Dig into statistics to understand how valuable they are.
New top level domain name options have been out for less than a year, and everyone is clambering for data to make sense of the rollout.
That includes me. I look at registration data from a number of sources, weekly sales information, usage data…basically, anything I can get my hands on.
Yet it’s important to understand that data can be misleading, especially if you don’t dig into the details. A prime example is looking at raw registration numbers as a sign of the popularity of a new TLD. These numbers are not always indicative of popularity because of freebies and registry registrations.
Here’s another data point that might not be all it’s cracked up to be: the number of registrations for any given TLD in the Alexa top million.
Even before new TLDs, Alexa has been a notoriously poor ranking tool for websites. The new TLDs at the top of Alexa rankings are a case in point of how poor it is.
Did you know there are 43 “websites” in the top 25,000 on Alexa that are based on new TLDs? That’s a better ranking than any of the domain blogs, and these domains have been registered within the past year. In fact, some of these domains in the to 25,000 have been registered within the past month.
DomainPunch, which offers tools for tracking new TLDs in the top 25,000, decided to investigate how this is possible. Here’s what it discovered:
- 90% of these sites in the top 25,000 are either parked or redirected to an advertisement page or have illegal content.
- 26 of them (60%) are “.XYZ” sites. Out of these, 20 have the same IP address.
- All XYZ sites, except one, serve advertisements or are parked with no actual content.
Interestingly, many of the domains are registered through a registrar affiliated with the backend registry of the names.
I tested a number of the domains in the top 25,000 and most resolved to parked pages or were forwarded via zero click (including one to a reported fishing site).
Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure that ToesBait.xyz is not a more popular site than Domain Name Wire.
This is just another example of how you need to dig deeper into statistics to understand how valuable they are.
Phil Buckingham says
Andrew, can’t agree more . Where can we send over some revealing financial stats with KPIs .
Shaun Pilfold says
“Listen, here’s the thing. If you can’t spot the sucker in your first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.” – Rounders, 1998
LOL Great headline, Andrew.
Modern Moda says
The G’s are a pathetic waste of cyberspace. They are an insult to those of us with a 1/2 brain. Shame on ICANN for doing this and taking the millions from innocent suckers. Shame on registries for trying to sell their .crap. Shame on registrars for helping them and getting a cut of the profit. Only will make .com stronger and in even more demand.
Christopher Hofman Laursen says
Completely agree with you on Alexa. It’s pop.
We actually need an index to show how well new TLDs are doing. Here is my take on it.
Use Google Serps instead. Take results from page one (and two) for a number of relevant search terms for a specific industry and count which extensions are used for the first results. While it will only show that new TLDs are there side by side with .com etc,, it will prove that new TLDs are used and rank as well.
Andrew Allemann says
That would be an interesting stat to throw into the mix. Of course, picking the right search terms and getting rankings from all over the world would also be necessary.
Christopher Hofman Laursen says
As an example if you search for [digital agency New York] and scrape the first 100 results in Google, you will have 8% not-com results. The bi-monthly Google penetration stats would be far more interesting. But yes, which search terms to track, which industries and in which countries need to be discussed. Hopefully someone out there are interested in taking up the torch.