The nTLDStats way

If you look at other websites providing statistics for new gTLDs, you’ll find similar numbers all along. Of course you’d think that those statistics must be right, since they basically look all the same. And then there’s nTLDStats. The website that always has different numbers. Sometimes not so much different than the other websites, but then there are also times in which there is a big drop on other statistic websites while there is none on nTLDStats. I remember when .xyz had that drop after their first year. Everyone else displayed that drop immediately as the domains got removed from the zone file. We didn’t. It’s “German Gründlickeit“. We care about very accurate statistics, which is why we take into account the domain life cycle. And that’s only one of the little things that we take into consideration while providing statistics. Sure, most people only want to see “how the TLD is doing”. For them it doesn’t matter whether a TLD with over 2 million domains has 2000 domains more on nTLDStats than on other statistic websites. But then again, if we wouldn’t provide such accurate data, no one would. And we have a hand full of customers who actually care about that seemingly neglectable difference.

Key-Systems and Google RegistryLet me give you another example: Transfers. We track domain transfers. No one else does. And the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that it’s something everyone should do, because it is important. Let’s use Key-Systems as an example. They registered about 179.000 new gTLD domains. Additionally, roughly 6k have been transferred to Key-Systems. From those 185k, about 15.000 have been transferred away. That’s 8% – and in new gTLDs, that’s quite something. Where did they go? Say “hello” to Google (sorry, I’ll never get used to Alphabet)! 53% of their current domains are transfer-ins. 50% from Key-Systems, 3% from other Registrars and 47% are actually registered by Google. And the transfers are still happening: We see domains moving from KS to Google in March, April and in May.

 

And the last example: Parking! Not that important anymore, but in 2014, people were actually interested in whether the new gTLDs are being used or not.

These stats (and others) are only available because we’re very thorough when it comes to providing statistics. And the best part is that you can access that data, too.

 

Heres how:

API

Our API is free and currently in beta. It provides most of the things you can see on our website. The only requirement is to create an account, with which you can then request an API token (both free of charge). It’s already used by many people and companies and you can become one of them.

 

Customized data reports

Our website already provides you with a lot of insight. Sometimes, that’s not enough, though. For clients who need to be well-informed and up-to-date, we provide customized reports. Those reports are created out of several so-called “data streams”. Here’s an example:

Data Stream 1: new gTLD registration numbers
Data Stream 2: Registrar

With those two streams, we can provide you a report telling you how much domains of a certain (or more) TLD(s) a registrar actually registered. You could also just use a single Data Stream, i.e. Registrar, to get the registration (and/or drops/transfers/renews etc) statistics for one (or more) registrar(s). The more Data Streams being added to one report, the more complex the calculations become. But at the same time, you’ll get a lot more insight.

No matter how complex a report is, though, clients can issue a new report manually with a click of a button. Once requested, our system will start calculating and notify the client when the report is done (usually between 5-40 minutes). The report will be filled with the latest data, only a few hours old, before our systems update again. Depending on what Data Streams a report will be made of, new data could be available after an hour already. And the best part is: You can generate a report whenever you want, how often you wish to. There are no limitations.

So if you need statistics, we really should be your only choice (says the COO of the company). Also, Twitter. (If you don’t get it: IMDB.)

Looking at spam

Opening a blog post with a meme – check. Fancy title – check. While you might think that this blog post is a joke, I have to tell you that it might be one of the most serious ones until now. Not “>>Houston, we have a problem<< and everyone already knows that he’s not gonna make it back”-serious, but more like “You still haven’t done the dishes?“-serious.

Whenever I scroll through seemingly endless lists of domain names, one particular type of them catches my attention. Let me give you a few examples:

8c5968b9kspxkwd.club
fxdee.science
jb1bd.webcam
yposx.party
tsy809.science
vokvbn.science
7kks.science
tzjv.party
j3dv.science
bl9nl.party
iij3e.xyz
qetyyu.xyz
16872.xyz
wshod.party
sus430.xyz
c8356el.xyz
avvb.science
mskcx.space
vxur.webcam
wq6e.party
h9jb.webcam
y8g1x.science
520v1v484.top
seosepll.xyz
papuuod.xyz
ggzcx.party
nx5l1f.science
v29qkt30dxh5.link

Of course you could just shrug it off, but that would be boring. Instead, I added another item to our already infinitely long to-do list: “Write blog posts about spam TLD stuff!

Why would you register those domains?, the naive internet user asked. Well, that question is partially answered by our categorization of those domains: “Spam” and “Filler”. So Spam-TLDs are used to create spam websites while “Filler”-TLDs, well, apparently to fill up the pool of domains for that particular TLD.

 

Spam

Most of the domains timed out like one would expect. When we started to check those still responding, we quickly realized that an overwhelming part has the same content: Scripted websites with automatically generated links – in chinese. Those websites mostly link to other spam-TLDs, but sometimes even include ccTLDs or old gTLDs. The purpose? Sale spam. The websites are basically a big list of links to products. Interestingly, you can’t order any of the advertised products online – you have to call a number (can you imagine? 2015?). And since I only speak the rare Chinese Huizhou dialect from southern Anhui (think of it as the chinese “Texas English” counterpart), I couldn’t get more information about the order process.

Back to topic: Another set of spam domains shows a page full of products as well. Regardless of which link you follow, you will be redirected to a modified version of the chinese news agency CNNB.com.cn, even though you are accessing the CNNB domain and servers, the articles have modified names (“European Casino”, etc.).

One could argue about how successful all of this is, but we already know that people willingly sent money to the nigerian government/lottery/whatever with the promise of receiving 2 million dollars in return. So, uhm, yeah. Also, it’s Asia. While checking those domains, I stumbled across the website of a japanese dentist. It was full of pictures of him and his staff. Doing victory signs. With their patients. During their dental treatment. And that’s why I absolutely don’t know whether this kind of marketing-spam works in Asia or not, because I don’t understand  the people living there (haha, unintentional pun).

 

Filler

While it is easy to make sense of spam domains, I feel that “Filler”-domains are a more complex matter. Here is a list of some of them:

aabo.wang
aabp.wang
aabq.wang
aabr.wang
aabs.wang
aabt.wang
aabu.wang
aabv.wang
aabw.wang
aabx.wang
aaby.wang
aabz.wang
aaca.wang
aacb.wang
aacd.wang

I cut it down to 15, because this would go on for another few hundred entries. Here is another excerpt:

lalala001.xyz
lalala002.xyz
lalala003.xyz
lalala004.xyz
lalala005.xyz
lalala006.xyz
lalala007.xyz
lalala008.xyz
lalala009.xyz
lalala010.xyz
lalala011.xyz
lalala012.xyz
lalala013.xyz
lalala014.xyz
lalala015.xyz

Again, let’s start with the simple question: Why would you register those domains? I am unable to answer that question. All domains time-out and all of them are whois-protected. I could dig deeper, but that would go beyond the scope of this blog post. Although I am pretty sure that, while looking at the numbers, those domains aren’t just failed attempts of whatever, but tough business strategy.

My thoughts travel in a lot of different directions here.

  • What would be the plan with these kind of domains?
  • Would you use it for spam?
  • If so, is there some difference in using randomized names and continuous names or do I just get overly excited?
  • Who profits from those registrations short-, mid- and long-term?
  • Why are none of those domains accessible?
  • Why aren’t they being renewed?
  • Why are they whois-protected?

Unfortunately, I do plan on leaving you alone with those questions, because I fear that doing a follow-up on all of those questions would risk the impartial status that we at nTLDstats are so proud of. But before you start your journey into the dangerous world of consipiracy theories, take two more charts from me. Yes, they may answer some questions – but might as well raise just as much new ones. *flashlight face vanishes in the dark*

(If you have input on this, feel free to mail me at [this authors name] at [this websites name] dot [this websites TLD] (ha! take this, e-mail-address crawling spam bots!))

Classification of spam / non-spam TLDs by registrar

Classification of spam / non-spam by TLD

Classification of spam / non-spam by registrar

Classification of spam / non-spam by registrar

 

The raw data approach (Or: Why we display 190+ companies instead of Donuts Inc.)

Ever since ntldstats.com launched, the highest priority was to show all the statistics in a rather raw and untampered fashion. We even had day long discussions about how to display even the smallest things, because one of our concerns was that someone might accuse us of displaying statistics in such a way that it would let those statistics shine in a very specific light – the light of our personal opinion. And that is what we don’t want.

A perfect example for how we try to keep data raw is how we handle gTLD deletion cycles:

  • Auto-renew grace period: When an active domain enters the auto-renew grace period (usually 45 days), it is about to expire, but not yet deleted. Thus, even though the domain might not be present in the zone file anymore, we are still listing it as registered – because technically it is.
  • Redemption grace period: Once the domain enters the redemption grace period, we still list it as registered, because – I know it gets boring, but – it is still registered. Also, the (soon to be former) owner of the domain could still get the domain back into former glory. Yet, every domain in this period will be accounted into our websites “upcoming deletes”-number.
  • Deletion period: No changes here, because we don’t know how long the domain will be in the deletion period. It will be deleted from our statistics as soon as it is – well – deleted. Until then, it is – ahem – technically still registered.

Back to topic. Last week we’ve received a lot of feedback from you guys regarding on how we handle the statistical display of stuff, especially Donuts Inc. stuff. Donuts Inc. is, for obvious reasons and like other Registries, incorporating a new company for each gTLD. Our “raw data” approach confused some people, since you weren’t able to see what company belongs to Donuts Inc. Good news, we’ve changed it! [Big sigh of relief, we know]

And we even changed it in a way that lets us maintain our “raw data” approach: From now on, all the Registries who follow the “one TLD, one company”-scheme will be listed right after those “one-tld-companies” in brackets.