The Internet expanded by 2.5 percent in the second quarter of 2011 over the first quarter, VeriSign reported in its latest report. There were 5.2 million more domains by the end of the second quarter, the report found.
More than 215 million domain names were registered across all top level domains at the second quarter of 2011, VeriSign found in its quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief released Aug. 31. Registrations have grown by more than 16.9 million, of 8.6 percent, since the second quarter of 2010, VeriSign found. However, the way VeriSign counts domains makes it hard to tell how many of the 215 million domains are actually being used.
Not all the domains registered and counted in the report take a user to an actual Website, according to the report. VeriSign estimated that 88 percent of .com and .net domains resolved to an active Website. According to VeriSign's definition, an active Website includes sites under construction and parked pages as well as fully functioning ones.
The .com and .net domains accounted for most of the domains registered, passing the 110 million mark at the second quarter. The .com and .net TLDs increased 1.8 percent over the first quarter and 8.3 percent since the second quarter of 2010. There were 8.1 million new .com and .net domains registered during this period, a 2 percent increase year over year, VeriSign said. The renewal rate for .com and .net domains were also pretty high, at 73.1 percent.
There were 84.6 million domain names on the country code top level domains, with 2.9 million new domains being added during the quarter. This is an increase of approximately 6.6 million country-specific domain names, or 8.4 percent from 2010, the report found. Brazil, Australia and Spain had the most growth in the number of domains registered, exceeding 4 percent quarter over quarter growth.
The list of top level domains with the largest number of registered domains changed very slightly over the second quarter. The .com remained the largest TLD with the most registered domains, followed by Germany's .de, .net, United Kingdom's .uk, .org, .info, the Netherlands' .nl, China's .cn, European Union's .eu, and Russian Federation's .ru. The .cn and .eu domains swapped places on the list over the second quarter. Despite the fact that there are more than 240 country-code TLDs available globally, the top ten TLDs account for 60 percent of all registrations, VeriSign found.
The new generic top-level-domains, which were approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) earlier this year, have not yet been added into the naming system, so weren't included in the report. The custom suffixes would give Internet domain owners the ability to pick a TLD from an almost unlimited range, including consumer domains like .shop and .bank to geographic ones like .nyc and .london. The new system would also allow suffixes using other scripts, such as Cyrillic, as well.
The average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load during the quarter was 56 billion, with a peak of 68 billion, VeriSign said. The daily average declined 1 percent but the peak grew 1 percent, according to the report.