Thank the Chinese and discount pricing for continued demand for .com domain names.
Verisign handled 8.7 million new registrations in .com and .net in the third quarter this year, the most ever in a third quarter.
That amounted to 1.15 million domain names added to the namespace. The addition was basically all in .com, as .net continued a flat/slow decline.
So why did .com do so well? And why did .net flounder? Here’s Verisign’s viewpoint, gleaned from its Verisign’s Q3 investor conference call last night.
Why .com did well
- The Chinese are registering a bunch of .com domain names. This is a big area of growth. (Verisign actually blames a Chinese holiday week in October for slowing down .com registrations during that time.)
- One of the largest U.S. registrars refocused on acquisition and offered discounts on .com
- .com is a strong brand and “strong, trusted brands always do well”. As new TLDs come out and people are confused, they will feel comfortable with .com
Why .net dropped
- New top level domains are causing confusion for non-.com domains. It’s also giving them alternatives to .net.
I’m not surprised that .net is struggling in the face of new top level domains. I suspect this applies to all non-.com and non-dominant ccTLD domain names.