Registrations in .net have plateaued over the last couple of years, being stuck around the 15 million mark, while its Verisign stablemate .com has continued to see registration numbers grow and many of the new gTLDs have grown rapidly.
The first ever domain name created was a .net domain â nordu.net. However .net seems to have been hit by the introduction of new generic Top Level Domains. For the last four years registrations in .net have hovered around the 15 million mark, dropping slightly as new gTLDs began to be introduced in early 2014. But it wasnât the only legacy TLD to be impacted. Others such as .info, .biz, .tel and .mobi also saw registration numbers drop, along with .us, some commencing their decline prior to the introduction of new gTLDs. But often the decline was accentuated after the decline of new gTLDs.
So to seek to get domain registrants interested again in .net, Verisign has launched a campaign describing the TLD as âUncommonly Timelessâ highlighting .netâs enduring appeal as a domain that is recognised as original and reliable.
There are seven .com keywords in registered .com domain names and five in .net that relate to the recent US election and Donald Trump. And there are two marijuana-related .com keywords and three for .net.
Usually the 2 top 10 lists are very different, but in November there was a convergence where keywords in English in registered .com and .net domain names overlapped.
The 2 lists courtesy of Verisign are below.
The Chinese government’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has given official approval for the .club, .vip and .xyz new gTLDs meaning they can now apply for relevant local licenses to be hosted within the country. Previously only .com and .net operated by Verisign had this official approval.It’s a hugely significant opportunity for the three new generic Top Level Domains as previously registrants were required to host their domain names in these gTLDs outside the country. China already accounts for at least 40% and possibly around half of all registrations for all new gTLDs. However one probable trade-off is that the Chinese government can order domain names, and hosted websites, to be deleted it doesn’t approve of.The three gTLDs are among the top ten when it comes to registration numbers. According to nTLDstats.com, .xyz is the largest with 6.671 million registrations while .club is the fifth largest (881,300) and .vip ninth (531,500) accounting for almost 3 in 10 (29.89%) of all registrations.China’s significance can be shown by it accounting for a growing number of registrations, both for new gTLDs and legacy gTLDs, particularly short domains and even more so short numeric domains, and all three new gTLDs having offices there.While there are almost twice as many .cn domains registered within China than .com – around 20 million .cn compared to 11 million .com, .com domains attract higher premiums from investors according to the Coreile Letter blog with .com being considered a “door to the world [for] a Chinese enterprise, and every Chinese company aspires to have a ‘grand’ entrance.”Additionally, many numbers rhyme with Chinese characters. Coreile gives the example of “520” that “rhymes with (sounds like) the Chinese characters 我愛你 (I love you), which is perfect for a dating website.” And the third reason given by Coreile is that Chinese companies like to use acronyms for their domains, practice not as common for western companies. “For example, Jing Dong upgraded from JingDong.com (and 360buy.com) to JD.com and Zhu Ba Jie from Zhubajie.com to ZBJ.com. This is possible because these acronym names correspond to the fully spelled out Pinyin names. In other words, Chinese consumers have no difficulty remembering either an acronym name or its fully spelled out Pinyin name.”According to nTLDstats.com, there are almost 12 million (11.910 million) domain names registered to registrants within China out of 27.015 million across the 1,209 new gTLDs that have been delegated, however there are also 7.390 million domains that the registrant is unknown, usually through the use of Whois proxy services. There is only one additional country that accounts for over one million registrations – the USA (2.707m).For .club, the registry saw China as a huge opportunity even before their launch, regularly visiting the country since January 2014, months before its official launch. Since then they’ve seen significant growth in registrations from domain investors in China with more than 400,000 domains having been registered there and more than US$2 Million in .CLUB premium name sales made to Chinese investors. They are now one of only five formal government licenses for foreign domains so will be eligible for ICP (Internet Content Provider) numbers. An ICP number is required for every website hosted in mainland China.”The Chinese market is extremely important to us, and we’ve worked very hard at understanding how the regulatory system there works and how we can work with the government as it evolves,” said CEO, Colin Campbell. “We’re very proud to be among the first foreign domain name registries approved. While we’ve already enjoyed some success in China, we now look forward to expanding the reach and popularity of .CLUB to the many businesses and entrepreneurs developing their online presence in China. Being an approved registry opens the door to great expansion for us in the Chinese market.”The word “club” in English is widely used and recognised in China by existing clubs and small businesses, making .club a logical and meaningful domain extension. With over 140 million .com and .net names and nearly 20 million .cn names already registered, businesses looking for good, brandable names are looking further afield for new choices such as the .club new generic Top Level Domain.Likewise MMX, operator of the .vip new gTLD, was very pleased, with CeO Toby Hall saying the “MIIT approval is a major milestone for MMX and the continued successful development of our dot VIP domain. We share the China domain industry’s opinion that regulatory approval will provide for another wave of top-level domain growth in the region. Influential Chinese registrars will now be able to market this select group of approved new gTLDs more actively to the important local Chinese SME end-market for usage. We are deeply honoured to be one of only three registries to be approved in this first round of approvals.”
In one article the New York Times dubbed this week’s US election The Marijuana Election with voters in nine states having had the opportunity to vote to loosen restrictions on marijuana. And in October marijuana-related English .com domain names were very popular according to Verisign.In their top ten trending keywords for October, “cannabis” was the top string registered in .com domains followed by “marijuana” with “Weed” fifth and “pot” seventh. “Memory” was ninth and whether this had anything to do with the others is hard to know! Other strings to feature in the top ten were “corporation”, “fan”, “network”, “cellular” and “pixel”.In the .net world things, as usual, were very different. Those registering .net domains, at least in October, were a prim and proper bunch with the top ten being “marketing”, “top”, “trade”, “finance”, “games”, “video”, “blog”, “clinic”, “data” and “money”.
The September top ten trending keywords for domain names registered in the .com and .net top level domains is always worthy of a quick look. Sometimes they throw up keywords that correlate with newsworthy and popular events and anticipated trends. Sometimes there seems no reason!
So in September “self”, “driver”, “cars” and “driving” all appeared in the top .net keywords, which makes sense due to the news coverage of self-driving cars. Other terms to make the .net list were “less”, “charter”, “books”, “spectrum”, “trading” and “truck”.
The .com list though doesn’t seem to have that much relevance to news, popular events or any trends. Or maybe your correspondent isn’t as up on events as he likes to think he is!
The top ten keywords for .com in September were page, driver, history, pair, Harley, holding, tshirt, payday, cheese and funnel.
There were 334.6 million domain names registered around the world as of 30 June, an increase of 7.9 million, or 2.4 percent, over the previous quarter with three quarters (74.7%) of the growth coming from registrations in new generic Top Level Domains, according to the latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief.Among the new gTLDs, there were 22 million domain names registered as of 30 June compared to 16.1 million as of 31 March, an increase of 5.9 million for the quarter. Domain registrations in new gTLDs account for 6.6 percent of all domain registrations compared to 4.9 percent at the end of the previous quarter and two percent a year ago.The ten largest TLDs were .com, .tk, .cn, .de, .net, .org, .uk, .xyz, .ru and .nl. The biggest change for the quarter was .xyz’s inclusion in the top ten, the largest of the new gTLDs and the first of the new gTLDs to break into the top ten. The largest TLD of them all, .com, now has 127.5 million registrations, an increase of 900,000 registrations for the quarter and 9 million for the year, while .net has 15.8 million dropping around 100,000 from the previous quarter, but overall up 800,000 registrations in the past 12 months.Total ccTLD domain name registrations were approximately 149.9 million in the first quarter of 2016, with an increase of 1.4 million domain name registrations, or a 1.0 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2016. ccTLDs increased by approximately 11.7 million domain name registrations, or 8.5 percent, year over year. Without including .tk, ccTLD domain name registration growth quarter-over-quarter was 1.2 percent and growth year-over-year was 10.7 percent.During the second quarter of 2016, Verisign’s average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load was approximately 130 billion queries per day across all TLDs operated by Verisign, with a peak of nearly 179 billion queries. Quarter over quarter, the daily average query load increased 4.9 percent and the peak decreased by 5.0 percent. Year over year, the daily average query load increased by 17.0 percent, and the peak decreased by 1.5 percent.
Verisign Tuesday launched General Availability for the Korean-language equivalents of .com and .net, which the registry giant also provides registry services for.The two generic Top Level Domains are the Hangul script .nd .nd became available at midnight UTC on 30 August.Launching top level domains in local scripts make it easier for internet users for whom that language is their first to use the web and send emails. And for businesses, it makes it easier to communicate with their customers, particularly those that aren’t familiar with a Latin script language like English.At their General Availability launches .nd .ad 3,002 and 868 domain names registered respectively following Sunrise and Landrush periods and at the end of day one of GA had 4,628 and 1,366 registrations, according to nTLDstats.com.
The Pokemon craze has resulted in a surge of .com and .net domain name registrations according to the latest Verisign list of top trending keywords for the two generic Top Level Domains in July.The “pokemon” string came second for registrations in both .com and .net for the month Verisign announced while “go” was the most popular for both gTLDs.In .com, following go and pokemon was poke, got, aerial, matter, lives, genes, dirty and panda. For .net the list following go and pokemon was expert, poke, tubes, genes, loan, board, options and matter.
Verisign has announced they will be increasing the registry fee, the fee charged to registrars, by around ten percent from 1 February 2017 as per their registry agreement with ICANN, pushing the registry fee above that of .com. Verisign provides registry services for .com and .net, among others.
The announcement, in a letter dated 28 July to ICANNâs President and CEO GÃ¶ran Marby says that the fee charged to registrars, or the registry fee, will rise to $8.20. This is an increase of 9.9 percent from the current $7.46.
The increase is certain to have some impact on .net registrations as they have already largely stagnated since the introduction of new gTLDs, the first of which went live in February 2014.
There are currently 15.571 million .net domain names registered, according to RegistrarStats.com. Registrations hovered around the 15 million mark from mid-2013 to late 2015, then an uptake to around the current figure where it has hovered since. This compares to .com which has seen a constant increase in registration numbers, seemingly with little impact from the new gTLDs, and registration numbers now stand at 126.784 million.
There were 326.4 million domain names registered across all top level domains (TLDs) around the world at the end of the first quarter 2016, an increase of approximately 12 million domain names, or 3.8 percent over the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief published by Verisign. Registrations have grown by 32.4 million, or 11 percent, year over year.As of 31 March, new gTLD registrations totalled 16.1 million, which represented 4.9 percent of total domain name registrations. The top 10 new gTLDs represented over half (54.8%) of all new gTLD domain name registrations. The largest of the new gTLDs were .xyz and .top, which accounted for 16.5 and 11.1 percent of all new gTLD registrations respectively.Total country code TLD (ccTLD) registrations were 148.2 million domain names, a 2.6 percent increase quarter over quarter, and an 8.2 percent increase year over year. The top 10 ccTLDs as of 31 March were .tk (Tokelau), .cn (China), .de (Germany), .uk (United Kingdom), .ru (Russian Federation), .nl (Netherlands), .eu (European Union), .br (Brazil), .au (Australia) and .fr (France).The .com and .net TLDs experienced aggregate growth, reaching a combined total of approximately 142.5 million domain names in the domain name base in the first quarter of 2016. This represents a 7.1 percent increase year over year. The base of registered names in .com equalled 126.6 million names, while .net equalled 15.9 million names, the latter figure having being static for around three years.New .com and .net registrations totalled 10 million during the first quarter of 2016. In the first quarter of 2015, new .com and .net registrations totalled 8.7 million.There has also been a large jump in the growth of .com and .net domain names redirecting to popular global social media and e-commerce sites compared to Q1 2015. Weibo had the largest growth of 49 percent followed by LinkedIn (35%), Etsy (30%), Facebook (27%), Amazon.com (25%) and Twitter (23%). Verisign don’t give total numbers and for most at least it is likely to be growth from a comparatively small base.Combining gTLDs and ccTLDs, the largest by zone size were .com, .tk, .cn, .de, .net, .org, .uk, .ru, .nl and .info. There were 291 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root, including Internationalised Domain Names (IDN), with the top 10 ccTLDs composing 67.4 percent of all ccTLD registrations.Regarding .tk, Verisign quotes from a Freenom news release that the Tokelauan ccTLD is a free ccTLD that provides free domain names to individuals and businesses. Revenue is generated by monetising expired domain names. Domain names no longer in use by the registrant or expired are taken back by the registry and the residual traffic is sold to advertising networks. As such, there are no deleted .tk domain names.It also means that while .tk is the largest ccTLD, it’s numbers are very misleading when it comes to actual usage and demand.