How are the new TLDs doing so far?
Date: Friday July 12 2002, @04:42AM
Topic: New gTLDs

dtobias writes "I decided to look over the new TLDs and see how well they are doing, not only by subjective impressions but by an attempt at a more objective measure of what extent the new domain names are actually being used rather than merely speculated in and defensively registered. To that end, I went to Google and did an advanced search for sites ending in each of the new TLDs. (To do this it's necessary to put something in either the field containing a string to search for, or the field containing a string to exclude -- I complied by putting a nonsense string, "sdfgdsfgergeagre", in the "exclude" field.) Here's what I found, as well as my other observations on the usage of the new TLDs so far. I'm ranking them in descending order of Google hit count."

.info: 854,000
Some top-rated sites in Google (I'm linking here to the home pages of each site, though in actuality the Google indexes were often of deep links within the sites) are the iWatchDog Program and Today's New International Version (a Bible translation). A number of other working .info sites have been noted by others, especially in the .info list and the .info awards. mta.info is advertised in New York's Grand Central Station. Thus, there is some amount of use going on for .info, though it hasn't really achieved a high profile.

.biz: 405,000
High-rated sites include Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (that seems to be a government agency; do they really belong in .biz, which is intended for businesses? Is this a harbinger of the sort of rampant silliness that's going on in .com coming to .biz as well?) and NYC Web Design. The scuttlebutt on the message boards seems to be that .biz is being used mostly for porn sites, but the top Google results didn't seem to be of that nature. Still, not all that many significant businesses seem to be using this TLD.

.coop: 6,370
The numbers fall off greatly after .info and .biz, showing very little adoption of the other new TLDs. I don't do business with any co-ops, so I'm not well acquainted with the degree of recognition and usage of the .coop TLD within this community, but search results show a fairly small number of active sites. The Atlantic Co-Operator is one of them, with a godawfully-long domain name that seems to indicate that some registrants just don't "get" the concept that a new TLD is supposed to give more namespace to allow registrants to get good, short, memorable names instead of having to come up with some tangled mess that's not already taken.

.name: 3,400
This is a rather low penetration given that the target community consists of some 6 billion individuals. Most .name sites found by Google actually redirect to a personal Web site elsewhere (sometimes using frames to mask this); .name users seem to seldom have fully hosted accounts for their domain names. Two that ranked high in Google are Frank Svensden and Mark Ashdown.

.museum: 1,920
Google mostly indexed the .museum index pages, located at each second-level domain to list the museum sites beneath it (registrations are only at the third level and beyond). You have to go to the second page of results before you see any actual individual museums; two that turn up are Contemporary Arts Center and Tiedekeskus Heureka. I don't know if any museums are actually using their .museum domain as their primary advertised address.

.aero: 1,060
The .aero domain has left the gate, but is still taxiing slowly around the runway with no signs of getting airborne. Indexed sites are largely within the .aero registry site itself. Actual sites with .aero domains seem to be mostly outside the United States, such as several Irish airports including Shannon. intech.aero goes to somebody's personal ICQ page, apparently. I completed an air trip recently, and failed to see any .aero sites promoted anywhere in the airports and airplanes, though lots of .com sites were (including those of airport authorities that are actually noncommercial).

.pro: 75
This domain hasn't actually launched yet, but it's in the root. Indexed sites include the registry site, as well as a site at grueter.pro that didn't actually resolve when I tried it (and Google didn't even have a cache entry).

For comparison, here are the Google numbers for the "old TLDs":

.com: 76,600,000
Highly-rated sites: Apple Computer, Ingenta

.org: 24,000,000
Highly-rated sites: Oxford University Press, American Mathematical Society

.net: 20,700,000
Highly-rated sites: Software and Information Industry Association (shouldn't that belong in .org?), OneWorld.net

.edu: 15,800,000
Highly-rated sites: USF, UCLA

.gov: 3,650,000
Highly-rated sites: NSF, Dept. of Energy

.mil: 2,370,000
Highly-rated sites: DARPA, DefendAmerica.mil, though the military's own recruiting marketroids prefer to promote dumb-ass .com sites instead

.int: 850,000
Highly-rated sites: NATO, WIPO

.arpa: 3
None of these hits actually resolve on the Web, but Google shows dead links to:
http://www.54.122.199.in-addr.arpa/
http://www.sazphil.com.2.168.203.in-addr.arpa/
http://www.justfreeporn.com.155.10.209.in-addr.arpa/

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Re: How are the new TLDs doing so far?
by RFassett on Friday July 12 2002, @06:15AM (#7809)
User #3226 Info | http://www.enum.info
I think at least part of the reason for the new TLD expansion round was for average members of the global community to have the opportunity to register new, short memorable names that no longer existed in .com (other than at exhorbitant aftermarket prices) towards the goal of influencing content development and distribution (and further market place competition where short, memorable .com names would not carry such an inherent and exclusive advantage).

Now, where in the .biz and info arena (i.e. launch) did this actually happen? Since average members of the Interent community are not going to bother to learn how to register a domain name the very split second it becomes available or can possibly hope to compete with the very miniscule percentage of those that do, how is there any way to quantify whether the new TLD's will have the short term result of new content development and distribution? The speculators will quickly point out that THIS is the role they play for the market place (getting them into the right hands). It's truly ridiculous especially the way this environment gets twisted around to infer no market demand exists from the mass population (as if the the registrant of freemovietheatertickets.com would not prefer theatertickets.move or movietickets.free or freetickets.shop etc etc at competitive retail pricing).
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Re: How are the new TLDs doing so far?
by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Friday July 12 2002, @07:10AM (#7812)
User #2810 Info
Good work Dan, though you don't explicitly answer the question in the headline. I take it not very well wouldn't be too far amiss? Another resounding success ICANN can point to to justify its existence. -g
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Re: I Don't Understand The Numbers
by dtobias (dan@tobias.name) on Friday July 12 2002, @10:38AM (#7822)
User #2967 Info | http://domains.dan.info/
The numbers in my report are the number of hits returned by Google within the given domain. This can greatly exceed the number of actual domains registered, because each indexed page within a site is a separate hit. The number can also be less than the number of domains registered, if most of the registered domains aren't being used to resolve to any Web site at all. Thus, it's one measure of the extent to which a particular TLD is actually being used to provide information accessible to the Web.
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Re: How are the new TLDs doing so far?
by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Tuesday July 16 2002, @08:08AM (#7898)
User #2810 Info
See the thread here. Did ICANN accredit Eugene Kashpureff as a registrar? Ha ha, too funny. Perhaps his court sentence required him to do community service.

BTW, the R-216 I mentioned seems to be a typo (why can't Afilias dynamically update the page from their own database, ohhh, stupid question, they can't do anything right), but I've saved the dated source and a screengrab just for grins. And I think it's wholly appropriate that Afilias registrars carry callnumbers that sound like WWII Nazi submarines, as these sneaky ICANN accredited registrars have now torpedoed any vestige of first come first served when it comes to serving the public fairly and equitably. -g

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  • This article comes from ICANNWatch
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