Glitter & Hemp among last month’s hot .com domain names

Throw some glitter and order some hemp oil. That’s what domain name registrants did last month.

Verisign has started a monthly feature of the top 10 “trending” keywords used in new .com and .net domain name registrations.

The trending keywords are calculated based on the biggest growth in that keyword in new registrations, thus avoiding having “online” be the number one keyword each month.

Last month’s trending .com’s include glitter because of ShipYourEnemiesGlitter.com getting lots of press as well as hemp. Click here to continue reading…

How is .Com? Verisign discusses, and signs 11 IDN contracts

Verisign signs transliteration TLD contracts, discusses the state of .com.

There was a lot of interesting information in yesterday’s Verisign quarterly investor conference call.

First, the company said it signed 11 contracts for its IDN transliterations of .com and .net, meaning that investors of IDN.com domain names might be close to getting their hands on IDN.com-as-IDN domains.

I say might because Verisign isn’t willing to put a date on it and hinted that the end is not near. The company said it’s asking for a modified sunrise period (reserving for matching brands in .com) and this could take a while if they get pushback.

Interestingly, Verisign CEO James Bidzos, discussing how these transliterations will be marketed, said “We’ll simply be notifying existing registrant brands that the transliteration of their .com registration is available to them.” Click to continue reading…

8.2 million .com/.net registrations in Q4

Verisign reports Q4 results.

Verisign reported earnings for the 4th quarter of 2014 today.

8.2 million .com/.net domain names were registered in the quarter, the same as in the 4th quarter of 2013. When you take out deletions, the combined zones grew by 0.59 million names in the quarter.

In the 3rd quarter of 2014, Verisign handled 8.7 million new registrations. The 4th quarter was obviously down from that, but the 3rd quarter was a record one for it.

Verisign ended the year with 130.6 million .com and .net domain names in the domain name base, which represents a 2.7 percent increase over the base at the end of the fourth quarter in 2013.

New domain name registrations flat-lined in 2014: Verisign processed 34 million new domain name registrations, the same as in 2013. I suspect poor results in .net had a lot to do with that.

The wild story about how the domain name CM.com was just registered

Verisign just allowed the reserved domain name CM.com to be registered. Here’s why.

In 2013, the longtime registrant of CM.com lost his domain name.

The domain name had been registered to Satoshi Shimoshita since 2004. Yet the domain name was deleted following a period in which the nameservers for the domain name pointed to NS1.SPAMSHUTDOWN.COM.

That a registrar forcefully deleted an extremely valuable domain name not coming up for renewal is rather odd. But the story of CM.com has become even more intriguing since then…

When Domain.com deleted CM.com in 2013, the domain name didn’t become available for registration. At the time, I reached out to Verisign to understand why no one could register it. Click to continue reading…

IDN.com owners will lose big if Verisign doesn’t get its way

They could be forced to buy transliterations within a limited time period.

Verisign has been negotiating its contracts for transliterations of .com for a long time, and last week we got an idea about what the hold up is.

ICM Registry, the domain registry for .xxx and the forthcoming .adult, .porn and .sex top level domains, announced that it finally inked contracts with ICANN for new TLDs. The catch is that ICM had to change how it handled its Domain Matching program.

ICM wanted to reserve second level domain names that match existing .xxx domain names, and then offer the reserved names to the .xxx owner if (and whenever) they decide they want the new domains. The idea is similar to what .UK is doing for owners of third level .uk domains. In that case, third level owners have five years to claim their second level domains.

But ICANN wouldn’t let them do it this way, according to ICM. There are two issues at play, as I understand it. Click here to continue reading…