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Standing out as a co-operative: how trusted is a .coop domain?

Web visitors trust and recognise the legitimacy of the .coop domain, according to a survey from the internet registrar.

ICANN commissioned Nielsen to carry out the survey, which reached 6,144 consumers across 24 countries that spend more than five hours a week online.

In the survey, 28% of users who said they are likely to visit a website under this domain said they trusted .coop, which is on a comparable level to .info (31%), .biz (29%) and .mobi (27%).

As a legacy top-level domain, .coop was also rated as legitimate by 29% of web users who were likely to visit the domain. This compared favourably to .com (34%), .org (34%), .net (33%); and outperformed .info (28%) and .mobi (25%).

Nicola Huckerby, marketing lead at, said this shows the value of the unique namespace that co-operatives have when using the .coop domain. "It's clear that ordinary consumers believe .coop is a trusted extension across the web," she added. "This gives even more impetus for co-ops to show their co-operative difference online."

The trust rating of a .coop was also increased when 17% of consumers said they were not afraid of their data being stolen - which compared to .com (17%), .net (15%) and .org (19%).

When setting up a website, those in South America and Asia are more likely to consider a .coop domain.

In South America, 23% are likely to consider a .coop more than a .biz (21%), .pro (21%) and .tel (22%), whereas 40% will consider a .info, 62% a .net and 86% would choose a .com.

The picture is similar in Asia, where 24% of people would consider going to a .coop address. In Asia too, more than 75% said they had a very/somewhat positive experience with .coop.

But, across the world general awareness of the .coop domain is low at 5%, which compares to 9% for .asia and .tel, whereas .com is recognised by 89% of people and 77% know .net.

The report hypothesised that users have a strong intent to visit domains like .coop because they are easy to "interpret and impart an aura of legitimacy - whereas other extensions that may not be easily recognised as a word or part of a word may suffer from lack of interpretability".

Mrs Huckerby agreed, and said that each .coop domain registered is checked to ensure it is owned by an eligible registrant. "This is an important process for safeguarding our namespace and its value as a distinct identity for co-operatives online," she said.

Other advantages of a .coop

  • Stand out as a co-operative: tell your members, customers, and community that you're an ethical business with strong values and principles
  • Choose from a wide range of domains: so it's easy to find one that is memorable, relevant and short; there is no need to pay thousands of pounds for good .com keywords

Original article published by Anthony Murray from The News Coop

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