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DomainIncite’s top posts of 2011

Kevin Murphy, December 29, 2011, 13:12:04 (UTC), Gossip

It’s been an eventful year in the domain name industry, and also for DomainIncite.

Pages views and unique visitors to DI more than tripled in 2011. We welcomed on board several new advertisers and will post our 1,000th article at some point over the next few days.

The year’s biggest rolling stories have been the slow creep towards the launch of ICANN’s new gTLD program, the depletion of the free IPv4 pool, the launch of the controversial .xxx gTLD, and the ongoing tensions between civil liberties advocates and intellectual property interests.

These trends are reflected in the top ten DI posts, by traffic, for 2011.

1. Bit-squatting – the latest risk to domain name owners

This curious security twist on the well-known typosquatting problem came to light during the Black Hat security conference in July. While the risk posed by bit-squatting is tiny, it was still the most-read story of the year.

2. The first .xxx porn site has gone live

This year saw the final approval and delegation of the long-anticipated .xxx top-level domain. Casting.xxx was the first .xxx domain not owned by ICM Registry to start resolving, and we scooped the story in August.

3. Facebok.com given to Facebook despite “theft” claim

The fact that this story about a dispute over the domain facebok.com receives so much search traffic is a testament to the fact that many people continue to a) type domain names into search boxes and b) misspell them.

4. Gratuitous Go Daddy girl butt photo

The headline is self-explanatory. I’d like to think its position in the year’s most-popular posts says a lot more about you than it does about me, but frankly I think we both should hang our heads in shame.

5. Microsoft spends $7.5 million on IP addresses

ICANN finally ran out of IPv4 this year, leading to the emergence of a secondary market in IP addresses. Microsoft’s purchase of a big batch from Nortel in March kicked off this continuing story.

6. Google ranks new .xxx site higher than its .com

For a brief period in August, Google was ranking ifriends.xxx, newly purchased by the adults-only dating site iFriends, higher than its usual .net and .com addresses, under certain circumstances.

While that may no longer be the case, it was an interesting indication of how search engines may experiment with ranking new gTLDs in future.

7. YouPorn challenges new gTLDs with review demand

In October, YouPorn operator Manwin became only the second company ever to file an Independent Review request with ICANN. While its focus was .xxx, its arguments were broad enough to encompass the entire new gTLD concept. One to watch in 2012.

8. Pirates set up domain seizure workaround

The SOPA and PIPA bills in the US were hot topics in the second half of 2011. In October, we broke the story of how pirate-operated DNS services were already springing up to help internet users circumnavigate domain seizures and DNS interception.

9. Facebok.com had 250 million hits a year

Again, it’s a sad fact that when you write about typo domains, you sometimes inherit traffic for those typos. That’s at least partially responsible for another Facebok.com story in our top ten.

10. .xxx domains go live

Back in April, icmregistry.xxx became the first .xxx domain name to start resolving on the internet. DI broke the story, and it got a bunch of traffic.

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