Universe of registered domain names slowing ticking upward.
Verisign has resumed publishing its Domain Name Industry Brief, a report it used to publish quarterly.
The company reports (pdf) that there were 271 million domain names registered as of December 31 across all top level domain names. That’s a 1.9% increase over the previous quarter and 7.3% for the year.
This number includes free .tk domain names. The Tokelau country code domain name is the most-registered ccTLD on the internet.
As always, Verisign took time to push its PR messaging in the report. (That’s the point, after all!)
One of those messages it has been pushing lately is that there are plenty of .com domain names still available.
Technically, that’s right. There are over 10 to the 98th (1 followed by 98 zeros) second level domains available under .com. Only 112 million of them are registered. 8 zeros vs. 98.
Of course most of those available domains are crappy.
For example, Verisign points out that only half of the possible 1.8 million four letter .com domains are registered. Yet that number includes domains with numbers and hyphens, so it includes losers such as z5-r.com. If you just include four letter domain names the universe shrinks to under a half million possibilities.
Here’s a chart showing availability by domain length: