co.cc ,which claimed to provide free domain names, has finally closed down, probably forever. Experts saw it coming for moths and finally co.cc gave in for various reasons.Before jumping into the resons and discussing whether such free ‘domains’ are trust worthy, let me make one point very clear. NO COMPANY ON THIS EARTH PROVIDES FREE DOMAIN. All these companies which claim to provide free domain, actually provide you sub domains of their top level domain. XYZ.co.cc is a subdomain of co.cc very similar to XYZ.trickswork.com being a sub domain of trickswork.com.
Now, having understood that we actually get sub-domains instead of domain, we can understand the complications involved. So if top level domain is registered to my name (say; trickswork.com); if I start distributing sub-domains(say, XYZ.trickswork.com), a who’s-who query of the sub-doamin would still return the name of top level domain owner and hence tracking of real owners of websites become impossible. This further leads to other complications and security threats.
As the real owner of the website is masked-off and can’t be held accountable, so it has been found that most of free sub-domains websites are spams, phishers, malware or hacks. This is precisely the reason why Google blacklisted and de-indexed all co.cc domains back in 2011. So the biggest disadvantage of using such domains is that your search engine visibility is very poor, hence you lose out on a major source of your traffic.
Back to why and how co.cc was closed, since Google and other search giants started neglecting co.cc, it became very difficult for them to survive. Though some of the co.cc sites were re-indexed, majority of them were penalized heavily in terms of page rank and visibility. This led to less people opting for co.cc paving way to final shut-down. Since November 1st, co.cc stopped registering new sub-domains, but existing users could still login or report spam. But mid-November they finally closed their shops and vanished.
All free sub-domain users, don’t lose hope, you have plenty of options still. We have sub-doamain providers like cu.cc which are free till they survive. But TricksWork would advise you not to take these for reasons discussed above. Better register your own domain through bigrock, godaddy or whosoever gives you the best deal. And if you still need a free sub-domain, opt for blogspot or wordpress which not only provides you with free sub-domain but also a content management system as well for free.