Survey of Usage of the .US TLD. (August – September 2002)
Recent policy changes allow registrations in .US with few restrictions. The author collects data about all known .US registrations, analyzing their registration patterns and usage. Certain registrants are found to register more than 2,000 domains each; these registrants may be gathering domains for commercial applications requiring many domains or for future sale, and large registrants (with ten or more .US domains) jointly hold a total of 46.4% of .US registrations to date. Non-Americans are found to register 7.0% of domains, and some of these registrations may violate .US registration restrictions that require nexus in the United States. The overwhelming majority of .US registrations as yet provide no original web content; working .US web sites are found to be clustered with certain registrars, while certain other registrars tend to register domains that offer no web content and domains offered for resale.
Registrations in Open ccTLDs. (June – July 2002)
The author analyzes domain registrations and usage in the “open ccTLDs” of .CC, .TV, and .WS in order to quantify the domains’ size, usage, and registration patterns. Analysis first reports the number of open ccTLD web pages indexed by Google, finding open ccTLDs to be less than one one-hundredth as large as .COM when measured in this way. The author next considers registration of commonly-used dictionary nouns; while many such domains have been registered in the tested ccTLDs, more than 80% lead only to placeholders or to no web content at all. Finally, the author investigates open ccTLD registrations that use the same second-level strings as the primary .COM domains of major corporations worldwide (including the Fortune 1000 and Forbes International 500). Again, many such domains have been registered, and more than two thirds of such registrations are by registrants other than the registrant of the corresponding .COM. The web content available on sampled domains provides evidence both of substantial defensive registrations and of substantial cybersquatting.
Survey of Usage of the .BIZ TLD. (June 2002) With Jonathan Zittrain.
The authors examined a variety of data about registrations in .BIZ. Analysis suggests that at least 74% of currently registered .BIZ domains provide no web content or provide only error messages or placeholders. Using WHOIS data, we conclude that approximately 25% of .BIZ registrations are registered to the same organization that registered the corresponding .COM, and that such domains are about one-third less likely to provide substantive web content than domains registered by someone without a corresponding .COM registration. We document 4886 distinct .BIZ domains seemingly inconsistent with .BIZ registry anti-warehousing policies, suggesting that such policies are not being effectively enforced. Finally, we compare .BIZ registrar market shares with corresponding shares in .COM, .NET, and .ORG, and we summarize notable differences in registrar market share across TLDs.