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Top .CO Domains in Colombia: Insights into Web Traffic Trends

Table of Content

What is a .CO Domain?
Use of the .CO domain as Second-Level Domains within ccTLDs
Why Choose a .CO Domain?
Considerations When Choosing a .CO Domain
Is .CO a Safe Option?
What Are the Most Popular Extensions for .CO Domains?
Exploring .CO Domain Use in Colombia
What Are the Most Popular Domains in Colombia?
What are the Most Popular .CO Websites in Colombia


The .co domain has been regarded as a compelling choice for businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals in the ever-expanding landscape of domain names. With its global appeal and unique advantages, .co has garnered significant popularity over the years, becoming a favored domain extension for startups and businesses seeking an alternative to the traditional .com domain. Its rise in popularity can be attributed to its global recognition, short and memorable nature, and association with innovation. The successful marketing campaigns and the acquisition of premium .co domains during auctions further solidified its position in the domain industry.
However, while .co domains continue to be relevant and widely used, particularly by businesses looking for a globally recognized extension that implies "company" or "corporation," the emergence of alternatives like .io and .ai has introduced healthy competition. This competition provides businesses with more options to choose from when selecting a domain name that best represents their brand and resonates with their target audience.
In this article, we'll delve into the evolution of .co domains and their relevance in today's domain market. We'll consider factors such as competition from newer extensions and evolving user habits regarding domains. By examining both the pros and cons, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of why businesses and individuals may choose or avoid a .co domain, especially in terms of digital branding strategies.

What is a .CO Domain?

Over time, it has evolved into a generic top-level domain (gTLD) as companies worldwide adopted .co domains, interpreting "co" as an abbreviation for "company." By the end of 2023, .co had 3,254,116 registrations.

Figure 1. Number of Registrations by domain. Source: Domaintools_2023.

Established in 1991, a .co domain initially served as Colombia's country code top-level domain (ccTLD). Over time, however, it has evolved into a generic top-level domain (gTLD) a globally recognized domain choice with a broad international appeal among businesses, organizations, and individuals worldwide. Since 2010, there have been no restrictions on who can register a .co domain, further expanding its global accessibility.
The .co domain is often associated with "company," "commerce," and "community," making it a versatile option for various purposes. In fact, several global businesses have embraced it as a means to extend their reach or for promotional endeavors. Major players such as Google, Amazon, Nike, and X have secured and utilized .co domains to enhance their brand presence and distinguish themselves in the market.
Unlike country-code domains (ccTLDs) that are specific to particular countries, the .co domain has become a popular alternative to traditional generic TLDs such as .com, offering a shorter and more memorable option for establishing a digital presence.

Use of the .CO Domain as Second-Level Domains Within ccTLDs:

In several countries, .co serves as a second-level domain under their respective country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). This usage is often associated with the abbreviation "commercial" and is part of the Domain Name System used to route internet traffic.
Registrants can register second-level domains in the form of .co.xx, where "xx" represents the country code top-level domain. For example, in the United Kingdom, .co.uk is used as a second-level domain (e.g., yourcompany.co.uk), and in Japan, .co.jp is used similarly (e.g., yourcompany.co.jp).
These .co domains within ccTLDs are commonly associated with commercial entities operating within those countries. They provide a distinct web presence while aligning with the country's internet governance structure and domain registration policies.

The responsibility for managing and administering second-level domains using .co within country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) lies with the respective domain registry or authority of each country. These organizations oversee the registration, maintenance, and policies related to second-level domains under their ccTLDs.
For example, in the United Kingdom, the .co.uk domain falls under the authority of Nominet UK, the registry for .uk domains. Similarly, in Japan, the .co.jp domain is managed by Japan Registry Services Co., Ltd. (JPRS), the designated registry for .jp domains.
These registries establish and enforce registration policies, manage domain databases, and ensure the proper functioning and integrity of their respective ccTLDs and associated second-level domains such as .co.xx.

Why Choose a .CO Domain?

Opting for a .co domain can present numerous advantages: 

  • 1. Global Recognition: Although initially a country-code domain for Colombia, .co has transcended borders to gain global acceptance. This makes it an excellent choice for businesses and individuals looking to reach an international audience without the constraints of a specific geographic location.

  • 2. Short and Memorable: .co domains are typically shorter than many other top-level domains (TLDs) such as .com, .org, or .net. This brevity not only makes them easier to remember but also enhances brand recall. Visitors are more likely to remember and type a concise .co domain, improving overall user experience and increasing the chances of returning visitors.

  • 3. Availability: With the saturation of popular .com domains, finding a short and relevant domain name has become increasingly challenging. .co domains offer a greater chance of securing a desirable domain name for your brand or project, especially for startups and new ventures aiming to establish a strong online presence.

  • 4. Modern and Innovative Association: The .co domain is often associated with innovation, startups, and forward-thinking businesses. Choosing a .co domain can convey a sense of modernity and innovation, which can be particularly appealing to tech-savvy audiences, investors, and customers seeking cutting-edge solutions.

  • 5. SEO Benefits: While the domain extension itself does not directly influence search engine rankings, a relevant and memorable domain like .co can indirectly contribute to improved SEO outcomes. When paired with high-quality content and effective SEO strategies, a .co domain can help enhance your website's visibility and accessibility, ultimately driving organic traffic and engagement.

Considerations When Choosing a .CO Domain

  • 1. User Expectations: Visitors are accustomed to .com domains, leading to potential confusion and lost traffic if you use a .co domain. Promoting a .co domain verbally or in print can be misheard as .com or seen as a typo, impacting your brand's visibility and credibility

  • 2. Historical Tradition: .com has been the primary top-level domain (TLD) since the inception of domain names. Changing this long-standing tradition and user behavior is challenging and not advisable for most businesses.

  • 3. Confusion with Similar .com Domains: Registering a .co domain when the corresponding .com domain is already taken can create confusion. Users may end up on a different website altogether, leading to a loss of potential customers and sales.

  • 4. Limited Adoption by Major Websites: .co domains are not widely used as primary domains by major websites. They are primarily utilized by tech-savvy individuals and for URL shorteners, which may not resonate with the broader customer base.

So, while .co domains offer certain advantages, businesses should carefully consider the potential drawbacks and prioritize user experience and brand visibility when selecting a domain for their online presence.

Is .CO a Safe Option?

Yes, the .co domain is as secure as other domains. The .co domain registry, managed by .co Internet S.A.S., a subsidiary of Neustar Inc., maintains a strong reputation for managing domain registries effectively. Their registration policies ensure accurate and up-to-date information, reducing deceptive activities and enhancing trustworthiness. Many reputable entities use .co domains globally, reflecting its acceptance and credibility within the online community. Additionally, .co domains can implement SSL certificates, enhancing website security and ensuring secure communication. Overall, the safety of a .co domain depends on the actions and intentions of its registrants, and users can ensure a safe browsing experience by following best practices and online security measures.
In terms of trustworthiness, various top-level domains (TLDs) demonstrated different levels of perceived trust on a scale of 1 to 5. .com emerged as the most trusted TLD, with a rating of 3.5, closely followed by .co at 3.4. Other TLDs such as .org and .us also showed good trust scores.

Figure 2. Trust and Memorability Rankings. Source: Growthbadger 2022.

Regarding memorability, .com had the highest memorability score at 44%, followed by .co at 33%. This suggests that people tend to recall URLs with .com extensions more easily than those with other TLDs.

What Are the Most Popular Extensions for .CO Domains?

There are several other extensions under the .co domain extension besides the generic .co extension. These include: 

  • .com.co: commonly used by commercial entities in Colombia.

  • .edu.co: Intended for educational institutions such as universities and schools based in Colombia.

  • .gov.co: Reserved for government entities and agencies in Colombia.

  • .org.co: Typically used by non-profit organizations in Colombia.

  • .mil.co: Reserved for military organizations and related entities in Colombia.

  • .net.co: Used by network-related businesses or entities in Colombia. 

These extensions provide specific categorizations and purposes within the Colombian domain namespace, reflecting the diverse types of organizations and institutions operating in Colombia.

Exploring .CO Domain Use in Colombia

So, let's take a closer look at how .co domains are used in Colombia. As of 2023, about 35% of all websites in Colombia were using .co, while .com remained the leader at 51%, showing that while .co is popular, .com is still the top choice for most website owners.
Even though .co websites bring in about $142 billion to Colombia's economy, only 10% of local businesses use them, suggesting an opportunity for more businesses to get on board with .co and showcase their Colombian identity online.
Nevertheless, compared to other countries such as Brazil and Chile, there are significant variations in domain usage, where local extensions such as .br and .cl enjoy higher usage rates compared to .com domains. This diversity in domain preferences reflects the evolving digital strategies and market dynamics across different regions.

What Are the Most Popular Domains in Colombia?

So which websites are Colombians are browsing the most? Let's take a peek at the online hotspots in Colombia: 

  • YouTube is a top favorite, with millions of searches pouring in every day. It's no surprise, given the vast array of videos available.

  • Wikipedia in Spanish also holds a strong position, showing that Colombians love to seek information and knowledge online.

  • WhatsApp follows closely, highlighting the importance of messaging and communication apps.

  • Local platforms like MercadoLibre and El Tiempo make their mark, proving that Colombians are active in e-commerce and news consumption.

  • Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram continue to be go-to destinations for social networking. Facebook users, for example, account for 82.6% of its entire population.

These rankings give us a glimpse into the digital pulse of Colombia, showcasing a blend of global and local platforms that capture the interests of internet users across the country.

What are the Most Popular .CO Websites in Colombia

The top .co websites in Colombia reflect a diverse digital landscape with significant user engagement across various sectors. Leading the pack is MercadoLibre.com.co, a popular e-commerce platform, showcasing the country's strong online shopping culture. Other notable players include Claro.com.co and ESPN.com.co, highlighting the importance of telecommunications and sports in the digital sphere.
Additionally, government services such as DIAN.gov.co and ProsperidadSocial.gov.co have substantial online traffic, indicating a growing trend towards digital interaction with public institutions. These rankings underscore the broad use of .co domains across different industries, emphasizing Colombia's robust online presence and the evolving digital economy.


  1. Versatility of .co Domains: .co domains have evolved from being Colombia's country code top-level domain (ccTLD) to a globally recognized generic top-level domain (gTLD), offering businesses and individuals a versatile and modern option for their online presence.

  2. Global Recognition: Despite its origins, .co has gained global recognition, making it a suitable choice for those targeting an international audience without the constraints of a specific geographic location.

  3. Memorable and Short: .co domains are shorter and more memorable than many other TLDs, enhancing brand recall and user experience. This can be beneficial for startups and businesses aiming to establish a strong online presence.

  4. Modern and Innovative Association: Choosing a .co domain can convey a sense of modernity, innovation, and forward-thinking, appealing to tech-savvy audiences and investors.

  5. Consideration of Alternatives: While .co offers advantages, businesses should also consider potential drawbacks such as user confusion with .com domains, historical user expectations, and limited adoption by major websites.

  6. Security and Trust: .co domains are as secure as other domains, with reputable management and registration policies ensuring trustworthiness. Considerations such as SSL certificates further enhance website security.

  7. Usage in Colombia: .co domains are popular in Colombia, with significant traffic to leading websites like MercadoLibre.com.co, indicating a strong digital presence and engagement in various sectors.

These key takeaways can help businesses and individuals make informed decisions about choosing a .co domain and optimizing their online branding and marketing strategies. To avoid potential confusion and lost traffic, it's important to consider alternative domain choices, such as a .com domain, which is widely recognized and aligns with user expectations. Prioritizing user experience and consistency in your domain choice can enhance brand credibility and accessibility in the online space.