The European Union's .eu Top-Level Domain (TLD) sunrise and landrush has probably been discussed to death, but what is the landscape like over a year later?
A lot of industry insiders were right to express their doubts about the stability of .eu following on from the high profile squats that have been discussed here at length.
Of course any discussion on a new TLD would have to wait until after the first wave of renewals.
That happened in April, so now, in July, it's a good as time to take stock of the situation.
Eurid is currently running a campaign to increase awareness of "dot eu" as a brand.
The Going for EU concept is certainly attractive, but maybe a bit misplaced. The domain name is a nice play on words, but only works for native English speakers, who are anything but the majority within the European Union.
The site of course pushes all the positive aspects of registering and using a .eu domain, which as its run by the registry you would only expect.
Of course the reality of .eu might be somewhat different
John McCormack has compiled some very interesting and quite disturbing statistics of domain usage (based on a survey of 2.13 million domains). John, who is well known in Irish and international internet circles, runs whoisireland and publishes detailed reports on domain usage every month.
According to John's study less than 22% of EU domains appear to be actively developed.
This was based on spidering the entire EU namespace and then analysing the response codes received, html etc. The report overview breaks the namespace down into:
A: Active/not yet classified.
B: Brand protection registration.
D: refresh in webpage.
F: Forbidden or other 4nn code.
H: Holding page with no content.
N: Duplicate content network of sites.
P: PPC parked.
R: Redirected (301/302 codes).
S: Site is for sale or rent.
U: Site unavailable (127.0.0.1 is not a valid IP etc).
W: Domain aggregation network sites.
X: Porn sites.
In comparison, although statistics for the Ireland's .ie namespace (restricted to those with connection to Ireland) are currently not available, I was able to talk to John who gave me some preliminary stats:
Preliminary utilisation is around 81% (still processing those figures but it might go down to about 75% actively developed)
.ie is a managed ccTLD so usage is going to be higher - being a product of difficulty of acquisition and cost of domain.
.eu is not a fully managed TLD, however registrants are meant to fulfill some basic criteria — ie. have an EU address
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