google said on its official blog that only Google will be able to create g.co short links and they’ll only redirect to Google sites, unlike goo.gl, which is its customer-facing shortening service.
This is excellent news for .CO, of course. It gets yet another super-high-profile anchor tenant that will spread .co links (and, hopefully for the company, awareness) around the web like a virus.
Amazon acquired a.co, z.co and k.co, Overstock is of course now known as O.co, Go Daddy got x.co and Twitter is using t.co as its official URL shortener.
By my reckoning, that leaves another 19 one-letter .co names to sell. The registry’s windfall could quite easily amount to a year’s revenue for just 26 registrations.
That’s not including the numbers, of course.
Speaking of numbers, .CO also announced today that Silicon Valley incubator 500 Startups is to use 500.co, instead of 500startups.com, as its official domain.
Entrepreneurs, not URL shorteners, are .CO’s target market, vital for its longevity, so it was a very smart PR move to combine these two customer wins into one announcement.