VeriSign releases DomainCountdown for expired domains

.Com and .net registry released more data on expiring domain names.

DomainCountdown by VeriSignVeriSign has just released a beta of DomainCountdown, a source of data on expiring domain names.

DomainCountdown provides a wealth of information about domain names in pending delete status, and some of them are quite fascinating.

The baseline data for each domain has to do with NXD data — basically queries to non-existent/non-resolving domain names. VeriSign is in a unique position to capture this data.

But beyond that DomainCountdown also has some spectacular data about how the domain name was used previously.

Here are some data points I find particularly compelling:

What kind of web site was on the domain? Think e-commerce site, blog, parked, redirect, etc.

Did the web site have a shopping cart enabled?

Did the site have some sort of login?

Were there ads on the web site?

How often profanity found on the domain during the previous 3 month? VeriSign calls this “Brand Safety”, and it’s certainly something a brand should think about when buying an expiring domain.

VeriSign monitors Domain Name Wire so feel free to post feedback on the tool in the comments below, or send feedback to domaincountdown (at)


  1. JS says

    Can somebody explain how to interpret the figures.

    What does 70 DNS reach mean for example ? How does it compare to 50 DNS reach ? Is it linear or logarithmic ?etc.

  2. says

    I just entered a few keywords and every result that came back was a domain with a dash in it and only with whatever I entered as a whole word (for example if I typed slee, sites with the word sleep would not show up as there weren’t any sites with -slee- although there were some with -sleep-. Hopefully they will fix it.

  3. Louise says

    This info Verisign has been selling to Registrars up to now has helped them decide which domains to renew for themselves, and which to allow to drop.

  4. says

    I found a but and told VS about it but if you star a name and then click the link to view details, when you click the name link and go back to the list it un-stars it as well. FYI

  5. James says

    The search tool is useless. Put in any search term and it only returns results for that search term followed by a hyphen. That is “sex” returns all domains containing “sex-” or “–sex-”. The site’s page by page navigation, combined with the inability to do a proper search makes it impossible to navigate to say, domains that start with the letter “p” without clicking through 10,000 pages first. They need to put in a specific page navigation entry box with a “go” button. In addition the navigation arrows are too small. This is VERY beta indeed. This easy stuff should have been addressed before launch. Concept is great but the data is currently un-useable.

  6. Michaela says

    Please accept my apologies that the search isn’t working as it should. We’ve got a team working on that as we speak. More as I get a status. And, thank you all for taking the time to try it and give us feedback. That’s much appreciated.

  7. Shai says

    How come there are only 3000-5000 results per day shown as opposed to the whole list of domains dropping ? Are only domains with stats shown ?

  8. Michaela says

    Hi Shai, this is Michaela again (by the way, I work at Verisign). There should be 10s of thousands of results per day. I’m not sure, but is what you are reading the count at the bottom right corner of the page? If so, those are how many pages, not how many names, for that day. There are about 12 names per page. Is that what you were referring to?

    And, I also wanted to say thank you for trying our beta product and taking the time to give us your feedback. Please continue to know what you find that you like and don’t like.

  9. Michaela says

    Assured, Chandan and James,

    Hi, it’s Michaela from Verisign again (sorry to be taking up this thread). Search is fixed and should be working fine now. Apologies on the search issue earlier. And, thank you for both trying the beta application and for taking the time to give us feedback.

  10. Michaela says

    JS, first, thank you for trying out our beta application and taking the time to give us feedback. This is Michaela from Verisign. We understand why this is an important question. The measure is basically a linear measure with regards to the volume of recursive name servers querying, but due to how DNS is implemented in clients and recursive DNS servers, the correlation between what is measured and actual web traffic or reach is not a fixed ratio. Instead, we suggest treating reach as a directional measure which generally correlates with web traffic, especially when analyzed over a large number of domains.

    We thought this information may be helpful. For the domains currently expiring, about half of them have a score of 100 or less. Almost 90% of the domains have a score of less than 1200, and fewer than .5% have a score over 15,000. While this doesn’t describe the scale, it does give you a sense for the distribution.

    As always, we would like to remind users that DNS traffic is not the same as human generated web traffic. However, we believe the DNS traffic, and in this case the reach, does correlate with human web traffic. Especially when combined with other data sources, like the frequency of inbound links, the consistency of traffic over time, and the domain name itself, we believe DNS reach can be a great way to help identify popular domains. If you have empirical data about these correlations, we would be very interested in talking to you about your experiences.

  11. Phil says

    At the moment it is almost completely useless, didn’t Verisign ever figure that we might want to look at more than 20 domains on any given page without having to click through 15,000+ pages individually or at least might want to download more than that amount?

  12. Phil says

    Also, why is it when you type in a search word such as “computer” and get 20+ pages you can not rank results such as DNS traffic or inbound links, having to go through every single page individually again to find the more interesting domains?

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