New gTLDs have been on the market for months now, and the slow process of building out sites is underway.
As regular readers and DI PRO subscribers know, one way DI tracks the popularity of domain names, and therefore their corresponding TLDs, is using Alexa rankings.
These scores are not perfect, but they’re a reasonable way to highlight which new gTLD domain names are getting traffic from internet users.
There are currently 635 new gTLD domains in Alexa’s top one million most-trafficked sites, up from just 10 when I checked almost six months ago, February 19.
Only 35 of those have a ranking better than 100,000.
I visited each in turn today to determine to what use the registrants have put their names.
In this top 35, I found two instances of apparent malware distribution and one instance of possible cybersquatting. Four returned errors. One (www.link) is a blocked name collision name.
Notably, controversial BitTorrent index The Pirate Bay, which has been TLD-hopping for many months and recently got kicked out of .guru, seems to have found a home in .uno.
Only one of the domains redirects to a domain in a different TLD.
One (gen.xyz) is a new gTLD registry’s official homepage.
The remainder represent a broad cross section of regular internet usage: blogs, tools, photos, sport, porn, get-rich-quick schemes, forums, file-hosting, and so on and so forth.
Varying degrees of professionalism can be found on these sites. Some are very pretty, others very ugly.
There’s even one site on the list that appears to be a legitimate corporate home page. On reflection, no it isn’t. It’s a Get-Rich-Quick site.
These are my results, make of them what you will.
|warriors.tips||36897||Y||Get Rich Quick||N|
|jid-company.trade||79730||Y||Get Rich Quick||N|
|iif.club||84736||Y||Get Rich Quick||N|
|bankcode.today||97414||Y||Get Rich Quick||N|
The subdomain service .co.com, which is being managed more or less like a proper gTLD, reckons it outperformed every new gTLD earlier this week.
CEO Ken Hansen and president Paul Goldstone made the claim in a couple of Facebook posts yesterday.
Hansen clarified today that while the company is not releasing precise numbers, .co.com had “single digit thousands of registrations” following its landrush, which ended July 8.
To outperform every new gTLD, .co.com would have had to have beaten .xyz, which had a relatively quiet day (for .xyz) on July 8, adding just 1,267 names.
We can assume .co.com had somewhere between 1,268 and 9,999 registrations, therefore. I’d err to the lower end of that range, personally.
Those names would have been added cumulatively over the course of the three-month landrush and the preceding sunrise.
Still, it’s not bad for a subdomain, given that many proper new gTLDs are struggling to achieve similar numbers on their launch days.
Momentum Events is offering brands a free pass to its upcoming Digital Strategy & DotOps Congress in Amsterdam.
The deal is only open to companies that have not already applied for a new dot-brand gTLD. Each eligible company gets one free pass for the two-day event. Additional tickets start at $299.
For applicants and others the standard price is $599 per person. That’s about half the price of previous conferences in the series, which is now in its fifth incarnation.
Previous shows have taken place in New York and London.
Confirmed speakers for Amsterdam include executives from Philips, Goodyear, Coke and Google. From the domain world, Afilias, doMEn, Donuts and Dot Luxury are due to talk.
DI, which is a nominal media sponsor of the show, may also be on a panel.
The shows were previously called the Digital Strategy & New gTLD Congress, but Momentum has switched out “New gTLD”, which perhaps caused non-domain folks’ eyes to glaze, for “DotOps”.
No, I don’t know what that means either.
The conference will take place at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Amsterdam, Netherlands from September 18 to 19.
ICM Registry has partnered with a company called Model Centro to offer free .xxx domain names to porn performers.
Model Centro offers porn models a managed fan site and social networking service. It’s free to the models, with the company taking a 15% slice of whatever subscription fees are taken from their fans.
The arrangement seems to be related to the sale of Models.xxx, which ICM held back as a premium name until this week but which now mirrors the old modelcentro.com.
The deal will see each Models.xxx user get one free .xxx domain.
It also means ICM’s Adult Performer Program, which reserved the names of 3,500 porn stars and allowed them to be claimed for free via Name.com is no more.
The company said in a statement that the two-year-old program has been scrapped.
The new deal is probably better for .xxx. Because Models.xxx is a web site service, each free domain given away is going to turn into a site almost immediately, potentially increasingly the gTLD’s visibility.
The same group that runs Model Centro also recently acquired the premium bukkake.xxx, while another bought extreme.xxx and public.xxx. The three sold for a total of $150,000, according to the registry.
Uniregistry’s latest new gTLDs .christmas and .blackfriday seem to have stumbled out of the gates, both amassing fewer than 500 registrations in their first full day of general availability.
In today’s zone files, .christmas has 501 names and .blackfriday has 445. Those numbers include dozens of sunrise registrations. They both went to GA on Tuesday afternoon UTC.
As you might expect, the .christmas zone comprises a mix of brands and generic words and phrases related to retail and travel. It’s a similar state of affairs in .blackfriday.
What there do not appear to be are large numbers of product categories registered, suggesting that domainers feel that the new gTLDs fail Uniregistry CEO Frank Schilling’s own Toilet Paper Test.
That’s where one judges the potential popularity of a TLD by putting the string “toiletpaper” at the second level.
Domainer Mike Berkens appears to have picked up a handful of decent-looking names, including santatracker.christmas (NORAD’s Santa tracker got 19.58 million unique visitors last year) and whatiwantfor.christmas.
Schilling himself paid $90,000 — half the price of a new gTLD application fee — for blackfridaysales.com back in 2010. In November 2009, Kevin Ham’s blackfriday.com purportedly took 18 million visitors.
Neither Uniregistry TLD appears to be available currently at Go Daddy, despite the two companies’ reported distribution deal.
.christmas and .blackfriday are notable because they’re the first TLDs to launch that are tied to specific calendar dates. Those dates are of course several months away.
I have a feeling that it may prove tough to build up sustainable buzz for these TLDs.
Even if they’re used by big brands in marketing campaigns this year, which is of course by no means assured, it’s still going to take another year to figure out whether they’ve captured the imagination of their target markets.
In an industry of long plays, these could be two of the longer ones.