DailyChanges.com data is widely misunderstood
Monday, December 26th, 2011
Don’t look to DailyChanges.com to see how many domains GoDaddy has lost.
Ever since GoDaddy faced a boycott of its services over its (since changed) position on SOPA, people have been trying to quantify domain losses for the company.
A typical data source is DailyChanges.com, which monitors changes to nameservers.
This is a bad source in this case for two reasons:
1. Domain names typically take 5 or more days to transfer, so the full effect won’t be evident for five plus days after someone decides to transfer their names.
2. DailyChanges tracks nameserver changes, not domain transfers.
I’m not writing this to blast the people who have used DailyChanges as a proxy. After all, I kept an eye on it during the elephant boycott and called it a “proxy” for domain transfers.
But looking at the data this time I think it’s actually a poor proxy.
The number people will quote is the number of domains transferred off of GoDaddy’s “domaincontrol.com” nameservers. For December 26, domaincontrol.com had 22,542 domains transferred out.
A closer look at this 22,542 number shows that it has little do do with people transferring their domains from GoDaddy to a competitor. I took at a look at the first 3,878 domains in the alphabet transferred away from domaincontrol.com on December 26, and found that a whopping 2,454 were transferred to internettraffic.com. This is the nameserver for Frank Schilling’s parking service. In other words, these domains weren’t transferred away from GoDaddy. They were merely moved to a parking service.
I have no idea if this is an anomaly, but I think it proves a point: DailyChanges.com is actually a poor proxy for GoDaddy’s domain transfers.