What could go wrong if I put my site on a Somalia (.so) domain?


I'm starting to work on a new project and I'm going to name it with a word that ends with so.

The idea of registering a Somalia top-level domain (.so ) for the project really excites me, and the domain in question is still available. However, I wonder how safe it would be to rely on a country with a quite unstable political and social situation.

What possible bad outcomes are there if I use this domain?


asked Feb 16 '11 at 06:19
129 points
  • .so? IMO no. Better find some .com .net .org – Ross 13 years ago
  • Google treats ccTLD's (Country specific top level domains) differently in the search results. It'll favor your site in Somalia and less likely to come up when people are searching for it in the US or Europe. You would need serious SEO to rank highly in International Google sites like Google.com – Anagio 11 years ago

8 Answers


  • The top level domain administrator could go down during a riot or insurrection. Unlikely, but possible... If this happens, your site would be unreachable.
  • The government of Somalia could take your domain away from you for no reason.
  • The government of Somalia could raise the price for registering your domain to an exorbitant amount.
  • Any disputes would need to be arbitrated according to Somali laws.

In other words, a LOT could go wrong. The possibility is low if your site isn't very successful, but if it was very successful there's a good chance given the politics of Somalia that you could be held ransom virtually.

I'd suggest a different domain name.

answered Feb 16 '11 at 09:21
Michael Pryor
2,250 points
  • I actually share all your points. At the same time, as @Frank said, it's a similar situation as with .ly domains, and they are used by very popular services (bit.ly over all). Dot so domains are very eye-catching and I still bet they will have a boom in 2011. I'll try to get mine (they will be available by April, 1) and see how things will go. PS: thanks for editing my question. – Achairapart 13 years ago


There basically has not been any central government with control over Somalia since 1991. That is the one thing about Somalia, which is stabile... I would say that there is a bit of added risk by registering as .SO, but I think there will be a long time before any government gets time to look into domain names.

answered Feb 16 '11 at 10:04
1,567 points


If you're planning to register abc.so, make sure you register the name abcso.com as well as a backup

answered May 26 '11 at 18:58
21 points


I would move forward, but have a backup domain. Perhaps use your .so domain to redirect to a normal .com or .net.

You see a lot of .ly names. and that is not the most stable country either.

answered Feb 16 '11 at 06:41
2,079 points


I understand the volatility around the country, but I don't fully understand the controls the government can have over your .SO ?

It's probably the last thing on their minds at the mo, but I think in this day and age most people will think the domain, especially if it's a single high hitting name, is under control of a genuine user. Also, for SEO purposes, is any single name better than adding a large word count to buy a .com?

When the new gtlds come out next year, this whole concept of a .com will open the market up massively.

answered Jul 6 '12 at 02:16
11 points


People won't take you/your company seriously.

answered May 26 '11 at 23:29
Tim J
8,346 points
  • wrong, some big companies use those short domains, heard of bit.ly? – Itai Sagi 12 years ago
  • @Itai - Now tell me all the other domains that use the .ly and try to convince me that they should be taken seriously. – Tim J 12 years ago


Unless you're planning on using some fancy wordplay for example; fat.so or sayitaint.so, then I wouldn't trust a .so domain extension as far as I could throw it. The price just isn't worth the hassle. Somalia is a pretty volatile place, as pointed out all it would take is a riot or some kind of government fiasco to put your domain into peril.

Bit.ly have built a brand around bit.ly and .ly is the country domain extension for Libya which is a pretty volatile country. But Bit.ly have also purchased the domain bitly.com as well which they can fall back onto if they need too, but would no doubt cause them some headaches if they ever had too.

You register an .so domain at your own risk. Just remember to always a backup website.

answered May 27 '11 at 11:55
Digital Sea
1,613 points


I wouldn't know what .so stood for but I'd think it'd be some kind of spammer or scammer.

Just my perspective as a potential (and very unlikely) customer.

answered May 27 '11 at 12:09
1,747 points

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