back to article Dot-com is dead. Long live dot-com

As you probably know, the internet's domain names are dominated by a single three-letter ending: "com". What you probably don't know is the sheer scale of dot-com's dominance. There are roughly 116.5m domains ending in ".com" – more than all of the 25 next largest registries combined. When the industry draws bar charts of …

  1. Graham Marsden
    Holmes

    In Verisign's eyes this made the vast majority of new domains "redundant".

    Possibly that's because the vast majority of new domains *are* redundant and are simply the result of defensive registrations by existing businesses such as eg mybusiness.com trying to make sure that nobody starts up eg mybusiness.co.uk or mybusiness.biz or whatever and either stealing their customers or saying "we'll sell you this domain name for £x,000 Squire".

    There's also the question of why certain dot-domains cost more than others. Do they cost more to set up? Do they cost more to administer? Or is this just an excuse for the Registrars to screw more money out of people who want a certain dot-domain suffix? I'll give you three guesses...

  2. Cliff

    Big Turkey?!

    Must admit, I'm surprised .tk is as big as it is. Bigger than .net. If I'd made a bet over a pint, I'd have thought it way behind UK or Germany or China.

    Anyone know what's going on there? Even 'free', that seems a massive slice of the pie.

    1. Simon Jones [MSDL]

      Re: Big Turkey?!

      .tk is Tokelau (tiny island nation) NOT Turkey (which is .tr)

      It lets anyone use its domain registry for free which can result in lots of scams.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.tk

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Big Turkey?!

        "It lets anyone use its domain registry for free which can result in lots of scams."

        You should be more clear on this, sounds FUD'ish. To be clear, there is more scams running on .com or infected computers with no domain than there is .tk by magnitudes.

        Truthfully, domains aren't like real land, nothing at all. So if you can't keep 50 visitors a month to your domain, why should you be able to keep it? Or better put, would it really be hindering to lose it and just register another? 50 isn't a lot, and if you can't maintain 50, you should consider if someone else can and release for them to try (instead of squatting for money like an asshole). However, the internet has now been fully commercialized because corporations do not like healthy competition.

        10 years ago I would think "internet", now I think "intercorp".

    2. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Big Turkey?!

      So the reason Tokelau's dot-tk is so large is because - as someone else pointed out above - that they hand out dot-tk domains for free. It's a different business model to most but seems to be doing ok for them.

      As to the related issue of registry quality, the result of handed over free domains does correlate to some degree to fraud. From the most recent report from the Anti Phishing Working Group:

      "Phishing occurred in 227 top-level domains (TLDs), but 90% of the malicious domain

      registrations (20,565) were in just five TLDs: .COM, .TK, .PW, .CF. and .NET."

      http://docs.apwg.org/reports/APWG_Global_Phishing_Report_1H_2014.pdf

      That said, in terms of phishing, just 2.2 percent of phished domains were under dot-tk whereas 51.3 per cent were in dot-com; 5.7 per cent in dot-net; and 5.1 per cent under dot-org.

      So there are two factors at play with people abusing domain names:

      1. Ready availability - clearly dot-tk has this

      2. Market recognition - clearly dot-tk does not. At least not as much as com, org, net

      Hope this helps

      Kieren

  3. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

    "internationalized domain names"

    One thing I wonder about proponents of internationalized domain names is, why do they never mention the downside? OK, registering, 銳記.公司.香港 makes it easy for a Chinese-literate person to recognise and enter the address, but, if you want to reach an international market, the URLs in your marketing material are going to say xn--3jst58k.xn--55qx5d.xn--j6w193g which could limit the effectiveness of the campaign.

    The Hong Kong Registry quietly recognises this by bundling a free .香港 with a .hk (or vice-versa, if you want to look at it that way).

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: "internationalized domain names"

      You would have another domain pointing to the English language website.

  4. Michael Habel Silver badge

    And here I thought...

    That, this was about Kim Dot-Com...

  5. ukgnome

    Damn you

    and your click bait!

    I was hoping the rotund Kim had demised

  6. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

    Something is odd in these stats

    Why does the bar chart show .org as bigger than .uk while the pie chart has them the other way round?

    Were they sampled at different times or are the numbers just plain dodgy?

    1. John H Woods

      Re: Something is odd in these stats ...

      ... and something is odd in the bar chart. Sure the data looks "logarithmic"*, but that graph ain't. (and if it were, of course, the data would look linear).

      *yeah, I know, this way round it's an exponential decay. Although without some curve fitting there's a number of distributions this could be.

      [Edit: a closer look at the text suggests the author could have meant that industry bar charts have to be logarithmic or otherwise they'd look like this. I think it could have been a bit clearer - perhaps the inclusion of one of the mentioned logarithmic graphs would have been helpful?]

      1. kierenmccarthy

        Re: Something is odd in these stats ...

        You make a fair point.

        The idea was that we'd put up a linear scaled graph to show *why* the industry either uses a logarithmic scale or just lets dot-com run off the top of the page. But I can see why there could be an expectation that the graph actually was logarithmic given the juxtaposition of text and graphic.

        Hope this is clear. May knock up a log scale graphic just for comparison.

        Kieren

    2. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Something is odd in these stats

      In answer to your question: yes, the data was taken at two different times.

      The top chart is taken from the most recent domains data as in just hours before the story was published. The second graphic comes from IoN magazine and was sampled in December.

      Changes in the pecking order of the top 15 or so are relatively frequent since a number of them have very similar levels of registration and one good month or bad month in terms of renewals can cause some reordering. That was clearly the case this time.

      Hope that explains.

  7. Dan Paul

    Piss poor predictors....

    I am sick of the piss poor predictions of companies by those who haven't got the brains that God gave geese.

    Dot Com has a long way to go before it runs out of relevance. These "boutique" tlds ARE mostly done for defense against poachers anyway. If the dot com address is already registered, why not duplicate the popular ones with a newer tld (if you can afford it). The "good" dot coms don't get recycled or abandoned, they get bought.

    Half of these companies like JP Morgan are reiterating what someone said in a steam bath. All hearsay,no facts, and just as much substance.

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