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Domain Registrations on Decline, Google and Lower Ad Spendings Blamed

According to recent reports, the total number of new domain name registrations in the third quarter of 2008 reached 11.5 million, pushing the total number of domain names registered in total across all Top-Level Domain Names (TLDs) to 174 million. While the growth continues, the newly released Domain Report by Verisign, indicates a "a decline of new registrations by 2%t from second quarter and 2% from third quarter 2007, driven by declines in both gTLD and ccTLD growth."

The decline in new domain name registrations are found to be partly due new changes made by Google to its AdSense program — the report explains: "The number of new .com and .net domain names registered with the intent of generating online advertising revenue saw pronounced weakness again in third quarter due in part to changes in Google's Ad-Sense program and lower spending trends in Internet advertising. As some US-based registrars forecast that economic conditions may contribute to lower than expected growth rates in the coming quarter, coupled with continued weakness in online advertising, the base of .com and .net domain names is estimated to increase one to two million domain names in the fourth quarter."

The full report can be downloaded from VeriSign's Domain Name Industry Brief.

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gTLD Growth in Q4 seems to be slowing too. John McCormac  –  Dec 04, 2008 4:43 PM PDT

The growth in .com and .net seems to be slowing. However the cumulative ccTLD growth seems to be outstripping the gTLDs as ccTLDs begin to mature. There is a point in the evolution of a country's domain footprint where the number of domains registered in the country's ccTLD will exceed the number of gTLD domains registered to registrants in that country. Thereafter the country goes ccTLD positive. While .com is still the primary global TLD, the global domain market is really a set of smaller markets.

When the domain tasting effect was limited in .com and .net, the growth patterns became a lot more apparent. The detailed .com statistics for 2008 on the page below show a gradual decline of .com TLD.

http://www.hosterstats.com/Detailed-com-Statistics-2008.php

The same pattern of decline, albeit smaller, is visible in the .net TLD.

http://www.hosterstats.com/Detailed-net-Statistics-2008.php

Most of the growth in .com and .net over the last few years has been driven by PPC and parking revenue. As PPC revenue from parking declines, many marginally profitable parked domains will be dropped. Again in the last few years many of these dropped domains would have been snapped up by domainers in the low end of the market. However as much of the easy credit that fueled the low end of the market has largely been turned off, many of these domains will not be reregistered. A further decline in PPC parking revenues in 2009 could see some of the gTLDs shrinking.

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