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What Is Current Thinking About .co Does Google treat it as geo or global?

     
12:18 pm on Sep 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator ianturner is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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I know that I would never have done this in the past but I have a client who I am advising at the moment and they want to go with a .co for the UK market as it is the only 'old' extension available.

My immediate reaction was 'No!' but has anything changed in the last 3 or 4 years to change the way Google assigns domains to country specific SERPs. Is there a way of targetting a particular Geo with a different countries cctld? And even if there is, is it likely to be weaker in the SERPs?
1:25 pm on Sept 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The only .co sites I have seen in the UK have all been used for test or strictly specific purposes, I can't recall ever seeing one in the UK SERPs,.co.uk are the overwhelming majority, I have a specialist widget .uk site which does extremely well and outranks almost everyone in the UK SERPs for its keywords.

Why are you having a problem with "creating" a name? I have never had an issue thinking slightly sideways, don't they want that?
1:59 pm on Sept 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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They have an extremely generic name and are trying to broaden their markets - so it becomes even more generic!
7:02 am on Sept 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/62399 [support.google.com]:
Generic Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs): Google treats some ccTLDs (such as .tv, .me, etc.) as gTLDs, as we've found that users and webmasters frequently see these more generic than country-targeted. Here is a list of those ccTLDs (this list may change over time).

included in the list is the .co tld...
9:19 am on Sept 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks phranque - that's really helpful info
12:30 am on Sept 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Ian, what phranque says, and also see this discussion from several months back...

Will ccTLD "domain hack" hurt rankings in other countries? .ne for USA
May 18, 2017
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4849981.htm [webmasterworld.com]

You clearly understand the basics, and are right in your hesitation about using .co ...which is a ccTLD that was intended for Colombia, but for now, at least, is being treated as a gTLD by Google, because of relatively low demand in Columbia and because of somewhat common use as a generic substitute for "company".

Note, as Matt Cutts points out in the referenced video, the posted list is subject to change. IMO, problems you might run into are...

a) the list might change depending on future demand for local .co domains in Colombia.
b) the registration cost might grow larger over the years. I haven't looked into .co in particular, but I have seen some prices on these specialty names get fairly high.
c) my observation in (b) might also apply to the newer gTLDs, about which you're rightly cautious.

Take a look also at this slightly more recent thread, where I expand slightly on some points Matt Cutts makes... and I also note that several well-known brands using .ly TLDs have switched to "equivalent" .com domains which include the "ly" before the .com extension. Draw your own conclusions.

Can a .DO domain be bad for SEO?
June 16, 2017
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4853787.htm [webmasterworld.com]