Here is some new Top Level Domain (TLD) Research that nobody has seen before.
A Top Level Domain is the suffix that appears after the last dot in a domain name. So “.com”, “.Net”, and now “.shop” and “.travel” are examples of TLDs. Every few days Majestic recalculates the list of TLDs and prepares a table internally ranking them in order by number of domains.
At the start of the 2016, Majestic had 173 million domains in the Fresh Index, representing 1213 TLDs. By the middle of the year this had gone up to 790 Million domains and 1418 TLDs. At the time of writing, there are now 1.25 Billion domains and 1591 TLDs. The dramatic increase in the number of domains in the Index may be the subject of a post in January – but for the end of year, we wanted to provide some TLD insights.
The Top 10 TLDs for 2016
The most popular TLD by far is “.com” (of course) which, at 570 million domains, represents nearly half of all the domains we have crawled. The second most popular, .net, is only 6% of domains. Looking at the top 10 TLDs between January and now, most of this list is relatively unchanged since the start of the year. The two big changes are “.ws” and “.nl”, which both increase their domain count but not enough to retain their ranking and have been replaced by “.cc” and “.fr”.
|Rank||TLD||Domain Count in January||Domain Count in December|
|↔ 1 (1)||com||83877901||570214242|
|↔ 2 (2)||net||10276021||76922482|
|↑ 5 (3)||de||8445529||45904843|
|↓ 3 (4)||org||7951270||55069846|
|↓ 4 (5)||uk||5596340||52124390|
|↓ 7 (6)||info||4626163||27963446|
|↓ 9 (7)||ru||4177688||16696527|
|↔ 8 (8)||cn||4021199||24047005|
|↓ 39 (9)||ws||2512418||2697280|
|↓ 15 (10)||nl||2365427||10934163|
|↑ 6 (49)||cc||255260||27,979,105|
|↑ 10 (14)||fr||1635181||13,903,722|
(Caveat: The increase in domains is at least in poart due to technology improvements and should not be used as a measure of Internet growth overall. The relative counts, however, can be used to extrapolate relative share.)
There were a lot of new TLDs which we hadn’t crawled at the start of the year but which had grown to a respectable size during 2016. These are shown in the table below.
|TLD||First Seen||Number of Domains||Rank|
There were also some TLDs which increased their domain counts significantly, pushing them higher up the list.
|TLD||Rank||Number of Domains||Rank||Number of Domains|
We can compare some of these rapid-growers with more established TLDs of a similar size by creating a plot showing how many domains have each Trust Flow and Citation Flow value. This shows us whether there are any high Trust or Citation Flow domains, and also if there are more domains with high Citation than Trust, which may indicate a relatively low quality TLD.
First we’ll take “.nba” and “.you” from the list of new TLDs. These are both around 100 when we rank the TLDs by size, so we can compare them with the same selection of domains either side of those two. The two in between and the two either side are “id”, “.su”, “.science”, “.lv”, “.az & “.xxx”. The domain counts for these can be combined to give us the average profile for that region of the table.
As we can see, the number of domains drops off very rapidly,there are no domains with high Trust Flow for the two TLDs, and very few with Citation Flow higher than 10. The domain counts decrease more steadily for the combined plot, which is more like the profile for the Internet as a whole (which we will see later).
Next, we can look at “.zip” and “.cc”, which leapt into the top 10 from the lower reaches of the TLD table.
There are more domains under “.cc” with higher Trust Flow and Citation Flow values, compared to the previous TLDs, but it is still lagging behind the neighbouring TLDs (the lone outlier with the high Trust Flow value is arduino.cc, the website of a company which manufactures microcontrollers).
Finally, as promised, here is the plot for the Whole Internet. The numbers of domains decreases steadily instead of being mostly bunched up at the low flow end.
Why are there so many sites with zero Trust and Citation Flow?
Although it isn’t obvious from the charts, the majority of the domains under these fast-growing TLDs have both Trust Flow and Citation Flow of zero: greater than 99% of domains in most cases. This is higher than the full set of domains, which has 97% with zero Trust Flow and 91% with zero Citation Flow. We get a very big clue if we count how many domains have resolved IP addresses.
The overwhelming majority of the domains don’t have an IP address. There are three main reasons for a lack of IP address: temporary failure to resolve, a bought domain which was never assigned one, or a lapsed domain where the DNS record has been removed. Since these are mostly new domains, the middle option seems most likely.
We have only sampled a small number of TLDs here but one thing we noticed is that the rapidly growing TLDs are failing to provide high Trust Flow sites. Since most of the sites failed to resolve an IP address, it appears that most of these domains are not being bought to host web sites (or indeed any kind of server), or if they are, no site has appeared on them yet. The exception is “.cc” which appears to have grown more ‘organically’ where the Trust and Citation Flow profile more closely resembles a typical TLD.