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CENTR Research Shows Link Between Domain Registration Growth And Economy

CENTR recently published findings of research they conducted into TLD growth from 2008 to 2013. The research was written up in a blog posting on the SIDN, the .nl registry, website by the organisation’s Marketing Manager Michiel Henneke.The aim of the study wrote Henneke was to identify and explain patterns in the development of TLDs. Particular attention was given to the relationship between developments in the number of domain names and developments in the global economy.The research notes domain name registration growth has dropped since 2008, but was “that due to the economic downturn, which began in that year? Or is it because all the most attractive domain names have already been taken? Is the market simply saturated?””The study concluded that the most prominent correlation was between global trade volumes and new registrations. Very often, growth in the number of new registrations precedes trade volume growth by five to seven months.”The research also showed “the first half of 2012 stands out as a period in which TLD growth went into sudden decline. While a reliable explanation remains elusive, the study put forward two hypotheses:

  • A link with Google’s new search algorithms
  • A link with ICANN’s announcement of plans for new gTLDs.”

“The latter possibility,” wrote Henneke, “appears to be particularly plausible, partly because growth picked up again in the middle of the year, when it became clear that the gTLD programme would take significantly longer than previously anticipated. Money and resources may have been diverted from existing TLDs to the planned new extensions.”In conclusion, Henneke notes, “the bottom line is therefore that market saturation may be a factor, but that the economy definitely is a factor – particularly in the short and medium term. Variations in the growth of domain name numbers may have explanations that are unrelated to developments in the economy, but there is no hard evidence.”And reflecting the experience of .nl, Henneke wrote that “in the autumn of 2013, the number of new .nl registrations rose significantly in comparison with the corresponding period of 2012. If the correlation between registrations and economic growth holds true, summer 2014 could be a good period for the Netherlands’ strong commercial sector. Let us hope that that is the case.”The full posting by SIDN’s Marketing Manager Michiel Henneke is available at https://www.sidn.nl/en/weblog/news/article/verband-tussen-aantal-domeinnamen-en-economie-1/.