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December 2016 Dot Brand Insights

Guillaume Pahud

The dot brand observatory is a research program on brands who registered their name at the top level of the internet domain name system — the DNS. The research looks at the registration of second level domain names by brands, but also the use of these domain names to provide services and experience to customers. This research is carried out every other month, and we illustrate hereafter a certain number of highlights of our December analysis.

Global deployment and activation continues:

Most of the initial dot brand applicants are now live and operational, as 546 of the 556 branded top level domains are now registered in the root zone file of the internet and their management has been delegated to the brand. As of delegation, a mandatory "nic.brand" domain name is created. 200 of them, including some of the world's most valuable brands such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Toyota Samsung or BMW have created more domain names, such as next100.bmw or play.samsung. The total number of domain names registered in the dot brand environment reached 5560 by early December 2016.


60% of these dot brand domains have been set up by the brand to redirect to content hosted on other domain names. This means that if someone types in that domain name directly in the URL bar, or clicks on a corresponding link, the URL will be modified and will display another site. 93% of these redirects lead to a specific page whose content is related to the title of the domain name, while 7% drive to a standard landing page. Three quarters of these redirects have been set up as "permanent" redirects, indicating a long-term strategy from the brands.

Interesting launches

Amazon launched a new Business Intelligence product called QuickSight in October 2015 and has been deployed at a large scale in November 2016. The main domain name is quicksight.aws.

Total, the power and energy supplier, launched the website "fondation.total". The Total foundation was launched in 1992 and now focuses on four key areas of work: solidarity, culture, health and marine biodiversity.

Java launched "go.java", a micro-site that promotes java.

As we finished our analysis, Google launched "environment.google”, a website committed to a more environmentally friendly world.


Abbott, which was one of the first brands to launch, has launched a number of dedicated sites over October and November 2016 — diabetescare.abbott, medicine.abbott, nutritionnews.abbott, or vascular.abbott.

Google listed an increasing number of pages in the dot brand world — 509,948 pages in December, +10% compared to October, showing how brands create more and more content and post in in the dot brand domain name.

The brands that have the largest number of pages listed on Google are:

RankDomain NameTotal number of pages listed in Google
2BNP Paribas36,113

Dot brand websites are also increasingly popular. 53 websites are listed in the million most popular domain names — an increase of nearly 20%.

The 5 most popular dot brand websites are:

RankDomain NameAlexa Ranking


The global digital landscape is progressively changing. Over 2016 and every 2 months, our research program saw a progressive change of the global digital landscape, with new top level domain names delegated, more second level domain names, more websites and more visitors. In early January 2017, we will look at the global progress over 2016, based on 6 of our extensive analysis projects carried out during 2016.

By Guillaume Pahud, CEO. More blog posts from Guillaume Pahud can also be read here.

Related topics: Domain Names, Top-Level Domains


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