Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) July 18 said it has acquired the g.co domain as its official destination for official products and services, following several other such moves in the space.
The g.co domain will ostensibly be a URL shortcut, making URLs kinder for distribution via social-media Websites, blogs and other Web services. Additionally, g.co won't replace goo.gl, which the company launched in 2009 to let users shorten URLs, and goo.gl will remain the company's official URL shortener, competing with services from Bit.ly and others.
"The shorter a URL, the easier it is to share and remember," said Google Vice President of Consumer Marketing Gary Briggs in a blog post. "The downside is, you often can't tell what Website you're going to be redirected to. We'll only use g.co to send you to Web pages that are owned by Google, and only we can create g.co shortcuts."
The idea is that when users click on a g.co link, they should feel comfortable that they will be going to a Google product and not some phishing Website. At least, that's how it's supposed to work in theory before the best laid plans of Murphy's Law kick in.
The adoption of g.co follows similar moves by Twitter, which uses t.co, as well as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), which owns a.co, z.co and k.co, and e-commerce player Overstock (o.co) and AngelList. 500 Startups said it is changing its domain name from 500Startups.com to 500.co late this fall.
The ".co is quickly becoming the hot new geeky TLD (top-level domain) in Silicon Valley," said 500 Startups Founder Dave McClure in a blog post. "We have watched closely as other folks we respect like AngelList.com moved to Angel.co, and Twitter started using T.co for their URL shortener, and now we're ready to jump in ourselves."
All of these domains were purchased from .Co Internet SAS, which has secured over a million registrations in more than 200 countries. The registry sells its .co domains for hundreds of thousands of dollars to $1.5 million apiece.
While .co has historically been the country domain for Colombia, .CO Internet SAS took over the domain's administration in 2010 to capitalize on new companies needing a domain name or old companies needing a new domain name at a time when the .com choices have largely been fished out.