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.EU Is TLD With Highest Proportion Of Business Websites

A new EURid report finds .eu has a higher proportion of business websites than other TLDs. According to the report, 37.8 percent of .eu domains resolving to a website are used for business purposes, compared with an average of 30.5 percent for gTLDs such as .com, .biz and .net, according to the new website categorisation report.”Our findings underscore the fact that businesses across the European Union continue to embrace .eu,” said EURid’s general manager, Marc Van Wesemael. “With its unique cross-border dimension, .eu is ideally suited for trading in many EU countries.”The report, prepared in collaboration with the Leuven Statistics Research Centre, aims to understand how websites are used and also reveals that there has been a significant drop in the percentage of pay-per-click (PPC) websites on the web, from 20.6 percent in 2011 to 11.8 percent in 2013. That PPC sites have become less popular would indicate that revenue generated from this type of website is falling.The report shows that the most common use of a domain name is to link to a website used for business purposes. 30.5 percent of the categorised domain names linked to a business website. Other categories with a large percentage of websites were: holding page (27.8%), error (16.2%) and pay-per-click (12.9%). Relatively few sites (9.3%) were used as personal websites and the percentages for the password-protected, institutional and adult-content categories were almost negligible.The biggest change the report found is that over time there has been a significant drop in the percentage of pay-per-click (PPC) sites and a corresponding increase in holding pages as well as a small increase in content-based sites. This indicates that PPC revenues are dropping and that people are responding either by linking their domain names to holding pages or, in some cases, by building websites with actual content.Comparing different TLDs, the report concludes that several have distinct profiles. The main example is .org, which has a very high percentage of personal websites. Other examples are .eu, which has a distinct business profile, and .info and .mobi which have a high percentage of holding pages.Interestingly, the report notes given the upcoming launch of new TLDs, there is a clear trend among
The gTLDs. As expected, those launched more recently (.biz, .pro, .info and .mobi) have a much higher percentage of sites that are not content-based (error, holding or pay-per-click) than the older, more established ones (.net, .org and .com). Compared with last year the difference has decreased somewhat though. However, .eu does not follow the trend, although it is a relatively new TLD, it has (along with .com) the highest percentage of content-based sites among all the investigated TLDs.The findings are based on the results of the analysis of domain names taken from the zone files of the .com, .net. .org, .biz, .info, .pro and .mobi gTLDs and the .eu ccTLD. A random sample of domain names was selected from each zone file which was then assessed by a multilingual team of researchers. In total, around 5 000 domain names were assessed for each TLD. The website associated with a particular domain name was then categorised into one of eight categories: business, community, pay-per-click, holding page, institutional, password protected, error and pornography.Further findings

  • Business is the most common use for websites across all top-level domains, with 30.5 percent of all websites being used for business purposes on average.
  • After business, the next most common use for websites is as a holding page (27.8%)
  • Older, generic TLDs still have distinctive usage profiles, for example .org maintains a high proportion of community websites
  • Pornography only accounts for 0.9 percent of websites, contradicting the commonly held perception that it is pervasive on the Internet.

The full report, “Website usage trends among top-level domains 2014”, is available for download at It forms part of the .eu Insights report series, which is based on surveys, studies and research conducted by EURid, in cooperation with industry experts and sector leaders.