The total number of domain name registrations around the world reached 299 million at the end of September according to the latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief, an increase of 3.1 million for the quarter. Which would mean the total today would be well over the 300 million mark.
The increase of approximately 3.1 million domain names globally, compared to 2.2 million in the previous quarter to the end of June, equates to a growth rate of 1.1 percent over the second quarter of 2015. Worldwide registrations have grown by 14.8 million, or 5.2 percent, year over year. This compares to the 12 months to the end of September 2014 where registrations increased by 18.1 million and for the 12 months to the end of September 2012 where registrations grew by 26.4 million.
The .com and .net TLDs experienced aggregate growth in the third quarter of 2015, reaching a combined total of approximately 135.2 million .com and .net domain names in the domain name base. This represents a 3.4 percent increase year over year.
As of 30 September, 2015, the domain name base of .com equalled 120.1 million names, while .net equalled 15.1 million names, which means .net total registrations have increased by only a couple of hundred thousand in recent years and have been stagnant for over year, more or less coinciding with the introduction of new gTLDs. The figures compare to 30 September 2014 where the base of registered names in .com equalled 114.9 million names, while .net equalled 15.1 million names. At the end of September 2012 the figures were 105 million and 14.9 million respectively.
In the third quarter, Verisign processed 9.2 million new domain name registrations for .com and .net, as compared to 8.7 million domain names for the same period in 2014.
For ccTLDs, there were approximately 137.8 million domain names at the end of the third quarter, with a decline of about 188 thousand domain names, or a 0.1 percent decrease compared to the second quarter of 2015. As of 30 September, the top ten ccTLDs by zone size were .tk (Tokelau), .de (Germany), .cn (China), .uk (United Kingdom), .ru (Russian Federation), .nl (Netherlands), .eu (European Union), .br (Brazil), .au (Australia) and .fr (France).
During the third quarter of 2015, Verisign’s average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load was approximately 120 billion queries per day across all TLDs operated by Verisign, with a peak of nearly 593 billion. Compared to the previous quarter, the daily average query load increased 8.0 percent and the peak increased by 225.3 percent. Year over year, the daily average query load increased by 4.8 percent, and the peak increased by 86.4 percent.
The Domain Name Industry Brief also highlights research conducted by Verisign analysts on how to use domain registration trends to find great domain names. Domain names have shifted from very short to keyword rich and descriptive, which in part at least reflects the limited availability of shorter domains and registrants get more creative.
The Verisign research detailed within the latest Domain Name Industry Brief illustrates this trend through an examination of domain names that were registered in 2014 as compared against domain names registered prior to 2014 to determine common techniques for registering domain names. Read “Using Domain Name Registration Trends to Find Great Domain Names” to learn more about the trends and techniques uncovered.