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Afilias blames security crackdown for massive drop in .info domains

Kevin Murphy, April 23, 2013, 12:30:48 (UTC), Domain Registries

Afilias says a new anti-abuse policy is responsible for .info losing almost a million domains in 2012.

The .info space ended the year down 914,310 domains, an 11% decline on 2011, the biggest gTLD shrinkage in actual domain terms and second only to .tel in percentage terms, according to DI’s TLD Health Check.

The TLD ended the year with 7,402,557 domains under management, still the runaway leader of “new” gTLDs in terms of total domains.

An Afilias spokesperson blamed the DUM decline on a crackdown on abusive domain use, which impacted sales. He said in a statement:

To fight the growing scourges of spam, phishing and other Internet problems, .INFO established an industry-leading anti-abuse policy and began aggressively working with its registrar partners to take down any and all sites that violated the policy, regardless of the sales impact. This approach reinforces .INFOs strong foundation of great sites and enhances the reputation of .INFO as the ‘home of information on the Web’.

Historically, .info was favored by bad actors due to the low cost of registrations. At some points over the last ten years, it’s even been possible to register a .info domain for free.

Afilias’ crackdown affected .pro too, as then-president Karim Jiwani told us in January, but .pro managed to double in size anyway, due to new registrar partners and lower prices.

Of the 18 gTLDs tracked by TLD Health Check, only .name, .tel and .travel also suffered significant declines in domains under management in 2012.

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Comments (2)

  1. RegistrarStats.com reports that .info currently has 6.7 million domains registered. The 7,402,557 figure seems to be taken from the ICANN monthly reports for December 2012 (lagged by 3 months due to the policy of not publishing reports immediately). It seems the pace of the decline is accelerating (eyeballing the graph).

    For .xxx, the numbers are hard to understand, given the conflicting data from the IFFOR Form 990 statements. This was discussed on TheDomains.com couple of months ago:

    http://www.thedomains.com/2013/02/07/breaking-iffors-tax-return-only-208k-in-revenue-from-xxx-are-90-of-all-xxx-registration-defensive/

    It’s not clear to me at all how many of the .xxx registrations are at $60 (and renewable/expirable/deletable) vs. reserved names (some of which are paid for 10 years, some of which are unpaid and reserved by ICM Registry).

  2. Jean Guillon says:

    I am afraid new gTLDs won’t invert the curve…

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