Verisign reveals “dark” .com domains

Kevin Murphy, July 27, 2012, 09:34:48 (UTC), Domain Registries

Verisign has started publishing the daily count of .com and .net domain names that are registered but do not work.

On a new page on its site, the company is promising to break out how many domains are registered but do not currently show up in the zone files for its two main gTLDs.

These are sometimes referred to as “dark” domains.

As of yesterday, the number of registered and active .com domains stands at 103,960,994, and there are 145,980 more (about 0.14% of the total) that are registered but do not currently have DNS.

For .net, the numbers stand at 14,750,674 and 32,440 (0.22%).

Verisign CEO Jim Bidzos told analysts last night that the data is being released to “increase transparency” into the company’s performance.

Many tools available for tracking registration numbers in TLDs are skewed slightly by the fact that they rely on publicly available zone file data, which does not count dark domains.

Registry reports containing more accurate data are released monthly by ICANN, but they’re always three months old.

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Comments (2)

  1. Orangelo says:

    What does that mean, registered but don’t work?

    A person types them in and nothing happens? Is that what they mean?

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Basically, yes. The domain appears in the registry but does not have DNS information so does not resolve and does not show up in the zone files.

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