Tag Archives: .com

China Controls One Third Of All Liquid Domains: GGRG’s Latest LXDO Report

GGRG Brokerage Consulting has published the eleventh edition of their Liquid Domains Overview (LXDO), which focuses on the 614,928 .com domains we call “liquid”. The latest report, covering the fourth quarter of 2018, once again found the most developed categories are 2Ls (letters) .com domain names, followed by 3Ls and 2Cs (characters). The report shows the least developed categories are numeric domains led by the 5Ns (numbers), followed by 4Ns and the 3Ns.

The objective of the LXDO report is to present key statistics and generate a debate amongst the industry stakeholders about the fair value of such domains.

The report found 2018 ended with a reversal of trends from the second and third quarters, with China gaining about 22,500 domains (+3.67%) and controlling about one-third of all the liquid domains, especially numerics. Once again, the largest movement in ownership came from domains going from public to private. Private domains now represent 38% of all liquid domains. This is a continued trend since the inception of GDPR in the second quarter (May 2018), which caused the number of liquid domains under privacy to almost double in less than one year. 2Ns and 3Ns have the most private registrations with over 50% of each category having masked WHOIS data. There is also an observed correlation between average domain value and number of domains under privacy.

The US controls 17% of the liquid domains, while Europe and the rest of the world excluding China, account for 10% combined. 4Ls .com domains registered a record $8.6M in Escrow.com transactions, by far the best result since the publication of this report. The second largest Escrow.com domain sales volume belongs to the 3Ls, with almost $5M in transactions; followed by the 4Ns which registered one of their strongest quarters with $2.7M in escrow.com sales. There was no Escrow.com data available for 2Ls, 2Ns, 2Cs, and 3Ns, but ShortNames records a disclosed 2 letter .com transaction of $700,000. ShortNames also shows $1 million in public 5N transactions, which is consistent with 2018 sales volumes.

The 5th percentile values continue to show single- and double-digits losses. 5Ns saw the worst performance, declining 11.63%, followed by the 3Ls (10.62%). 3Cs also recorded a significant loss of 7.53%. The notable exception was the 4Ls which appear to have bottomed in the prior quarter. The category registered a 12.37% 5th percentile increase, effectively bouncing back from the $100 support level (last quarter the value was $97) and reaching the $109 5th percentile level over 1,800 disclosed transactions. Median prices do not show any significant variation, with the notable exception of 3Cs which show a 61% increase.

Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2019, the LXDO report notes it is normally a slow quarter for Liquid Domains due to the reduced activity from China due to the Chinese New Year. Unless there are large end user transactions, GGRG forecasts a slow beginning to 2019. It will be interesting to observe whether the 4 letter’s 5th percentile values will stay above the $100 support or whether they will continue the general declining trend of other liquid categories.

GGRG’s Q4 2018 LXDO report is available for download in full from:

DNS Belgium Asks Belgians If They’ve Ever Registered A Domain Name. 5% Say Yes.

The internet is increasingly playing a part in the lives of Belgians with growing numbers enjoying the freedom it gives them, go online for entertainment and feel the internet is an essential part of their daily lives. But only 1 in 20 Belgians have ever registered a domain name.

This is all part of research conducted by InSites Consulting on behalf of DNS Belgium, the .be ccTLD registry, at the end of 2018. The research found trust is important for Belgian internet users, and .be domain names score high on that front.

When asked what were the most important factors when it comes to trusting a domain name, Belgians responded:

  1. Language of the domain name
  2. Extension of the domain name
  3. The brand of the domain name
  4. Length of the domain name.

When it came to trusting a website, an encrypted connection (https) was considered the most important, a .be domain name second and a company logo third.

When asked if they’ve ever registered at least one domain name, 5% of Belgians said they had while 95% said not. 60% understood the concept of domain names while one third (35%) said they’d consider registering a domain name in the future, the remainder said they wouldn’t.

For the top level domains Belgians register domain names in, 77% said their own country code top level domain .be, 30% said .com, 16% said .net and 13% said .eu. Following was their neighbour .nl (Netherlands – 8%), .org (7%), .fr (France – 4%), .brussels (2%), .london (1%) and others accounted for 9%.

When it comes to the reasons for registering a domain name, 43% of Belgians said for a website, 40% for website and email and 6% just email.

It also appears Belgians are registering domain names sooner in the process of developing a business or idea with 42% saying they registered a domain name “directly at the time of the idea” compared to 23% in 2017, 11% “when the business is launched” (11% in 2017) and 23% after the start (30% in 2017).

Awareness was highest with .be and .com, with both scoring awareness among over 90% of Belgians (94% and 92% respectively) while .vlaanderen and .brussels scored 27% and 19% respectively.

Belgians said they valued the freedom and entertainment the internet offered them with 70% saying they loved the freedom the internet gives them (up from 59% in 2017), 68% said they go online at home for entertainment (57% in 2017) and 67% said they “feel the internet is an essential part of their daily lives” (47% in 2017).

Belgians say they surf safely online with almost two thirds (64%) saying they “never surf to untrustworthy sites” while half (50%) “are concerned with safe internet use” and a quarter (25%) “are aware of the latest online security tools”.

HEMP, With a Bit of CAVIAR, Tops .COM. and .NET Trending Keywords for December

Verisign have published their top trending keywords used in English .com and .net domain name registrations for December, and unusually the same keyword topped both .com and .net – “hemp”. It came in ninth for .com was “caviar”, which combined would be an interesting combination.

With more than 300 million domain names registered globally, Verisign note there are numerous examples of trending keywords reflected by domain name registrations. We have shown in the past that there is a correlation between domain name registrations and newsworthy and popular events, as well as anticipated trends.

Keeping in the spirit of the zeitgeist that .com and .net domain name registration trends can represent, Verisign publishes their monthly blog post series identifying the top 10 trending .com and .net keywords registered in English during the preceding month.

Here are the top 10 trending keywords registered in December 2018:

pilot near
stable california

Verisign’s November Trending Keywords for .COM and .NET

The number of .com and .net domain names registered around the world is a combined 151.7 million – 137.6 million for .com and 14.1 million for .net. And Verisign, the registry, published top trending keywords in English in each month for both top level domains.

Verisign notes that there can be a correlation between domain name registrations and newsworthy and popular events, as well as anticipated trends. While it’s not clear if there’s anything to glean from November’s, below is the top ten for each TLD to make up your own mind!




token college
trail door
custody repair
litigation garage
landing university
friday  merica
paradise thai
reverse building
divorces pool
jamaica  off



Sales of Liquid Domain Names (Short .COMs) Jumps 70% to $9.2m in Q3: GGRG

The total volume of disclosed liquid domain name sales for the third quarter of 2018 jumped 70% from $5.4 million to $9.2 million, according to the Liquid Domains Market Overview for the third quarter of 2018 from GGRG.com. There was also a 50% increase in the volume of escrow.com sales, which jumped from $12 to $16.7 million. According to escrow.com, the most traded category were the 3 letter (L) .com domains, with $11.4 million in sales, followed by the 4Ls ($3.2m) and the 3 numbers (N) ($1.1m). According to ShortNames.com, the disclosed volumes for these categories showed a similar pattern with $5.2 million for 3Ls, $1.7 million for the 4Ls and almost $1 million in 5Ns.

Even in Q3, the most traded categories for the number of transactions were the 4Ls (1,713), the 5Ns (1,116) and the 3Cs (596), which registered a record turnover of 2.1%. The positive numbers in terms of volume are in stark contrast with the continued decline across the board in 5th percentile values, which recorded the worst quarter since the inception of our report. 5Ns and 3 character (Cs) lost 38%, 4Ls lost 28%. The only stable category were the 3Ls, which registered a modest loss of -2.8%.

The Liquid Domains Market Overview from GGRG covers the sale of specific types of short .com domain names that are actively traded on the major marketplaces including 2 to 4 L .com domain names, 2 to 5 N .coms and the NL/LN and 3C .com domains.

GGRG was founded by Giuseppe Graziano, who is also the CEO. They have a focus on the 614,928 short .com domain names defined as “liquid”.

The report found the overall development index, an index for domain names that have been developed into a website, increased by 1.9%, with significant gains for 2 number and 4 letter .com categories. The most developed categories remain the 2Ls at 34.6%, followed by the 3Ls and 2Cs, both around 28%.

With the exception of the 2Ns, the numeric domain categories maintain a development index under 10%. China remains the king of liquid domains, with a 26.4% market share, followed by the US (21.9%), which gained 2% in Q3. Contrary to the previous trend, we noted a negative variation in domains owned by Chinese registrants for the second consecutive quarter. The rest of the world and Europe also lost market share at 11% and 3.2%, which could be attributed to GDPR coming into further effect. As a result, private registrations now constitute over 30.7% of all liquid domains, which is nearly a 50% increase since the second quarter of 2018. The 3Ns and 5Ns are the categories with the highest percentage of domains under privacy, with 62% and 58% respectively.

The copious inventory released to the market on Q3 had a positive impact on the sales volume but quite a negative impact on the floor prices, which, with the exception of 3Ls, registered significant double-digit losses. Looking ahead, the report notes the challenge for the last quarter of the year, which is typically a strong quarter for end-user activity, will be if the Western market manages to absorb the inventory being released for sale in China. Strong end user transaction might keep afloat the most developed categories, however, a potential increase in .com registration prices, to be decided in November, might have a negative long-term impact on the market (click here for a report on the increase in registry fees Verisign will be allowed to charge). GGRG is advising caution.

The latest LXDO report is available for download for free from:

Internet Commerce Association Says Increases in .COM Registry Fee Unjustified

Last week the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced an extension of its contract with Verisign to run the .com registry, which includes repealing Obama-era price controls and allows for increases of up to 7% in the prices .com registry fee in each of the last 4 of the 6-year term of the Registry Agreement. But the Internet Commerce Association says these increases are unjustified. Continue reading Internet Commerce Association Says Increases in .COM Registry Fee Unjustified

Hurricane Florence Makes Its Mark In September .COM and .NET Keywords

Verisign have released their latest list of top trending keywords in English for .com and .net registrations for the month of September. “Florence” made it to both the .com and .net lists following Hurricane Florence that brought catastrophic flooding to the Carolinas in the eastern United States in September.

With more than 300 million domain names registered globally, Verisign note there are numerous examples of trending keywords reflected by domain name registrations. In the past there has been a correlation between domain name registrations and newsworthy and popular events, as well as anticipated trends.

Here are the top 10 trending keywords registered in September 2018:



asset marijuana
organic  removal
kiosk  cane
sets titan
 plex sustain
 cane  fiber
florence double
kratom florence
 homecare damage
niagara  divine


Click here to see other domain trends blog posts.


ICA Pleads With NTIA To End Verisign’s Reign As “The Most Profitable Company You’ve Never Heard Of”

The Internet Commerce Association is launching a campaign calling for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to stop an expected application for an increase in the .com registry fee when the current ‘price cap’ agreement expires on 30 November 2018. The ICA is calling any increase in the fee “an unjustified price increase that would over time effectively constitute a billion-dollar ‘tax’ on Internet users.”

The ICA, a non-profit trade organisation representing domain name investors, website developers and related companies, says that they expect Verisign to seek the price increase from the NTIA, which comes under the U.S. Department of Commerce. Any increase, the ICA claims, would “further enrich Verisign, ‘The Most Profitable Company You’ve Never Heard Of’, which is already enjoying huge windfall profits?”

The ICA claims the cost of running the .com registry may be as low as $3 per domain, but Verisign charges $7.85 to registries. The ICA further claims that due to the dominance of .com, Verisign has no real competitive pressure on their pricing. Before the U.S. government stepped in to cap Verisign’s prices in 2012, Verisign’s previous contract permitted it to raise prices 7% annually in most years.

The ICA notes in their announcement that “thanks to Verisign’s exclusive contract to operate the .com registry, granted without a competitive bidding process, Verisign earned $457 million last year, and enjoys inflated operating margins of over 60%. Its windfall profits powered a tripling of its stock price over the past five years – despite the freeze imposed on .com prices. Verisign places fourth behind only Apple, Facebook, and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) in terms of revenue per employee. Verisign uses its excess cash to reward its top four executives with nearly $18 million in compensation in 2017 – equivalent to 7% of Verisign’s operating expenses (excluding cost of revenue). In comparison, the compensation of Oracle’s and Adobe’s top four executives is about 1% of operating expenses.”

The ICA concludes their announcement saying that “not content with their current windfall profits, Verisign will likely seek an unjustified price increase that would over time effectively constitute a billion-dollar ‘tax’ on Internet users.”

To garner support for their campaign, the ICA has launched a petition on change.org to raise public awareness here.

August Trending Keywords for .COM, .NET and .BE

Verisign and DNS Belgium both publish trending keywords for their biggest top level domains. For Verisign it’s .com and .net, for DNS Belgium it’s .be. In the last week they’ve both published their August lists.

For Verisign, whose list is for English keywords only, the top .com keyword was “fan” and for .net it was “hotels”. For .be, whose results are published in a word cloud, “ensemble” came out tops while “Mercedes-Benz”, “herstellen”, “bio”, “services” and “iphone” all featured prominently.

DNS Belgium note that “the holiday mood completely disappeared in August: domain names concerning campings or campers no longer figure in the top 50. We do notice that a number of companies are building a portfolio of .be websites, with registrations per sales point / region: mercedes-benz and ensemble (for group purchases) are examples of this trend.” Frequently registered words (online, web, shop, etc) are taken out in an effort to present the trends better.

The top 10 trending keywords registered in August 2018 for .com and .net were:



fan hotels
grid  hard
grad  apps
email canna
 shorting bull
 bets  pink
orthodontists guy
fabric pocket
 goose gifts
cryptocurrency  professional


The word cloud for the top trending keywords for .be in August were:

Another Month, Another Verisign COM/NET Trending Keywords

Verisign have published another list of its top 10 trending keywords in English for .com and .net. Top of the heap for the month of July for .com was “vein”, while “ton” topped the .net list.

There are more than 300 million domain names registered globally and there are numerous examples of trending keywords reflected by domain name registrations. Previous top 10 lists have shown correlations between domain name registrations and newsworthy and popular events, as well as anticipated trends.

For those interested in the top trending keywords, see below:



vein ton
globe  fashion
years  film
custody company
 litigation  over
 cozy  mortgage
 tesla genesis
wicked head
 claims source
 fitter  ward