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Mar 30

/ nic.at News - 30.03.2020 13:12
Analysis of .at domains: "The registry as a crystal ball"

One important key finding in advance: Domain names containing the word “pizza” have a higher renewal rate than other popular strings according to an analysis by nic.at’s Alexander Mayrhofer, nic.at’s head of Research and Development. At Domain pulse he looked at trends and interesting statistics that come from domain name registrations from the perspective of an ccTLD.

Mayrhofer noted how domain name registrations can often reflect current trends, either globally or in a ccTLD within a country, but even occasionally future trends: One global example Mayrhofer gave was for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) where domainers were registering related domain names within minutes of the World Health Organization’s announcement of the official name of the virus.

Very interesting as well was the analysis of 1,031,385 .at domain name registrations: In this case, the most common words used in .at registrations were “shop” with 23,489 domains containing this string, “wien” (19,496), “online” (17,252), “Austria” (15,306), “service” (11,953) and then “hotel” (11,748). By the way: Domain names containing the word “pizza” was the one capturing Mayrhofer’s attention with 2,809 domains. On the culinary side of things, it beat out “burger” with 1,966 registrations, “kebap” (487) and “schnitzel” (467). There were 26 domains that covered 3 of the 4 strings including impressively long names such as: stockerau-imbiss-pizza-schnitzel-kebap-zustellung.at!

When he moved on to renewal rates, things became even more interesting for “pizza”. For all domains registered on 1 February 2019, 91.57% were still registered on 1 February 2020. Looking at a period of over 10 years though analysing .at domain names registered after 1 February 2009 and those still registered on 1 February 2020 there was an overall yearly renewal rate of 89.56%. For domains containing “online” (4,436 registrations as of 1 February 2019) there was a renewal rate of 87.0%. For “shop” (2,705) it was 88.0%. For “24” (1,240) it was 86.0%. But for “pizza” it was the highest of all. Of the 1,741 registrations analysed the retention rate was 92.6%!

Then there was some further analysis of the .at database. Not surprisingly, older domain names have higher renewal rates with those registered for more than 20 years having a higher renewal rate, while “fresher” domains have a renewal rate of 85%.

When it came to domain length, very short domains are very rarely deleted with the exception being one-character internationalised domain names. For longer domains between 7 and 25 characters there’s a “surprisingly constant retention rate while for longer domains the number is too low to give a significant analysis.

Mayrhofer then looked at if the day the domain name was registered made any difference. Interestingly .at domain names registered Monday to Friday had a renewal rate of 90% but on weekends it dropped to around 96%, perhaps reflecting that businesses are more likely to registering domains during the week and individuals more often on the weekend. For time of day, those registered between 10:00 and 12:00 had the highest renewal rates around 91% or 92%, but for those registered between 02:00 and 05:00 the renewal rates plummet, with registrations made around 03:00 and 04:00 the lowest at around 76%.

And some final characteristics. Mayrhofer found .at domain names with a TLS certificate had a renewal rate of 5.4% above the average, those that contain the “evil” hyphen shorter than 12 characters are slightly above the average, with a renewal rate 0.8% above, but those longer than 12 characters is slightly higher at 1.3% above the average.


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