Only 8,16% Of All .Guru Domains Have Been Renewed So Far – Will This Reach 80% In 2 Months?

donutsOnly 8,16% of all 70k registered .guru domains have been renewed so far, 2 months before a lot of domains start expiring. As expected EAP renewal rate is higher.

Of course most people wait until the last few days or even after expiration to renew their domain names. And usually auto-renewals start processing at about 30 days before expiration dates so the renewal rates will certainly improve but I don’t think they will reach the 80% predicted by Donuts.

Renewal rate is the amount of domain names that are renewed, for 1 of more years, from the number of domains that are expiring in a certain period of time.

The .Guru New gTLD was one of the first 7 New gTLDs to launch in January 2014 by Donuts. Donuts now has more than 150 active New gTLD strings.

.Guru entered the Early Access Program (EAP) on the 29th of January 2014 and General Availability 1 week after that, February 5. It had some unexpected success and it was the most successful New gTLD in terms of number of registration for a few weeks. It now ranks 7th among all New gTLDs and if you were to take out all the free domains other extensions have offered it would rank higher.

.Guru was the first ‘generic’ New gTLD to launch and a lot of people bought domains just for fun or because a desirable keyword was available. And .Guru is what some people call a “vanity” or “novelty” extension.

Donuts does not agree but a few people believe that New gTLDs will take a big hit in the first year renewals. Donuts predicted a renewal rate of more than 80%. I think that 60% will be better than great for .guru.

So I picked .guru to run this test as it was one the first to launch, has a lot of registrations and it is both a generic and a novelty New gTLD. I will be following the renewal rate of .guru in the next few months. This is the first report and it was done 2 months before General Availability domains are expiring: February 5 2015.

The report is using a 20141203 zone file and look ups ran between 3 and 7 of December. The zone file had 77,031 .guru domain names that were registered between February 5 and December 3.

70,744 domains or 91,84% of all .guru domains are expiring in 2015.

Here is when the other 8,16% of domains are expiring:

Expiration: # %
2016 4552 5,91%
2017 688 0,89%
2018 77 0,10%
2019 792 1,03%
2020 40 0,05%
2021 5 0,01%
2022 12 0,02%
2023 6 0,01%
2024 117 0,15%
Renewed: 8,16%

So 8,16% of all domains in the zone file have been renewed or were initially bought for more than 1 year.

10 years is the maximum that someone can renew a domain name. The 792 domains that are expiring in 2019 are probably because some people bought 5-year registration packages. More than 700 of those are registered with Go Daddy that was offering discounts on these packages. In terms of renewals years .guru now has 10,742 years.

Of course the numbers above include domains that are not expiring for many months from now so I ran a separate test to identify renewal rates for different periods of registration/expiry.

It is interesting to see how later and probably more mature registrations compare with EAP or first day registrations that had the initial impulse factor added in. Of course more recent registrations have a lesser keyword quality compared to the first registrations and are also further away from expiration.

Registration Period # of domains Renewed Renewed %
EAP and up to GA (February 5) 13850 823 5,93%
February 6 up to February 28 26276 1477 5,62%
March 1 up to June 30 23255 2277 9,80%
July 1 up to December 3 13651 1712 12,55%

“Renewed” means that the domains are not expiring in 2015. “Renewed” expiration dates range from 2016 and up to 2024 as explained above.

The table above shows that latter registrations were either purchased for a period of more than 1 year or renewed early.

EAP had about 2,898 domains and 11,22% of them have been renewed. EAP renewal rate is much higher than the combined EAP/GA renewal rate. That seems logical as buyers paid an extra fee to get these domains. GA renewal rate is at just 4,54%.

I will repeat this report 1 month before GA expirations and then on February 5th and a month after that. What do you think that the renewal rate for .Guru and New gTLDs in general will be?

Here is a poll with over 400 votes so far: “Are You Renewing Your New gTLD Domains?“.


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the blog in 2012.


  1. .xyz will have the most non-renewals (if you can call them that since they weren’t truly registered in the first place) and .guru will have the second highest non-renewal rate because they got the benefit of being the first gTLD out there and people jumped on it (as if there were 500 others coming down the pike). Wish Vegas had some odds on this as I’d jump all over that.

  2. .guru being first to market, people jumped on and registered a lot of crud. I think most will just get caught by having a credit card on file, and being defaulted to auto renewal.

    There are some good phrases in the .guru selection base, but many people stretched a bit to far as they got desperate.

  3. funny .. I searched for guru’s on SEDO yesterday. eye cancer alarm ! all bought by goldrush fever

  4. We agree that some TLDs will have higher renewal rates, some lower. .COM will have a less than 50% renewal rate for 2014 new registrations, as we discussed in our Circle ID piece: Of those outlined in that article, .GURU may be somewhat lower compared to Donuts’ other gTLDs, but we nevertheless expect it to be strong compared to, say, .COM’s 2014 cohort; additionally, it’s but a small portion of our overall portfolio (about 7%). We stand by our overall prediction as outlined in the article, and to the fact that new gTLD renewals will outperform the 2014 .COM cohort.

    • Mason you can’t compare the 115th million of .com registrations with the first 70k of .guru.
      The overall .com renewal rate is over 70%.

      You say that .guru will have lower than 80%. What renewal rate do you expect for .guru?

      • We’re comparing, and did compare, names registered in 2014 to names registered in 2014. We agree, you can’t compare the blended rate for .COM to a blended rate for new gTLDs — many of those .COM names have been renewed for 20 years already while none in new gTLDs have renewed once. As we said in our paper, names already renewed once have a higher renewal rate (compared to those not renewed yet), and names with multiple renewals have a very high renewal rate. We expect .GURU’s first year cohort to be around 80%, and well above the 50% for .COM’s 2014 cohort. We’ll know the renewal rate for the first *day* cohort for .GURU in about March 2015, thanks to the 45-day grace period We won’t know the entire 2014 cohort renewal rate for .GURU until January 2016.

        If I’m a registrar in 2015, deciding where to spend my marketing dollars on new customer acquisition, I may not care that .COMs from 20 years ago are renewing at 70%+. I do care about the renewal rate on new domains I acquire in 2015 and for .COM, that renewal rate is <50%. I'd rather spend my marketing dollars on names that renew at 80%+. It's a bit like like a car manufacturer that made great cars back in the day, and many of those are still on the road, but their newer models are nowhere near as solid.

        As a dealership would I rather market/sell that manufacturer’s cars or another manufacturer’s whose cars provide a better set of attributes for my dealership?

      • Yes domains that have been renewed have a better chance of getting renewed but so do domains that are from the first 10k or 50k of new gtlds because this is where the good domains are. So actually you probably need to compare with the blended renewals from older gTLDs.
        Comparing 2014 .guru domains with 2014 .com domains is comparing the best of .guru with the worst of .com.

        But this is not about .guru comparing with .com. It is about what people think .guru will get and what a good number will be.
        Now you say that .guru will be at 80%. In your earlier comment you saif that .guru will have a lower than 80% renewal rate.

        You can’t expect registrars to run domain renewal marketing campaigns. I haven’t seen one and I don’t expect to see one now.
        Unless you mean a couple of go daddy coupons to reduce inflated prices and bring them down to what other registrars are already offering.
        Other than a couple of reminder emails, 99,99% of the people have decided if the domains they bought are good or not.

        I didn’t get your car/domain example. Seems more like you are somehow comparing aged .com to new .com. I don’t know what you want to say.
        These are renewals we are talking about. Not new registrations.

      • you guys are still trying to compare apple and banana 😛

        renewal rate for guru. I say 35%

  5. i figure less than 50% renewal for .guru.

  6. I estimate that the renewal rate for .guru will be much less than 40%. There is yet another factor not discussed here: the renewal prices for .guru tld is higher than .com and the rest old tlds. For example: godaddy asks for the renewal of my .guru domains 40-50$

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