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.Com growth rate slowing (but only slightly)

October 16, 2012.com, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Uncategorized, verizon, zone fileComments Off on .Com growth rate slowing (but only slightly)

Data show a slight reduction in .com growth rate, but it’s still over 8% per year.

A couple weeks ago Michael Berkens wrote a story about how the base of .com and .net domain registrations was slowing “to a crawl”.

A few days later Treffis issued a report stating “Verisign’s Dropping .com And .net Is A Troubling Trend”.

The numbers in Berken’s post didn’t quite make sense to me. The Treffis report refers to .com and .net having a falling market share, which doesn’t seem particularly relevant with the overall namespace continuing to grow.

Curious what the real story is, I decided to dig into the numbers.

The most important thing I discovered is that the numbers some people compare aren’t always apples to apples. What VeriSign reports on its zone file page differ from what’s in its domain industry briefs and investor calls, which also differ from the numbers it reports to ICANN each month. For example, the numbers in the quarterly reports and domain briefs exclude domains in the 5 day add-grace period.

If you compare numbers in the zone file to VeriSign’s other reports, you’ll get the wrong growth rates.

Perhaps the best monthly source of information on .com registrations are the monthly reports VeriSign sends to ICANN. They’re easy to access and the archive goes back as far as you want to go.

So to compare apples to apples, I pulled the end-of-quarter monthly ICANN reports going back to Q1 2009. I looked only at .com.

Here’s what I found: the growth rate of the .com registration base is slowing marginally over the past few years.

The chart above shows the annual growth rate in the .com base. As you case see, it’s been on a slight downward projectory since Q3 of 2010. It’s never good to go down, but the drop (in growth rate, not total domains registered) has been as little as three basis points from one quarter to the next and no more than 25 basis points. It’s also coming off a nice peak following a hard period due to falling domain parking revenue.

Also keep in mind that the bigger the base gets, the more domains must be added just to maintain the same growth rate. The number of net gains in 2011 exceeded 2010 despite a slower overall growth rate.

It may be helpful to look at the .com base, as reported to ICANN, since Q1 2009 on a chart that begins at zero:

Trying to compare the growth rate in the .com base from quarter to quarter (instead of annually) is a bit challenging. Domain registrations are seasonal. Q1 is consistently a strong quarter for growth.

It’s best to represent this data in a table:

You can still see the slight downward trend in these numbers.

Bottom line: growth in the .com base is slowing, but ever so slightly. And it’s still growing significantly.

The downside to VeriSign’s data submitted to ICANN is that it is posted three months in arrears. Some sites that track .com counts on zone information show that the reduced growth trend is continuing.

Many new TLD supporters think that a proliferation of alternatives to .com will take a bite out of .com’s growth rate. They could be right in the long term. But for now, the registration base of .com continues to grow nicely.


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Google Apps makes .co an option (and promotes it)

August 21, 2012.com, Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, google appsComments Off on Google Apps makes .co an option (and promotes it)

.co front and center with the big three on Google Apps.

.co google appsGoogle Apps has added .co as a registration option when you open a new account.

Given that you can currently register 27 different top level domains with Google Apps, that’s not big news by itself.

But much like with many of the top domain name registrars, .co has managed to get Google to promote it.

When I tested just moments ago, Google places .co right up there with .com, .net, and .org. You have to click a link to see the other 23 registration options.

This is particularly surprising given the relatively high cost of .co. Google prices it at $25, which is second only to its .mx pricing.

Google Apps domain names are registered through partnerships with Go Daddy and eNom. It recently added a partnership with domaindiscount24.com, a member of the KeyDrive Group, which added a number of ccTLDs.


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.Co’s Juan Diego Calle responds to anti-domainer allegations

May 10, 2012.com, Domaining, Domainnamewire, juan diego calle, leweb, loic le meur, UncategorizedComments Off on .Co’s Juan Diego Calle responds to anti-domainer allegations

.Co founder explains his opinion on domainers and cybersquatters.

There was a bit of a blogstorm earlier today about the video of Juan Deigo Calle and Loic Le Meur, founder of the LeWeb conference announcing LeWeb was changing its domain to LeWeb.co.

There are two people in the video, and both have differing viewpoints on some issues. But because this wasn’t an interview on Fox, they weren’t debating.

I still don’t see the big uproar over what Calle said. He basically said they don’t want every .co domain to be purchased by domain investors (let alone a cybersquatters), because then .co wouldn’t take off. (See .eu.)

But some people have viewed the video differently than I did.

On the other hand, I’m not a fan of Le Meur’s handling of LeWeb.com. As I wrote about earlier this year, he tried to grab the domain LeWeb.com through a UDRP. LeWeb.com was registered before his business started. That’s not cool.

Calle has responded to the allegations that he’s anti-domainer by pointing out he’s a domainer himself. He doesn’t want cybersquatters on .co. He goes even further by saying he doesn’t want “mass speculators”. That’s smart, whether or not you want to hear it.

(Oh, and by the way…when you get outside the domain bubble, you will find that most people hate us. Le Meur’s attitude, even though it’s wrong, is typical.)


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LeWeb conference switches from .net to .co

May 10, 2012.com, Domaining, Domainnamewire, leweb, UncategorizedComments Off on LeWeb conference switches from .net to .co

Big European tech conference changes web site to LeWeb.co.

LeWebLeWeb, a large European tech conference, has jumped on the .co bandwagon.

The company just changed its web address — and its logo — to LeWeb.co.

The video below features .co founder Juan Deigo Calle discussing the change with LeWeb. (It’s actually rather entertaining.)

LeWeb previously used LeWeb.net as its web address.

Last year LeWeb tried to get LeWeb.com through a UDRP filing at World Intellectual Property Organization. The company cited confusion with people trying to reach its web site. The UDRP panel found against the conference organizers, noting that LeWeb.com was registered prior to the conference’s existence.

The next LeWeb conference takes place in London June 19 and 20.


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3 .com typos that may be applied for as new TLDs

May 1, 2012.com, Domaining, Domainnamewire, new top level domains, UncategorizedComments Off on 3 .com typos that may be applied for as new TLDs

They may have meaning but are very similar to .com.

A number of country codes, such as .cm and .co, can result in misguided visitors looking for a .com web address.

Will we see some other domains that could be considered typos push their way through the new top level domain process?

I first thought of this when I wrote about .cpm. An online ad company is trying to trademark the term, which stands for “cost per thousand”.

As readers pointed out to me, .cpm is just one key away from .com on the keyboard.

.CMO is another possible domain that could be applied for an could also be a typo. CMO stands for Chief Marketing Officer.

Both .cpm and .cmo score high for similarity to numerous strings based on ICANN’s sword tool.

The most ironic .com typo would be .con. N is just one letter off from M on the keyboard. But it legitimately could be applied for with the idea of it standing for “conference”.

I suspect there are a lot more examples in non Latin scripts.


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Which domains the top 10 domain registrars promote

April 30, 2012.co, .com, .net, Domain Registrars, Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Which domains the top 10 domain registrars promote

.co is a favorite among non-VeriSign domains.

Registrars have many options when it comes to which top level domains to promote to customers. Sometimes this is based purely on demand calculations. In other instances domain registries strike deals with domain registrars to give them premium shelf space or promotion on their home pages.

I just checked the top 10 domain registrars. These results are for either the drop down box in their domain search function or the results page when you search. Excluded are reseller-only registrars that don’t have a consumer facing site. I’ve also excluded MelbourneIT because they seem to be having web site problems right now.

GoDaddy

.com
.co
.info
.net
.org

(notably, .me, which is backed by GoDaddy is #6)

eNom

.co
.com
.net
.org
.info

Tucows (Hover)

.com
.net
.info
.co
Then usually shows another variant of .com

Network Solutions

.com
.net
.co
.org
.biz

1 and 1

.com
.co
.net
.org
.us (I suspect this varies depending on your location)

Register.com

.com
.co
.net
.org
.xxx

Moniker

.co
.com
.org
.net
.asia


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25 Years of .Com Gala Celebrates Web Innovators

May 27, 2010.com, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Uncategorized, VeriSignComments Off on 25 Years of .Com Gala Celebrates Web Innovators

Gala celebrates big companies and players in the dot.com revolution.

Last night I had the honor of attending VeriSign’s “25 Years of .Com” gala at city hall in San Francisco. It was a fantastic event with a lot of the companies and people that made the internet what it is today in attendance.

After cocktails, comedian Dana Carvey took to the stage to warm up the crowd.

“Welcome. How many people have a net worth over $10 million? Don’t think, just raise your hand,” joked Carvey. He then pointed to another audience member. “Are you worth a billion dollars? You look like you’re thirteen.”

Carvey then introduced Scott McNealy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, who provided a list of 10 reasons we shouldn’t be celebrating 25 years of .com. One of his reasons: “I’m still waiting on my new Nigerian friend to send me that twenty-five thousand dollars.” (Note to self: never follow an emmy-award winning comedian on the stage and try to be funny.)

The gala included a video celebrating the “.com 25″, including eBay, eTrade, and Craigslist (the latter of which is actually on a .org domain). VeriSign also welcomed the “Domain Pioneers” consisting of some of the biggest domain name registrars. Among those accepting the honor on behalf of their companies were Warren Adelman of Go Daddy, Elliot Noss of Tucows, Bhavin Turakhia of Directi, and Jeff Kupietzky of Oversee.net

But the most entertaining moment of the evening was Carvey’s improvised introduction of ICANN chairman Peter Dengate Thrush. I know the video below is of low quality (hey, I had a Flip in the back of the room), but you’ll get a kick out of it.


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Live Coverage of VeriSign .Com Gala Tonight

May 26, 2010.com, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Uncategorized, VeriSignComments Off on Live Coverage of VeriSign .Com Gala Tonight

VeriSign celebrates 25 years of .com this evening.

VeriSignI’m off to San Francisco for the 25 Years of .Com Gala this evening. The event will be hosted by one of my favorite comedians, Dana Carvey (Saturday Night Live, Wayne’s World, etc).

The evening will celebrate the “.com 25″ honoring “remarkable innovators, entrepreneurs and companies whose inspiring contributions were fundamental in shaping the Internet and, thereby, forever changing the way we think and act as individuals and as a society.”

Possible honorees to the .com 25 include Al Gore, Amazon.com, Google, Napster, Vint Cerf, and eBay.

I’ll try my best to cover the event live via Twitter, assuming there’s good cell phone coverage at the gala. You can follow me on Twitter at @DomainNameWire.


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Al Gore, Steve Jobs, Digg, Others up for .Com 25 Awards

February 9, 2010.com, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Uncategorized, VeriSignComments Off on Al Gore, Steve Jobs, Digg, Others up for .Com 25 Awards

Politicians and instrumental web companies nominated for awards.

As part of a year long celebration of the 25th anniversary of .com, domain registry VeriSign today announced nominees for its “.com 25″. There are 75 nominees; a panel of judges will whittle it down to the “.com 25″. The public is invited to show support for nominees to help the judges.

Winners will be announced at a gala in San Francisco this May, hosted by comedian Dana Carvey.

Among the nominees are Al Gore, who was instrumental in the commercialization of the web (no joke), Vint Cerf (of ICANN and later Google), Steve Jobs, and James Gosling (creator of Java).

In addition to people, there are a number of companies nominated. Web 2.0 favorites include Digg and Flickr. E-commerce nominees include Amazon.com, Zappos, and Overstock.com. Of course, the web has also transformed dating. So it’s only fitting that Match.com and eHarmony are nominated. Blogs on the list include the Gawker network and celebrity site TMZ. Representing social networks are Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn.

You can read more about each nominee and rate them at 25YearsOf.com.


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VeriSign Toasts 25 Years of .Com

February 3, 2010.com, Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, VeriSignComments Off on VeriSign Toasts 25 Years of .Com

VeriSign launches campaign to celebrate 25 years of .com.

VeriSign 25yearsof.com.Com registry VeriSign has launched a new campaign to celebrate 25 years of dot com domain names and the emergence of the web. The campaign — found online at 25YearsOf.com — will celebrate a number of the milestones and important individuals that have made .com what it is today.

As part of the program, VeriSign will sponsor a Policy Impact Forum in Washington D.C. on March 16. This forum will examine the disconnect between policy and technology, and how the former fails to keep pace with innovation in the latter.

On May 26, VeriSign will host a “25 Years of .Com” gala in San Francisco. The .Com 25 Awards, recognizing the people and companies who have made the most notable impact in shaping the internet, will be announced at the gala.

As the registry for .com, VeriSign earns $6.86 per .com domain name per year, or about nearly $600 million. This price will increase to $7.34 in July 2010.


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