Have you successfully ranked on Google Page 1 with .co domain?
I'm particularly reaching out to the SEO experts whom I have seen active here on SavvySME. Having researched the question I do not have a categorical answer, and have not seen any evidence (i.e. a .co domain present on page 1 of a search result) which leads me to believe the .co domains are not equally treated by the Search engines, as the .com, .net and .org domains. Any insights would be much appreciated, and the reference to a .co on page one of Google, would be the ultimate response. Best regards and thanks for reading.
The thing is you can rank any domain if you have the correct link building strategy, social strategy, content strategy and the domain has a good age in the index (the thing which holds .co back is that it is a very new extension)
I use to own 3 x .info (very similar to .co in terms of market perception) domains which were commercial terms in the US market, these 3 domains I held were ranking very strongly for entertainment terms with around 40,000+ search a month. So you can rank them if the strategy is right, I went on to sell these domains for a decent profit.
I was actually giving a presentation recently at an event and the same question came up should I use a .co or .info for my business or a .com/ .com.au?
Now in my eyes Google does favor local TLDs for the local market, I have done SEO on .us domains in the USA market and they are favored,I have worked with 100's of .com.au domains over the years and in my eyes Google does give weight to local TLD's.
But in my eyes it also goes done to a business decision do you want your customers too see a .com.au which the customers perceive as been local or do you want the business too see a .co or a .info?
So my advice is to buy a .com.au domain or a .com if it is a business, if it is an affiliate site possibly go with the .co if their is no better commercial term for you to acquire.
This is a great question David.... when the .co was first released many companies were encouraged to secure their company .co extension. Which of course many of the larger companies did... such as NBC.co and t.co for Twitter.
I would encourage business owners to grab their .co while it was still available to protect their brand.
As far as ranking.... personally I don't think your domain extension has anything to do with how well your domain name will rank. It all depends on how competitive your niche is, keywords, website platform and the quality and frequency of content. Your ranking also depends on how efficient your on page and off page SEO is.
NBC.co is a redirect to NBC.com and T.co is used for the following reason Twitter uses the t.co domain as part of a service to protect users from harmful activity, to provide value for the developer ecosystem, and as a quality signal for surfacing relevant, interesting Tweets.
I would say that dot co domain names are treated equally by the search engines, however the owners of the dot co domains may not use them in the same way... hence to date you are not predominantly seeing them on the search engines now... but will I am sure in the very near future.
While it may be wise to secure your .co domain, especially since it protects partially against typo squatters, I don't think there is any value in actually using a .co as your primary domain.
I think using it as a primary domain (advertised) would only confuse people trying to visit your site who would naturally put .com in... this is not a wise move.
The only domains I HATE with a passion are fake 2LD's.
Someone has got au.com for example and sells domains like 'blah.au.com'
They are just so dodgy!
My personal favourite at the moment is .me with my personal email being email@example.com - feels personal.
Sandy and James many thanks for your thoughts and insights.
The domains I am contemplating developing sites for are all highly searched for terms in the arena which my new venture will be operating, so no surprises when I tell you that the .com and .com.au domains have been taken. To Skeeve's point above its frustrating that the majority of these domains are one page parking sites, with owners simply waiting for an easy sale of the domain.
Once we have developed the .co sites and optimized I'll report back here on what we achieved, including screen grabs of ranking positions :)
On a final point I am surprised that none of the "SEO experts" engaged in this discussion, particularly as it provided a genuine opportunity for them to showcase their work.