The internet is full of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll

The new gTLD program is now a year old and registration numbers have broken through the 3 million mark, growing month on month by around 25%. Impressive stuff, considering that the existing gTLD base is growing less than 10%. But that isn’t too surprising as the namespace for .com in particular is very crowded with over 95% of available 4 digit domain names already registered.

One measure to gauge the success of the program to date is to look at the usage of the new gTLDs when compared to the existing ones.  Again, we have to mention that it is early days, but we are starting to see some new gTLD websites appearing in the Alexa Top 1 million websites rankings.

This list is considered to be the most definitive measure of usage and popularity of a name.  It is notoriously difficult to measure the success of a website based solely on public data as details of exact traffic stats are held within private Google Analytics accounts or DNS hosting stats. So there should always be an element of caution when ranking one website against the other.

The top 100 most popular websites utilising new gTLDs virtually all fall within the top 100,000 websites as ranked by Alexa (97 are within this bracket).  The most popular website on the list is, a Russian-language SEO forum, which is ranked just outside the top 1000.  The top ten includes two websites that are dedicated to the recent spate of leaked celebrity nude pictures, more commonly known as The Fappening, as well as a couple of content hosting and sharing websites (“Torrents”).  Essentially, the top ten is a reflection in terms of what the internet has become, rather than a revolution of usage that we had hoped that the new gTLD program would bring.

The most popular TLD in the top 100 list is .club, with 22 websites using the suffix.  The highest ranked site within the TLD is which appears to be a new social media application, although its website is very much work-in-progress.  Despite having well over 600,000 registrations to date, there are only 10 websites in the top ten that utilise a dotXYZ domain name.  Interestingly, the highest ranked website, is actually the search page for the registry itself – interesting in the fact that they appear to be the only registry actually using one of their own domain names in the top 100.  The second most popular website is another Torrent directory website.

What the top 100 new gTLDs does show us is the complete absence from any websites owned by brandholders. Whilst the program is still in its infancy, it does offer some opportunities for brand positioning that we have never seen in domain name terms before.

The Top 10 suffixes being utilised in the highest ranked 100 new gTLDs according to Alexa Rankings are:-





















Written by Stuart Fuller, Director of Commercial Operations and Communications, NetNames.