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Is .xxx really that crappy?

Kevin Murphy, May 3, 2012, 09:19:35 (UTC), Domain Registries

It’s not a huge secret that the new .xxx gTLD isn’t doing as well, five months after launch, as ICM Registry would have hoped, but how does it shape up against other top-level domains?

Domain Name News earlier this week published an analysis of the top one million most-trafficked web sites, according to Alexa rankings, and found that .xxx had just 61 entries.

Per DNN reporter Mike Cohen:

We would not have thought that only 61 domains in total would be ranking inside the top 1,000,000 most visited sites in the world. That number was suppose to be exponentially higher by all accounts even a few month’s in, which we now are well into 2012, however reality says otherwise.

I’m not sure what “all accounts” DNN is referring to — possibly ICM’s marketing hype — but I thought the analysis was interesting so I thought I’d try to replicate it.

This morning I parsed today’s Alexa top million sites list and came up with the following (sortable) table.

TLDDomainsMonths ActiveDomains/Months
.info17779124143.38
.co13622946.96
.me21365638.14
.biz387812132.05
.mobi413725.74
.xxx58124.83
.cat282713.97
.asia212543.93
.pro305953.21
.name3651222.99
.travel178742.41
.jobs47660.71
.coop641210.53
.aero611190.51
.tel11380.29
.museum81190.07

These are quick and dirty numbers, based on Alexa data, and my code might be wonky, so please don’t place too much faith in them.

I only looked at the “new” gTLDs introduced since 2001, as well as two mass-market ccTLDs (.co and .me) introduced over the same period.

The .co numbers do not include third-level domains under .com.co and the ccTLD’s other legacy extensions.

The “Months Active” column is the number of months since the TLD was delegated into the DNS root, measured by the date of the first registry report it filed with ICANN or the IANA (re)delegation date, not the date of general availability.

The fourth column is the number of domains divided by the number of months. It’s a fairly arbitrary measure, presented merely to give you an idea of the “success” of the TLD over time.

You could possibly, loosely, think of it as “how many domains a TLD can expect to get into the Alexa 1 Million per month”.

By that measure, .xxx isn’t doing too badly.

It’s even beating .jobs and .tel in absolute terms.

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Comments (8)

  1. Jean Guillon says:

    The more I read about .museum, the more I think it is time to work on this TLD: just in the US, there are 17,500 museums…

  2. Alan says:

    Textbook case of a poor marketing plan and an even
    poorer advertising campaign.

  3. Joe says:

    Really nice article, Kevin. The table also shows great results for .co (even better than .me in relative terms).

    • Johnnie says:

      Joe, not when you consider the number of registrations. Shows more people are actually building on .me.

      • Joe says:

        Yes, but .me is more than 2 years older than .co, that’s why you need to look at the table sorted by Domains/Months.

  4. a says:

    “and found that .xxx had just 61 entries.”

    .xxx has only 58 entries…
    .aero has 61

  5. TNSG says:

    Of course .xxx is crappy. Head over to GFY and read the threads about that DNN article. The adult industry is still boycotting .xxx. If anything, more people are boycotting it now than in the beginning.

    Lawley claimed .xxx would be bringing in $200 million a year. Do the math on the number of registrations so far and the result doesn’t even come close to 200mil.
    And that’s not even counting all the money ICMR spent on commercials, sponsoring events (*), race boats,…

    Registrars are already lowering the prices on .xxx domains. That’s not something you’d see in a seller’s market.

    A lot of the current registrations are defensive. People drank the ICMR koolaid and because they were afraid someone might use theirname.xxx as a p0rn site, they paid the registration fee.
    Now that more and more companies that didn’t pay the ICMR extortion fee are filing complaints against .xxx squatters and those committing trademark infringement, I doubt ICMR will be able to continue spreading their “you need to register defensively or else…” propaganda.

    (*) Last month the X-Rated Critics Organization (XRCO) organized an event and was forced to refund the money they had accepted from ICMR as sponsorship because XRCO came under fire from the adult industry for doing business with the “ICMR scum”.

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