The State of Domains

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Rest assured that the TLD most likely to remain supreme after the arrival of dot.everything gTLDs will likely be the current leader — .com.

The .com extension has not once lost its title as the leading extension over fifteen years. But it is hard to deny that the market will not be somewhat fragmented as a result; whether that comes in the form of slowed .com growth and continued dominance or an immediate and dramatic shift to anything but .com is anyone’s guess and up for debate.

Verisign's quarterly Domain Name Industry brief released in March takes a detailed look at the state of the domain name industry through statistical and analytical research. By any and all accounts, the state of the industry is strong.

According to the Verisign report, the fourth quarter of 2011 closed with a base of more than 225 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains, representing an increase of 5.9 million domain names, or 2.7 percent over the previous quarter. Yearover- year, domain name registrations grew by more than 20.4 million or 10 percent.

The .com and .net TLD namespace reached a combined total of 113.8 million domain names in the fourth quarter of 2011, representing approximately a 2-percent increase over the third quarter of 2011 and an 8-percent increase over the same quarter in 2010. Also, new .com and .net registrations totaled 7.9 million during the quarter. That results in a 4-percent increase year over year in new registrations, and just a 0.3-percent decrease in new registrations from the third quarter.

Other key highlights from the report include the following:

■ The .com/.net renewal rate for the fourth quarter of 2011 was 73.5 percent, up from 73.3 percent for the third quarter

■ Total ccTLD registrations were approximately 90.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 with the addition of 3.7 million domain names, or a 4.2-percent increase compared to the third quarter

■ An estimated 88 percent of .com and .net domain names resolve to a website, meaning that an enduser visiting that domain name would find a website. Of the total .com and .net websites, 71 percent were multiple-page websites and 17 percent were one-page websites.

■ Verisign’s average daily Domain Name System query load during the fourth quarter of 2011 was 64 billion (an 8-percent increase from the previous quarter), with a peak of 117 billion

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