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66.3 Million Domain Names Registered 179

IO ERROR writes "VeriSign announced that 5.1 million new domains were registered in the third quarter of 2004, and that there are now 66.3 million active domain names, both the highest numbers ever. It also said that the percentage of domains registered to live Web sites has increased and country code top-level domains are becoming more widely accepted."
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66.3 Million Domain Names Registered

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  • Content? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ViolentGreen ( 704134 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:05AM (#10984981)
    I wonder how many have actual content or don't redirect to another site. There are so many names out that that are bought up by corporations that all point to the same ste and so many others that try to capitalize on user stupidity and are just mispellings of popular cites.
    • Re:Content? (Score:5, Funny)

      by foobsr ( 693224 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:12AM (#10985029) Homepage Journal
      mispellings of popular cites

      No. []

      Presumably more likely [].

    • Re:Content? (Score:1, Insightful)

      by rossi ( 5437 )
      I've setup a few domains for people who just want to use the name for email only and dont want any website content.

      • IRC (Score:2, Interesting)

        by PalmKiller ( 174161 )
        On our network more often I see them for irc kiddies than anything else (vainity domains). They will take the free or low cost offer of a registrar and then let it expire since by the time its time to pay, they are bored with it.

        like .tv, they might get and make their irc domain v

        and other silly shit like that.
    • Mark Alert for 2004-12-01 [23 changes]

      New 18
      On-Hold 5


  • Squatting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nurgled ( 63197 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:06AM (#10984983)

    I bet most of this year's domains have been registered by the automated scripts which watch for domain expiry and jump in and register the domain from underneath the owner.

    I've seen this happen in no more than a day. It's very annoying, and means people have to move their sites elsewhere and deal with the old site now being at best a page full of adverts and at worst a redirect to some weird porn.

    • My bet is pr0n sites. They seem to hog every goddamn combination of obscene words.
    • Ahh, but you see, that's the beauty of it; these cocksuckers probably don't watch their own websites. Have a world of wierd porn linking to a website that says "sorry, this scamming bastard has been shut down".
    • Re:Squatting (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You know... Every registar I've had let me renew my addresses way before they'd expire and even have a "saftey period" right after they expire before anyone can re-register it. Of course maybe I've just got good registars, but seriously if you aren't really watching your domains and renewing them then perhaps you don't really want to keep them.

      I've got a hunch more than a few of those domains just happened to be "sold" to those scripts. It's more logical.
      • Also, I thought that "safety period" was a requirement. I think you have 60 or 90 days after expiration to renew.
      • Re:Squatting (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ad0gg ( 594412 )
        No all registars do that, you have a safety period of about a month. There's still a big rush to grab the domain after this period. Especially since search engines are now giving higher weight to websites that have been around for a while. I guarantee if you have PR 6 or higher and you let your domain expire, there will be every damn search engine spammer and their mom trying to get your domain.
    • Re:Squatting (Score:2, Informative)

      Well, this could cause some problems for those evil scripts...

      What is the Domain Redemption Period?

      The redemption period is a Domain Registry period of up to 30 days that occurs when a domain name is deleted after having expired unrenewed. Instead of just getting deleted and returning to the pool of domain names available for registration, the existing registry keeps a hold on the domain name in a what is technically called as REDEMPTION PERIOD.

      During this 30-day redemption period,
    • I mean, in this day and age you have to be a complete baffoon to let your domain expire. My registrart ( ) sends me notices about it needing renewal 1 month, 1 week,3 days, and 1 day before expiry. I imagine other registrars are simmilar - after all, they want you to renew with them.

      How can you not notice all these??? If you let the date slip by after all these, then you don't care baout the domain very much, or are a moron. Or both.
      • How can you not notice all these??? If you let the date slip by after all these, then you don't care baout the domain very much, or are a moron. Or both.

        Or you changed email addresses, or you registered with fake data (in spite of the requirement that you don't), or you created a temporary mail account on something like hotmail to register the domain on, or your spam filter deletes it, or the person getting the email has been fired from the company, or ....

        • And if you did any of the above, and you failed to remember to renew the domain, then it's your own damn fault. It sure as hell isn't the registrars.

    • As many have noted, most registrars will notify you repeatedly when a domain is about to expire. I use and just have mine setup to auto renew on my credit card. I don't even think about my domains expiring, just notice about a $15 charge on my credit card every now and then for a domain renewal.
    • As well as squatters, there's spammers and phishers who have to keep opening new domains to replace the ones that get closed down.

      How many variations on are there in that list of new domains I wonder?

    • In my observation, the worst squatters are unscrupulous domain registrars (not just the 3rd-party brokers). Which is why I believe registrars should not be allowed to own any domains other than those they need for their business, or for personal sites, and those should be adequately documented as such.

  • by AlexTheBeast ( 809587 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:06AM (#10984991)
    I am so jaded.

    The first thing I thought about when I saw this... what is VeriSign trying to pull now.

    /godaddy believer now
    • I don't know why...

      They [] only [] do [] great [] things! []
    • Re:Don't believe (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ultrasonik ( 775562 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:40AM (#10985201) Homepage
      One note about Go Daddy. I checked the availability of a domain name on Go Daddy. It was available. Then a couple months later I went to register it and it had been bought by a squatter. This has happened to me not once, but twice. Is Go Daddy selling their whois lookups to squatters?
      • Re:Don't believe (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hendridm ( 302246 ) * on Friday December 03, 2004 @10:32AM (#10985663) Homepage
        Then a couple months later I went to register it and it had been bought by a squatter.

        Yeah, I went to a used car lot once and the same thing happened. I saw this car that was a sweet ride for a good price. When I came back a couple months later to buy it, it was gone. I think the dealer probably put out extra flyers on it since it was now obvious it was popular, and could thus charge more. Bastard.

      • It's pretty ridiculous to draw that conclusion from this scenario. Two people must've been looking at the same domain. Why did you wait two months and give them the opportunity to take it?
      • Re:Don't believe (Score:2, Interesting)

        by e2ka ( 708498 )
        I had a theory like that too. I was interested in getting a site that was my own (uncommon) last name. I ran several whois searches over a few weeks while I thought about it. Then when I finally decided to buy it, it was gone.

        It is now a redirect to, and my family name is shamed :(
  • Add below the most silly domain name you've encountered so far ! this one [] is a nice start
  • New sites (Score:5, Funny)

    by sczimme ( 603413 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:08AM (#10985004)

    VeriSign announced that 5.1 million new domains were registered in the third quarter of 2004

    The representative then added "Approximately 58% of these are phishing sites."
  • Yoo-hoo!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ceeam ( 39911 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:10AM (#10985013)
    What a milestone. Or not? Is it any wonder that now there are more registered names than before? Would you expect inverse? Let's post this kind of stuff every month!

    And then - I'm sure they are counting only 2nd level names, right? And country-specific names are not included, are they? and are counted as one? and are counted as two?

    Finally - what constitutes a "live" web-site? "Under construction" counts? And why a web-site? Is there a rules that every resolved domain name should have a web-server at port 80?
    • Well, yeah. Subdomains beyond the second level aren't usually bought from a registrar, and more importantly, aren't registered. Just add it into your DNS zone, and away you go.
    • Third-level domain names don't have to be registered, and more importantly, VeriSign has no idea (and it would be impossible to find out) how many "deep" domain names exist. At the company I work for, we have at least a dozen strictly-internal subdomains: dmz, dqs, corp, stress, etc., and thousands (maybe tens of thousands) of node names registered in DNS. If each of these internal FQDNs were counted separately, I guarantee you the number would be much higher.

      Unless BIND was phoning-home, there would be
  • My domain (Score:3, Funny)

    by guttergod ( 94044 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:10AM (#10985014)
    Somebody told you you were one in a million?? I laugh at you lack of uniqueness. I have one domain name... This means I am one in 66.3 million.... Go figure... :)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      HA! I have three domains, so that makes me...uh...oh....HA! I have three domains!
    • Somebody told me I was one in a million. With a world population of over 6 billion that means there are over 6000 people just like me! So I kicked his ass! I want to be unique!
      • Somebody told me I was one in a million. With a world population of over 6 billion that means there are over 6000 people just like me! So I kicked his ass! I want to be unique!

        There comes a time in every man's life when he must hunt down and kill all 5999 of his doppelgangers.
  • by iwan-nl ( 832236 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:10AM (#10985015) Homepage
    country code top-level domains are becoming more widely accepted

    I don't know about the rest of the world, but here in the Netherlands our country-code TLD (.nl) is far more accepted than .com or .net. People have more trust in it because this TLD can only be registered by "legit" companies.

    • It's similar in germany, at least as far as the acceptance of ccTLD (.de) domains are concerned. I'd guess that at least 99.9% of all domain names that you see mentioned in advertising, commercials etc. are under .de, and it's probably even more than that.
    • There is stigma here in Canada against our TLD (.ca) for some reason. Americans hate it ("Pffft. Dot-c-a's suck!"), and Canadians seem to want the usual .com, .net, and .org TLDs.

      That said, country-code TLDs usually cost more for some protectionist reason. You should see the agreement you need to agree to to get a .ca. All sorts of crazy shit which boils down to "Just be glad you don't need a trademark to get a .ca TLD anymore." They removed that insane requirement back when the cira [] took over.
    • 4 years ago yes...

      A few years ago, they began allowing the crazy private tld "" and such. This wasn't much of a success (hey, the person who owned '' could even do that), so they decided to allow it alll..

      Right now, it's pretty easy for a company to claim a domain name that is 'truely' theirs over here, which is a big advantage. However, you are able to register it without any proof of being a legit company. Your information is outdated.. :P

  • by kjeldor ( 146944 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:10AM (#10985019)
    "and country code top-level domains are becoming more widely accepted"

    I'm sure this acceptance has arisen mainly from everyone's favorite Christmas Island website and it's hypnotizing void.
  • by 192939495969798999 ( 58312 ) <info&devinmoore,com> on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:11AM (#10985023) Homepage Journal
    IMHO the greatest internet-related quote ever, and one that I will post at any remotely relevant opportunity (forgive my bad memory for inaccuracies)

    Karl: "Hey Homer! You got the #1 non-adult-oriented website!"
    Lenny: "...which makes it 10 trillionth overall!"
  • Is there an alternative to GoDaddy that is just as cheap but doesn't force you to go through all those annoying ads on the way to the checkout counter?

  • by Alwin Henseler ( 640539 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:15AM (#10985051)
    The number of domain names used for hosting adult content, was reported to have hit the 50 million mark.
  • maybe... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JeremyALogan ( 622913 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:18AM (#10985069) Homepage
    Maybe it's because the old domains never die. These god awful search sites and other squatters just buy them all up. I use to own the domain name (my name), since I let it die two different domain squatters have bought it up as soon as it was available. I'm really beginning to think we ought to have to justify our domain names in some fashion.

    If you need a little help being convinced just check out [] and tell me THAT URL couldn't be put to some real use.
    • I'm pretty sure that Verisign sells domain searches. I searched for there, and a week later a squatter had it. It's not like I was going to pay the extortion, so I had to wait a year before I could get it myself.
      • . I searched for there, and a week later a squatter had it.

        perhaps they had this plan for selling holes in the ground to put police in, that didn't work out for some reason?
  • hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bairy ( 755347 ) * on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:23AM (#10985101) Homepage
    Lets round the figure down to probably 65million active domains.
    Google - Searching 8,058,044,651 web pages

    8bn/65m is 123 and a bit. So that means that all the websites average out at 123 (cached) pages. When you think the BBC boasts half a million pages, and sites such as zdnet, cnet etc have hundreds of thousands, just think how many sites only have 1 page. What a waste of domain!

    • Re:hmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

      by troon ( 724114 )

      It's worse than that - many single-page sites will have multiple domains pointing to them...

    • A domain is more than just a website. I have one page hanging off my domain, which normally says "go somewhere else". the main reason for me owning the domain is for mail redirection.
      • Exactly -- there are 65533 other TCP ports that may also need domain resolution. Internet !== WWW.
  • CC TLD's (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DarkDust ( 239124 ) * <> on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:23AM (#10985103) Homepage

    Well, the second biggest TLD in numbers of registered domains is the .de domain for some time now (I don't know for how long... one year, two years ?). And both .uk and .nl aren't small fish either.

    The DENIC [] (the registry for the german .de TLD) has an interesting graph showing the number of domains in the ten biggest TLDs [] (in english).

  • by 88NoSoup4U88 ( 721233 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:23AM (#10985106)
    The dirtiest trick in the book concerning domain names is how some companies use the "Is this domain still available"-forms to register that domainname you asked for, right after you enquired about it.

    I myself have been dumb enough to first enquire about a few ( ; only to find out the hard way it had been registered only a couple days later.

    If the site(s) would at least be used, it wouldn't be too disturbing to me... but since it's only registered, to be bought over by the highest bidder...

    I also know it's very hard to regulate this ; and even harder to 'check' if someone is really 'using' a site ; As , after all, someone could be using it (without my knowledge) purely to use it for, eg. FTP transfers, and not a website.

    Still, it gives me a sour taste in my mouth.

    • I'd do a test and see if they do that with a completely random domain: '', and if so, I'd write a script which hit their site for 10-20 random domains per day, maybe thru some of the web-anonimizer services to give different IPs. At just $5/domain, you'd cost them $50-$100 per day for their assholishness :-)
      • But what if the "check it out" site is in fact an unscrupulous registrar? in that case registering the domain costs them nothing. (Someone speak up if it does actually cost them something.)

        MOST of the squatted domains I've encountered are owned by either registrars, 3rd party brokers, or by hosting companies who *also* broker domains. Which is why I think such outfits should not be allowed to own any domain except those they can demonstrate a need for in their business.

  • include pictures of some ladies cat or some family's newborn baby. []
  • One per company (Score:3, Interesting)

    by YetAnotherName ( 168064 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:36AM (#10985181) Homepage
    Wasn't it policy back in the dark ages (I seem to remember it from '88-'90 or so) that you could get one (and only one) domain name per company. and wouldn't both go to Johnson & Johnson or some other drug company; you'd have just

    Is this a false memory? I also seem to recall that had just launched its MSN service to go head-to-head with Prodigy, CompuServe, and AOL. And to get the domain name, didn't they create a small business just down the street from the main campus, something like Micro Solutions Networking (MSN)? I swear I could remember doing a whois on it in like '92 or so and seeing the highly suspicious street address.
  • .eu (Score:3, Interesting)

    by smacktits ( 737334 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:43AM (#10985217)

    country code top-level domains are becoming more widely accepted.

    Speaking of country code TLDs, anyone know for sure when .eu will become available? I've been waiting for that for a year now.

    • The European Union is not a country, it shouldn't have a TLD.


      • (Score:2, Insightful)

        by smacktits ( 737334 )
        The EU is a large association of countries and is quite justified in having a TLD. I would have no problems with allotting TLDs to South America, North America, Asia, Australasia or other regions.

        I can't say the same for .info, .biz, .tv and all the other crappy ones out there.
    • "Speaking of country code TLDs, anyone know for sure when .eu will become available?"

      The EU isn't a country, it doesn't have a country code, and it won't be recognised by ICANN. All of the territory of the EU overlaps other countries, therefore it will not become a country code. ICANN is keeping the .eu domain reserved for this purpose, but doesn't plan to create a country-specific domain for a non-country.

      Disclaimer: everything I know I learned from wikipedia! ;-)

      At the moment, EU sites are using *.eu.
  • by Saeger ( 456549 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (jllerraf)> on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:49AM (#10985253) Homepage
    Just thought that it would be interesting to note that NetworkSolutions and are in the Top10 losing registrars []. Seems many people have been wising up to overpaying for inferior service and are transfering their domains.

    The fastest growing registrar [] happens to be, where I moved all my domains to several years ago.

    You have to keep watching that bang/buck ratio in registrars, webhosting - in all things. You stay with one provider of anything too long and chances are you'll end up paying higher static prices for the convenience of not looking around at the competition once in a while...

    • I also use GoDaddy -- their prices have been creeping back up lately and are now in the middle of the pack (they were the cheapest around when I first registered a domain), but so far they seem honest, and I've been *very* impressed with their real-human support. So long as nothing changes for the worse, I don't feel much urge to look for a new registrar. Yeah, I could save about $30/yr now, if I moved my domains elsewhere, but trust and service are worth something.

  • Yep it does p*** me off with all the squatters around one typo and popup hell if you're on the wrong comp with wrong browser. But even I've owned my share of unnecessary domain names just in case ;) no real money made though (hundreds of euros not thousand anyways). Hell the more domains the better even though it feels a bit like a redlight district sometimes stuck inside some techno IT ghetto
  • Temporary Pages (Score:2, Insightful)

    by echocharlie ( 715022 )
    I think those figures are misleading. What about those registrars that automatically generate a home page for you? Are those included in the tally? And what about squatters that just put up a generic search page? There's too many variables for those numbers to be very useful.
  • With the increasing number of people switching to broadband, and the availability of personal servers like The Net-Box [], obtaining and using a domain for one's home is not only easy and affordable but also reasonable. I believe that a big share of the domain registrations is for home/personal use and that the numbers will continue to increase.
  • If only someone would tell the guy that writes cdrecord that he could get his own domain name. ee s/joerg.schilling/private/cdrecord.html
  • Unfortunately, (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Spoing ( 152917 ) on Friday December 03, 2004 @11:45AM (#10986605) Homepage
    we now expect that of that 66 million, 90% are probably like this [] and not as they should be. []
  • They own millions of good domains that people cant use because they are being squatted on. ICANN should put their foot down and do something about it. Now there are no names left hardly to take since they are all claimed by these stupid sites that get visits by people mis-spelling a URL or a site they used to visit.
    A funny Nintendo related site I used to love: []
    The company that made Tuxracer: []
    Shit like this just pisses me off.
  • Do the math (Score:2, Funny)

    by 54M5UNG ( 836983 )


    FACT: With 86,400 seconds in one day, and 365.25 days in one year, there are 31,557,600 seconds in one year.

    Under the supposition that a program were written that would allow one second to auto-load a URL into a browser, an average of 5 seconds to resolve and load a page on a standard ADSL connection, and one second to view the loaded page before repeating the process (7 seconds total), ~66,300,000 web pages could be viewed in 464,100,000 seconds.

    Dividing these seconds by the seconds in one yea

  • Remember when the original ICANN handed VeriSign the domain registration monopoly, at $50:year? That would be $30B:year now! We're so much better off now that registration is decentralized, and it costs $3B:year industry! For serving DNS!
  • A great example is having a domain name for every movie released. Dumb. Just put the damned thing in your already-registered space, movie studios!

    Repeat after me.

    DNS is *NOT* a search engine!

    • Sorry to reply to my own post. The other problem, of course, is single companies insisting on registering every trademark they own as a domain name. Also a dumb practice. .Net and .com for the same company, maybe, but I don't like that either.
  • ICANN *should* do something, but I'm afraid they won't. What would be interesting, is get the popular popup blockers to also block domains that don't have any real information, such as Domain Parked websites, domains for sale messages, etc and get rid of all the damn traffic they grab by parking the domains. Or go back to making domains $150 a registration, instead of 6 bucks (maybe opening up registration to everyone was a _bad_ move). I would certainly think twice about registering 100 domains at $150 ea
  • I recently worked for a company that was turning into nothing but spammers - they were registering 50~100 new domains *per WEEK* to use for bulk email.

    Just because there are X domains registered doesn't mean that they're actually being used for anything useful.

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.