Numbers from CENTR show a spike in new registrations in the month of April 2020.
A sample of 25 European ccTLDs saw a 20% increase in new domains registered in April 2020 from the same time a year earlier. So the Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries (CENTR) is asking “Is the lockdown driving domain registrations?”
The increase has even pushed up median domain growth rates of the CENTR30 (30 largest CENTR member ccTLDs) – something seldom seen over the past decade.
“Often domain registrations are linked to events by investors hoping to make a profit selling those domains on the secondary market or sometimes by those with criminal motivation such as to create fake web shops selling products that will not be delivered. It is important to consider this before explaining other theories to the boost in new registrations.”
“A study conducted by CENTR in April 2020 looked at newly registered domains of 12 ccTLDs between January and March 2020. The ccTLDs reported a total of combined 6154 domains which contained the term covid, corona and/or virus. To put this figure into perspective, the same set of ccTLDs recorded a total over 751K newly registered domains in the same 3-month period. The covid related domains therefore represent just 0.8%. A web crawler scanned the impacted domains finding roughly 26% had some sort of active website. The study shows a couple of things – firstly that the appetite for covid themed domains appears small in ccTLDs and secondly that it does not likely explain the overall boost in new domains.”
“A more plausible theory to the boost in new domains links to the changing business and employment landscape. As lockdown has considerably reduced in-person customers to high street shops and cast millions of workers into precarious employment status, businesses and individuals have had to adapt. In order to cushion the impacts from falling revenues, traditional high street “bricks and mortar” businesses have had to explore new and alternative ways of doing business. If a business did not have an online presence before, the pandemic has given a compelling reason to do so now. From fitness studios conducting classes online, theatres live-streaming shows and countless others rapidly upgrading their sites to include payment gateways for orders, an online presence is more important than ever.”
“While domain names are just a small part of the online ecosystem, their role may become increasingly important.”
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