| 6:09 am on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Yes - they can and do. On Google right now a search for [site:.co] shows over 80 million results
| 1:46 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)|
But Google doesn't treat them with the same trust and respect as .com, .net or .org IMO, despite reports they have given them TLD status. They seem to be treated more like .info, etc. In my experience it is harder to rank them without acquiring authoritative inbound links.
I think that's worth pointing out after one of my hosting providers convinced me that they were treated as TLDs. Cost me a bit, that did ;-)
| 2:23 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Google treats .co domains as .com, .net and .org - that has been stated many times and confirmed by Google. Here's a link [google.com] to this.
| 7:29 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)|
@Warhammer. I don't dispute that they said that and that's why I invested in a few of them. I just choose not to believe it's quite that cut and dried based on what I've seen so far in my niches. The results I've seen from releasing new sites within the network of sites I manage indicate more of a similarity between .info and .co. Just my own opinion. Pretty sure if I released widgetbank.com alongside widgetbank.co, with no outside influences, the .com would outrank the .co from the start.
| 7:43 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)|
I was able to rank both a .info and a .co on page one for several fairly competitive keywords (30M+ results). I'd say Google treats them the same, at least in the U.S.
| 7:46 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)|
I also think there are differences - but I think they are differences in cultural and societal perception, rather than a difference in direct scoring in Google's code. Still, those cultural differences do exist - and they influence linking, development, marketing and even typing habits. Google search results then mirror those differences.
Some very big enterprises are sticking their toes in the .co water right now. Overstock.co, for example, invested six figures in o.co - but at least for now, their .co domain only 301 redirects and they are merely marketing it as a "shortcut".
| 7:59 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Though .co domains are still new, they can challenge a .com anytime. The only difference between them in Google's eyes is the content and backlinks. Obviously most .co domains, being only 6 months old, still have much less backlinks than old .coms, that's why so far you've seen many .coms outrank equivalent .cos. Anyway, in some cases you can already see the opposite situation, with co in a higher position. For example, search for BMR [google.com]. Another example is the popular singer Charlotte Church [google.com] (in this case .com and .net aren't even present, .org is on second page).
| 8:14 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Hello warhammer, and welcome to the forums. As a general rule we don't discuss specific search terms here - but in this case your examples are helpful to the discussion so they are certainly OK. I particularly appreciate the Charlotte Church example. You also have a good point about that six month age barrier.
I know I've run into other .co domains ranking even on generic, non-branded search terms, but I can't recall them right now. I should start a list so the next time this question comes up I've got some examples to share.
| 8:34 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Sorry, I didn't mean to go against the rules, but I've heard so many people say .com can't be outranked, so these examples prove it's not true.
|brotherhood of LAN|
| 8:41 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)|
As touched upon already, non .co domains have been around a lot longer than .co equivalents which google may find as more trustworthy (the domains are older), as well as the fact they've had a longer time to grow their backlink profile. Could be easy to assume that .co or any other new TLD doesn't weight the same as .com
| 9:36 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)|
I don't think trust is assigned to any TLD on its own. It's the individual websites and businesses that use them that are scored.
That goes for any TLD. Take .edu for instance. The .edu extension is NOT an automatic trust signal. There are legacy .edu websites purchased before Educause firmed up the ownership requirements. Those domain name owners are grandfathered in, but some of them operate very low trust websites. A certain number of them also try to sell text links, however those links do nothing but deceive the customer.
Even .gov and .int websites are still scored by their specific trust and authority factors in practice, rather than taking the shortcut of assigning brownie points because of the TLD. It's just that .gov and .int sites are tightly run and they do generate strong trust signals.
So it's really up to the site owner. Use a .co domain well and there's no technical obstruction to ranking well.
| 9:39 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)|
@Warhammer. I wasn't suggesting that a .co couldn't outrank a .com. Far from it - anything can outrank anything under the right conditions. I just think it's harder - the reasons as to why that should be are interesting but irrelevant to that conclusion.
@Sgt_Kickaxe. Absolutely agree but the question mark was over .com parity.