Two new reports from VeriSign shed light on the domain name industry.
VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN), the registry for .net and .com domain names, released two new reports this month.
The first is its quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief (pdf). Here are the highlights:
1. There are now 128M domain names registered, up from 120M last quarter.
2. .Org moved up to fourth place in terms of number of domains registered. It still trails .com, .de, and .net respectively.
3. Rapid growth in cc TLDs is attributable to relaxation of registration requirements, such as with .fr
The report also has a shameless plug for .TV as an opportunity for growth in domain registrations. VeriSign doesn’t mention in the report that it has a financial interest in .TV — it runs it. VeriSign struck a deal with eNom to help promote and “relaunch” .tv. It remains to be seen if marketing muscle alone can elevate .TV, which is technically a country code domain.
The second report is a new one from VeriSign and shows the importance of domain parking. Titled “VeriSign Domain Name and Pay Per Click Advertising Report” (pdf), the report covers the domain parking industry.
VeriSign defines two types of PPC domains. First are “PPC-repurposed” sites, a term to desribe temporary parking pages that registrars show when a domain is registered by a customer but not in use yet. Second are “PPC-intent” domain names, which were registered with the intent of monetizing through parked pages. The report discusses the various ways people find and register these domains, including the 5 day grace period and add/drop:
Registrants register domain names for use with PPC-intent Web sites in all phases of the domain name registration lifecycle from a new registration to registering a recently deleted domain name to bidding on a domain name registration in a secondary market auction. Registrants leverage multiple sources and tools, of varying sophistication and value, for identifying prospective domain names for registration. These tools and sources include generating a list using linguistic tools and name spinning technology and aggregating data on non-existent domain name registrations (NXD) from ISPs or client plug-in providers.
VeriSign estimates that 12%-14% of new .com and .net registrations in the past 2 1/2 years were PPC-intent domains, as displayed in the graph below: