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Web names pass 250 million mark

08 Apr 2013
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The number of registered domain names topped 250 million for the first time at the end of 2012, according to registry group Verisign, with applications for top-level domains up 12 percent year-on-year.

According to Verisign's Domain Industry Brief, more than six million new domains were added to the internet in the last three months of 2012.

VeriSign reported that over 40 percent of all websites were registered with a .com domain, with just under eight million new ones added during the fourth quarter of 2012.

Other popular top-level domains were dominated by ones associated with countries. The largest TLDs in order were: .com, .de, .net, .tk, .uk, .org, .info, .cn, .nl and .ru.

The tiny South Pacific atoll of Tokelau features so prominently as users can register .tk domains for free, in exchange for carrying advertising.

But the figures will prove depressing reading for mandarins at internet regulator Icann. It has been pushing for firms to adopt a variety of different domain names.

While that process has generated bitter disputes, it seems most firms are happy to stick with .com or country-specific alternatives.

Last month, Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle joined forces in complaining about Google's application to run generic top-level domains, such as .search and .map.

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