Tag Archives: SIDN

Slow Adoption of IPv6 Risks Harming Dutch Innovation Climate: SIDN

Slow adoption of IPv6 in the Netherlands is liable to harm the nation’s innovation climate. That’s the conclusion of research carried out for SIDN, the .nl ccTLD registry.

According to monitoring by Google, the Netherlands has been slow to adopt the newer protocol. As a result, SIDN believes that the Netherland’s competitiveness as an innovation centre is being undermined. Tech companies are likely to see countries with good IPv6 support as more desirable bases. The Netherlands lags behind with IPv6 largely because of the policies of the two biggest access providers, the report concludes. Neither KPN nor Ziggo offers internet users a proper dual-stack IPv6 connection.

According Google’s data, Belgium heads the European ranking for IPv6 adoption, with more than 54 per cent of all visits to Google pages made from IPv6 addresses. In the Netherlands, the figure is just 13.2 per cent. The reluctance to embrace IPv6 does not bode well for the Dutch internet’s future-readiness. Nor, indeed, for the competitiveness of the country’s business community, since it makes the Netherlands less attractive as a place for innovation and investment in the Internet of Things (IoT).

Digitale Infrastructuur Nederland (DINL), which speaks for the companies and organisations that supply the facilities on which the digital economy is based, remains unconvinced of the case for IPv6, the study found. DINL argues that there is no pressing shortage of IPv4 addresses, and therefore no clear economic incentive to switch to IPv6. Nevertheless, DINL advocates research into the risks associated with slow adoption, since it doesn’t want to see the sector caught out by developments that it can’t respond to quickly.

According to the study findings, big companies and small businesses are embracing the new protocol more than medium-sized enterprises. Of the various sectors analysed, universities are easily the biggest IPv6 supporters, with an adoption rate of 43 per cent. And the private sector is using IPv6 more than the public sector. Nevertheless, the overall percentages are generally disappointing.

“Slow adoption of IPv6 is liable to harm our country’s international standing,” fears Roelof Meijer, SIDN’s CEO. “It detracts from the Netherlands’ image as a leading innovator. And that increases the danger of startups and innovative tech companies seeing other countries that do have good IPv6 support as more desirable bases. The services of global technology companies, such as Netflix, Google and Facebook, have been using IPv6 for a long time. That tells you which way the world is heading.”

Meijer also highlights the growing demand for IP addresses linked to the rise of the IoT: “Hubs and gateways that enable communication with IoT devices and domotics need IP addresses. If the Netherlands is going to continue to feature in development of the IoT, further implementation of IPv6 is essential.”

SIDN’s Chief Exec is therefore calling on everyone involved to finally commit to IPv6: “We all have a responsibility here. What we’re talking about is our country’s readiness for the future.”

IPv6 is the successor to IPv4, the protocol that underpins the internet’s addressing system. It’s needed because the world has run out of IPv4 addresses and the technical workarounds used to keep the system going have implications for the stability of the internet. With IPv6, addresses are structured in a completely different way, enabling far more of them to be created.

IPv4 is now nearly forty years old, but is still used for the bulk of internet traffic. Because the internet has developed in ways that were unimaginable four decades ago, with countless internet-connected devices and appliances, the demand for addresses has long since outstripped the scope for creating them on the basis of IPv4. IPv6 uses a different addressing technology, and therefore has a much bigger ‘address space’. Whereas IPv4 has space for 4 billion addresses, IPv6 has space for 340 undecillion (34 followed by 37 zeros).

The research report from the Dutch country code top level domain manager is currently available only in Dutch. An English translation will be available shortly SIDN advises.

SIDN Signs Up For nic.at Anycast Network RcodeZero In More Industry Consolidation

The Dutch and Austrian ccTLD managers, SIDN and nic.at, have signed a cooperation agreement under which all domains managed by SIDN will additionally be hosted on the nic.at anycast network RcodeZero DNS. The agreement was announced by SIDN’s CEO Roelof Meijer and nic.at CEO Richard Wein on the sidelines of the ICANN meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“We are very happy and proud to offer our technical services to the third largest European ccTLD,” says Richard Wein, CEO of nic.at. The agreement covers the almost 6 million domains registered under .nl, .amsterdam, .aw and .politie and sees SIDN becoming the biggest customer of the RcodeZero TLD DNS network. A network which already hosts twelve different TLDs at thirteen highly available redundant locations all over the world.

Roelof Meijer, SIDN’s CEO, explains the reasons why they decided for RcodeZero DNS: “First of all, it was important for us to have a partner under EU jurisdiction and data protection law. Secondly, we were impressed by nic.at’s technical know-how and flexibility, as well as their readiness to develop their product further based on our needs.” In recent years, SIDN has constantly been improving and optimising its DNS infrastructure with anycast partners to guarantee the best possible availability of .nl domains.

RcodeZero DNS will soon be expanded with additional nodes in Australia and South America to provide better performance and lower latency for customers in those areas, too. However, RcodeZero DNS, had other attractions for a technician, as confirmed by Marc Groeneweg, Coordinator of DNS Ops Team at SIDN: “It’s important for us to have comprehensive statistics and real-time DNS traffic information to further analyse our infrastructure, as a basis for continued improvement of our infrastructure.“

The technical work of integrating all Dutch domains into the network has just been completed and the set-up is now ready for public production.

The agreement is a sign of further consolidation and expansion within the top level domain registry industry, using their experiences in areas such as security among others. In the security area, a big issue for business worldwide, the domain name business is one of the leading providers of online security solutions. Some registries, such as nic.at and SWITCH, the Swiss registry operator, also run CERTs.

Others, such as CIRA, the Canadian ccTLD manager, has been active in recent months signing agreements with Uniregistry, DNS.PT (Portugal’s .pt) and InternetNZ (New Zealand’s .nz) to provide global domain name system services. SIDN itself has acquired a controlling stake in Connectis, one of the Netherlands' leading suppliers of secure log-in solutions and redesigned SPIN, their open-source system for protecting the internet and end-users against insecure IoT devices in home networks. And DENIC, the German (.de) ccTLD manager, has been approved as an authorised New gTLD Data Escrow Agent to offer both to ICANN-accredited registrars and registries an escrow service which fully complies with the European legal framework.

Registries Aren’t Content Police, But Keeping Trust Is Reputationally Important: Domain Pulse

Registries universally said they’re not content police in a discussion on domain name take down processes involving legal counsels from the operators of 6 European registries, both generic and country code TLDs. However processes vary among the registries.

The discussion involved representatives from dotSaarland, DENIC (.de), SWITCH (.ch), SIDN (.nl), DNS Belgium (.be) and Nominet (.uk) at the Domain Pulse conference in Munich Friday, the annual event that rotates between Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

One registry that does make decisions on takedowns, or suspensions as they’re often called, and the content on the sites using the domain names, is SWITCH. Anna Kuhn explained how SWITCH was rather unusual in that they were both a registry and operated a national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), which gave them some additional expertise. However SWITCH still doesn’t make decisions on content, only on domain names involved in the hosting malware and phishing Combatting cybercrime, Kuhn explained, is one of the roles of the registry operator.

Volker Greimann from dotSaarland, the only new gTLD operator in the panel discussion, said .saarland is in a different position to the country code top level domain (ccTLD) registries as they have a direct contract with ICANN. Additionally, the Saarland regional government said they don’t want their new generic top level domain (new gTLD) to be a haven for crime. The gTLD for the German state has an anti-abuse rule in their terms and conditions that requires domain names to not ruin the reputation of the Saar region.

Horst explained the German registry's position of the German registry in this respect: “DENIC is not the right point of contact to which to turn when it comes to content. If DENIC were to evaluate content and delete, at its own discretion, domains through which websites with questionable content can be accessed, this would be equivalent to censorship. In a democracy based on the separation of powers, no one can seriously support law enforcement by the private sector. This philosophy of DENIC's is, by the way, also reflected by the unanimous opinion of the German courts.”

The courts, Horst explained, have always sided with DENIC’s view that they also aren’t in a position to judge on what is illegal content and that complaints should always go to the registrant if they can be contacted.

SIDN’s Maarten Simon said SIDN will never just take down a domain name and that contacting the registry should be a last resort. However Simon also noted .nl domain names are much more trusted by Dutch people than any other TLD. And that this trust is both in SIDN’s interest to protect so that internet users continue to want to visit sites using the Dutch ccTLD and businesses want to register .nl domain names. Building trust benefits SIDN’s bottom line as more .nl domain names are registered. For complaints regarding .nl domain names, there is an independent appeals board with a number of judges and professors with the expertise to deal with complaints.

Peter Vergote from DNS Belgium also noted how .be has nothing to do with judging content hosted using a .be domain name, so to get a domain name suspended a complaint has to give necessary evidence such as a court order to have a domain name taken down.

Vergote echoed Simon’s views on .nl in that DNS Belgium deeply cares about the quality of the .be zone and it’s their sincere duty to do what they can without taking unnecessary risks. While they are more active than in the past on dealing with complaints, they will never evaluate content on a website. This position has been backed by a court order from a Belgian court that states deciding illegal content is up to the courts and can’t be done by DNS Belgium. When it comes to phishing though, DNS Belgium treats this differently and will take action without a court order if they are advised from a competent body that a domain name is used for phishing.

But DNS Belgium will never take it upon themselves to suspend a domain name that’s suspected of being used for phishing because that’s a content evaluation. Additionally Vergote said a phisher is unlikely to put their correct identity in Whois. DNS Belgium suspends around a dozen domain names per month with complaints largely driven by government agencies and rarely from private individuals or organisations.

So what about the domain names that are required to be taken down, or suspended? For SIDN, Simon explained the procedure starts with a form to be completed on the SIDN website where the complainant explains why the domain name should be taken and what they’ve done to date to complain. If the complaint is clear cut SIDN will go to the registrar and get the domain name taken down. SIDN receives about 20 requests per year and take down one, maybe 2, each year out of the 5.8 million .nl registrations.

Nominet’s Wenban-Smith commented on the futility of removing or suspending a domain name because even if they do, the content still exists. Nominet doesn’t allow child abuse or content that promotes criminal activity on .uk domain names. But Nominet doesn’t make decisions on what is illegal content but does cooperate with those who can such as law enforcement. For those wishing to make complaints, Nominet doesn’t take requests from those outside the UK. In 2017 Wenban-Smith said Nominet suspended 16,000 .uk domain names in 2017.

Netherlands Continues as Country With Highest ccTLD Domain Density in the World

SIDN-logoThe Dutch economy picked up in 2017 and in the first 11 months of the year, for the first time since 2010, more .nl domain names were registered than the year before.

In the eleven months to 1 December, more than 780,000 new .nl domain names were registered, SIDN, the .nl ccTLD manager notes in a recent blog post. That was 20,000 up on the same period in 2016. Taking out cancellations, the zone file for the Netherlands’ country code top level domain grew by about 100,000 to a little over 5.8 million names. Which means the Netherlands has the highest domain name density in the world. With a population of just seventeen million, the country has nine million .nl domain names!

The trend goes against what has been commonplace among many European ccTLDs, according to CENTR research presented at the Domain Pulse conference in Vienna in February 2017. The research found growth rates (not registrations) have been declining for several years with an apparent stabilisation in the last few years.

In a following panel session, Michiel Henneke from SIDN said the .nl registry was particularly worried. In a country with 17 million people and then around 5.7 million registrations, and now the .amsterdam new gTLD, they have to focus on a probable saturation and face a future of low, if any, growth in .nl. The Netherlands also has less of a profile, Henneke said, than Amsterdam, making the city new gTLD appealing in international markets.

An upturn in the Dutch economy is one of the reasons SIDN attributes to the growth in .nl business registrations in 2017. More than 40% of ‘private’ .nl registrations by young people are actually business-related. All the signs are that the economy is flourishing, and so is .nl.

In their blog post, SIDN also provide the few case studies below:

Jeffrey van Draanen registered kingscake.nl

“Kingscake is a platform where you can buy exclusive cakes and desserts. Something special for an event, a corporate gathering or a big celebration. My business partner and I set up the site after spotting a gap in the market. When coming up with a name, of course we thought about the URL. Lots of domain names were already taken, especially names with the Dutch word ‘taart’. In the end, we settled on Kingscake, because it stands out and has an international, exclusive ring to it. We’re now working to build up the brand. Once we’re better known, hopefully we’ll be less dependent on the domain name for a high position in the search results.”

Hein van Woensel registered citiusadvocaten.nl

“Citius is a new legal practice. Obviously we needed a website, but citius.nl had already been registered by someone else. We offered to buy it, but the owner didn’t want to sell. The idea of using another extension instead of .nl was a non-starter for us. It has to be obvious that we are a Dutch law firm. So we opted for citiusadvocaten.nl, because the meaning is clear to a Dutch reader and it makes us easy to find. We hired a firm to run an SEA campaign for us. As a result, lots of people find us when looking for a lawyer and we get plenty of calls from potential clients.”

Lisa Knapen registered lisaknapen.nl

I’m a recent graduate and I’m looking for work in advertising. So I registered lisaknapen.nl to get my portfolio out there. I felt confident about building my own website, because I did a course in web design a while ago. To get myself known, I’ve been sending out postcards featuring a sort of infographic of my CV and the address of my website. In other words, the website is a career development tool. I haven’t yet found the right job, but I’ve had a lot of positive feedback and the strategy has won me a lot of introductions. I never really thought about using any extension other than .nl, because this is where I am and where I want to find work. But maybe someday I’ll fancy working elsewhere. In that case, I’ll probably go for .com.”

Dennis Brouwer registered drpproducts.nl

“I already owned winkelstickers.nl (meaning ‘shop stickers’). But I’m looking to broaden my activities, so I’ve registered drpproducts.nl as well. On the website that goes with the new name I sell a wider range of things, including posters and price tags. It’s not generating much turnover yet, but the margins make the venture attractive. DRP stands for ‘Dutch Retail Products’. It comes across as corporate and sounds good on the phone. A .nl domain name was the only option for me. If I see a company car with a .biz name on the side, I immediately assume it’s a small firm. It’s like putting your mobile number on your website: it lets everyone know that the business is just you.”

CIRA Adds .SX To The TLDs It Provides Registry Services For

Canadian Internet Registration Authority CIRA logoCanada’s ccTLD registry, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), has now added .sx (Sint Maarten) to its Fury Registry Platform. CIRA has been on a bit of a “acquisition” role recently with this week’s adding to a number of similar recent announcements.

Wednesday’s announcement says SX Registry SA, who operates the .SX country code top level domain on behalf of the Sint Maarten government, is now running on CIRA’s Fury Registry Platform.

“While we chose the Fury platform due to its advanced features and stability, what truly amazed me was how seamless the migration was,” said Normand Fortier, CEO, SX Registry SA. “As a business person and especially as a registry, I cannot afford downtime, and the CIRA transition team exceeded my most optimistic expectations.”

CIRA describes their Fury Registry Platform as a next-generation TLD management platform with features and functionality designed for the modern TLD business. Fury features a modern interface with role-based access to key registry functions that provide flexibility in pricing, promotion, and domain management to help operators run their business and grow their registry.

Another of the benefits that CIRA touts is Fury’s tags feature—an industry first—enables operators to apply advanced business rules to individual domains or domain groupings to make adjustments to pricing and promotions in real-time.

The migration to Fury took less than 30 days, and was executed seamlessly by the CIRA transition team. Another to have migrated to Fury was .KIWI who adopted the platform last year.

“We developed the Fury Registry Services Platform with the flexibility and agility to manage any modern TLD business,” said Dave Chiswell, Vice President of Product Development, CIRA. “The TLD market is rapidly evolving, and accompanied by the support of CIRA, the FURY platform provides operators with a set of next-generation tools to compete and win.”

The consolidation of registry services is a bit of a global trend as registry operators look for partners to provide services rather than provide bespoke services every time. CIRA has been aggressive in seeking partners and in late October announced Uniregistry and SIDN had signed on to receive CIRA’s D-Zone DNS services for their TLDs. These announcements have followed announcements in February of 2 other joint ventures with the New Zealand and Portuguese ccTLD registries, InternetNZ and Associação DNS.PT, to deliver Anycast DNS services.

Domain Pulse has previously reported of SIDN who manages the .nl (Netherlands) ccTLD with more than 5.7 million domains under management, has itself been branching into other services. Speaking at the Domain Pulse conference in Vienna in February SIDN’s Michiel Henneke said the registry has been experimenting with opportunities in similar areas.

“DNS is required for e-billing so SIDN became a co-creator of a DNS billing service in the Netherlands, but there are few other markets that are as attractive when it comes to revenue as domain names and the e-billing service is just a small part of revenue. We’ve also taken over an e-identity company with 12 million users, so we believe this will be a significant contributor to future revenue.”

Registry Consolidation Continues as SIDN and Uniregistry Choose CIRA to Enhance DNS Security and Performance

Canadian Internet Registration Authority CIRA logoThe top level domain business continues to consolidate as registry operators look for partners to provide services rather than provide bespoke services every time. One of those registries that has recently been aggressive in seeking partners is CIRA, the registry operator for the Canadian ccTLD, who this week announced Uniregistry and SIDN have signed on to receive CIRA’s D-Zone DNS services for their TLDs.

Both partnerships were announced at the ICANN public meeting currently underway in Abu Dhabi and follows the announcement in February of two other joint ventures with the New Zealand and Portuguese ccTLD registries, InternetNZ and Associação DNS.PT, to deliver Anycast DNS services.

SIDN who manages the .nl country code top level domain (ccTLD) for the Netherlands, with more than 5.7 million domains under management, has itself been branching into other services. Speaking at the Domain Pulse conference in Vienna earlier this year SIDN’s Michiel Henneke said the registry has been experimenting with opportunities in similar areas.

“DNS is required for e-billing so SIDN became a co-creator of a DNS billing service in the Netherlands, but there are few other markets that are as attractive when it comes to revenue as domain names and the e-billing service is just a small part of revenue. We’ve also taken over an e-identity company with 12 million users, so we believe this will be a significant contributor to future revenue.”

Uniregistry, the other partner, operates .ky, the Cayman Islands ccTLD, along with 25 new generic top level in domains (gTLDs) in the global marketplace, including .link, .game, .mom and .photo.

The CIRA D-Zone Anycast DNS that the registries have signed up to use is built for resilience with a strong footprint at each node across a global, well-peered network that is recognized as best-in-class by some of the most discriminating buyers in the industry.

CIRA’s solution started with the needs of the .CA TLD at its heart, and is now finding great partners around the world who are committed to building a better internet for their users.

Establishing one or more secondary DNS footprints is considered an internet infrastructure best-practice that can help to mitigate the risks posed by DDoS that increasingly focus on DNS providers, where they can do the most damage. The DNS is fundamental to ensuring that websites, email, and web applications remain online and optimized for performance.

EURid Wins Registry of the Year at 2017 CENTR Awards

Eurid, the .eu registry operator, has won Registry of the Year at the 2017 CENTR Awards held in Brussels. This was the first year Registry of the Year has been awarded and was voted on by registrars with 105 participating in the survey with CENTR saying there was a tight race for the winner.

In a statement EURid said:
“It’s not only an honour and privilege to have won the award itself, but a testament to our incredible registrar community, who made it possible to win the award in the first place. We greatly appreciate their dedication and support towards our TLDs and initiatives.

“Additionally, this achievement couldn’t have been met without our wonderful community, utilizing both the .eu and .ею extensions, who make up Europe’s diverse online sphere.”

CENTR_awards_winners_2017

During the ceremony, the finalists in each of the five categories presented short videos of their projects or people that were nominated. The evening was a great opportunity to showcase inspiring projects and teams that truly make a difference in the online world and to demonstrate the great spirit of collaboration that gives life to the CENTR community.

This year’s CENTR Awards winners are:

  • Marketing Campaign Excellence Category: .CA Product Marketing team for its brand awareness and lead generation campaign (CIRA)
  • Safe and Sound DNS Category: Barbara Povše (Registry.si) & Bert Ten Brinke (SIDN) for the project “Security for Registry.si”
  • Greater Online Good Category: DENIC's source code donation to the Mozilla foundation to support IDNA 2008 in Firefox and Thunderbird
  • Above and Beyond Innovation Category: UK Domain Categorisation (Nominet data team)
  • Contributor of the Year Category: Annebeth Lange (Norid)
  • Registry of the Year Category: EURid (.eu)

CENTR is the association of European country code top-level domain name registries. CENTR’s main purpose is to provide its members with a forum for exchange of information.

Your correspondent was a Jury member for the 2017 CENTR Awards.

SIDN Fighting Abuse in .NL

SIDN-logoAbuse is all too common in top level domains. In 2016 the Anti-Phishing Working Group reports phishing occurred in 454 TLDs, including in 228 new gTLDs. So that abuse occurs in any TLD is not surprising. But how the TLD goes about fighting it, or not, can be of interest.

Recently SIDN, the registry for .nl (Netherlands) published a blog post on abuse in .nl. “Abuse is a growing problem, according to Lilian van Mierlo, [SIDN’s] Registration & Service Manager. ‘There are some types of abuse that we used to get reports about maybe ten times a year, and now we’re getting a thousand reports about. Or more! It’s not just that there’s more abuse going on. The abuse is also becoming more sophisticated. Most phishing sites used to stand out a mile, with clumsy layouts and machine-translated text. Whereas a lot of them nowadays are hard to tell apart from the real thing.’”

SIDN works in partnership with registrars, hosting service providers, consumer organisations, government agencies and bodies such as the Fraud Help Desk and others where appropriate to fight abuse.

“In recent years, anti-abuse work has been taking up more and more of my department’s time,” Lilian continues. “It was easy to see that teaming up with others active in the field made sense. Collaboration is organised through Support4Abuse20 (“support for abuse to zero”). And it means we’re able to fight abuse on three fronts. We tackle phishing and malware through abuse204.nl, we act to get fake webshops taken down, and we respond to botnets via the Abuse Information Exchange.”

Explaining Abuse204.nl, the article explains:
“Abuse204.nl (abuse to zero for .nl) is an initiative designed to clamp down on phishing and malware. At the heart of the system is a feed provided by Netcraft, an international company that tracks malware and phishing. Netcraft collates abuse reports and checks their validity. A monitoring system then automatically e-mails the abuse reporting address of any domain linked to phishing or malware. If the domain doesn’t have a dedicated abuse reporting mailbox, all the contacts for the domain name are mailed. The aim being to get a message through the right person in the chain as soon as possible. R&S keeps watch over the system to see whether the automated e-mails trigger a response. In many cases, the registrar or hosting firm will intervene when they get an alert. If that doesn’t happen, we ask the registrars whether we can help. Where necessary we’ll follow that up with a reminder. Since we started abuse204.nl, we’ve managed to cut the average time-to-live of phishing and malware sites substantially.”

“Fake webshops have been around for years, but recently they’ve been getting more common. Even in the .nl domain, sadly. It’s a simple scam: offer attractive goods for sale, but never send them to the buyers, or only send fakes. Interestingly, sham webshops often use domain names that don’t match what they’re supposedly selling. So you might get shoes being sold using an address that looks as if it belongs to a housing advice service. The logic seems to be that a domain name that’s been in use before will feature higher in search results. The strategy is helped by the fact that other genuine sites often still have links to a previously used domain. And the more visitors the scammers can attract, the more they can earn. There isn’t a lot that we can do about fake webshops. But that doesn’t stop us doing what we can. We check the registration data of domain names used for suspect webshops, because it often turns out to be false. The registrant might be a non-existent person, for example. Or a real person who has nothing to do with the registration. Giving false information is against our terms and conditions, and that gives us leverage. We ask the registrant to provide valid details, and if they don’t we cancel the registration. So the fake webshop can’t make use of the name.”

The post also explains the Abuse Information Exhange that is used to fight botnets and how it’s vital to act quickly.

As a result, .nl is “one of the most secure internet domains in the world”.

“If we can keep it that way, all the effort’s worthwhile,” van Mierlo says. “But we have to be realistic: it’s impossible to eliminate abuse completely. Crooks are getting smarter all the time and we will always be one step behind. Cybercrime is even being marketed as a service these days. But none of that should deter us from doing all we can to make .nl less attractive to scammers.”

read the blog post in full on the SIDN website, see:
https://www.sidn.nl/a/internet-security/a-fight-on-three-fronts

Does Domain Name Size Matter? Yes, But Not As Much As Readability

The length of a domain name is important, but its readability more so, so says SIDN, the registry for .nl domain names. Shorter domain names do get the big dollars when it comes to sales, but with the growing importance of social media, it’s not the be all and end all.

The post on the SIDN website notes how domain names are getting longer, as are top level domains. Among the city TLDs that have been coming online, some opted to use their whole names as extensions. “Examples include .amsterdam and .hamburg. Others opted for abbreviations, such as New York's .nyc and Barcelona's .bcn. And, now that they are up and running, the longer extensions seem to be doing better than the short ones. Admittedly, .nyc is bucking the trend, but that abbreviation was already in everyday use.”

But why?

“Clearly, length is not the big issue it used to be. That's mainly because the way we use the internet has changed: people don't type domain names as often as they used to. Now, there's much more emphasis on 'reading'. In 2012, PCs and laptops were still the main devices that people used to go on line. Back then, 69% of all internet users said that they regularly typed domain names to open websites. By 2016, the smartphone was dominant and only 33% of users were still typing domain names. Meanwhile, 95% of respondents in a global survey reported judging search results partly on the basis of websites' names and extensions.”

“When you read a domain name, what matters most is how recognisable it is, not how long it is. So windmill.amsterdam works better than wml.ams, despite being much longer. For the simple reason that you can see what it means straight away. That's not so say, however, that a domain name's length doesn't matter at all any more. A name isn't easy to read if it doesn't fit on a phone screen, for example.”

For many mobile phones, a URL of up to 30 characters will easily fit on the screen. Above 40 characters and the post notes readability quickly declines.

“So, if you're after a new domain name, don't dismiss an idea just because it's long. Ask yourself how easy it is to read. What will it look like on a smartphone? Would it work better if you added a hyphen or two? Or would that simply complicate it? Such questions are certainly worth putting to the test.”

 

SIDN Warns Of Marketing Scams to .NL Registrants

SIDN-logoSIDN, the registry for .nl domain names, has warned registrants that they’ve recently received a number of reports about firms approaching .nl registrants and offering them versions of their domain names with other extensions.
The scam is not exclusive to .nl and occurs to registrants in many top level domains, and there are occasional warnings from registries of the scam.
In the case of .nl registrants, the scam offers typically involve multi-year contracts and inflated prices. One of the firms doing this has been pretending to be SIDN. SIDN wants to stress they’re not connected with these activities in any way and advise registrants not to accept any such offers.

For any registrant of .nl domain names receiving this kind of offer, SIDN advises to make a note of any names or contact details and to save any emails received. Then they ask recipients to forward everything to Fraudehelpdesk.nl.