Prior to the launch of .xyz, 80 million domain names were searched each day at GoDaddy, the world’s largest registrar (source: The Domains). Of these, only 50,000 domains were registered.
To put this into perspective, that’s 1 domain registered for every 1,600 availability searches.
I have heard from many other registrars that at least 99% of searches do not lead to a registration.
Why? Because most of these searches resulted in the all-too-familiar:
That is because most registrars default any search to a .com, and chances are, it’s unavailable.
As a customer, imagine how frustrating and discouraging this message is, then knowing that you settled for your tenth choice domain name or maybe even your 1,600th choice. It isn’t the registrar’s fault, but a clear indicator that internet users were not initially offered enough choices when selecting a domain name.
Fast forward to today. Now with .xyz, it’s exactly the opposite.
Availability in the .xyz space
Measuring the success of a new domain extension was initially centered around registration numbers. However, the focus has shifted towards examining end user usage after I published my utilization case study blog post.
With the focus on how much is being utilized, another key attribute that contributes to .xyz’s success is often overlooked. In addition to providing an easily accessible and flexible option for domain names, .xyz is especially appealing due to its high inventory of quality names that are still available to register. Normally for $9.99 or less!
Even if you’re not familiar with the domain industry, you instinctively know that simple dictionary words or 3, 4 letter .coms are most likely unavailable. Do you think Activist.com or UVA.com are available?
How about Activist.xyz and UVA.xyz? (They are both available at the time of writing this post.)
When comparing the availability statistics of .coms and .xyzs, this becomes very clear.
If you look at the chart below, everything in .com is unavailable except for less than half of the 4-character combinations. Take a look at .xyz: every category of valuable .xyz domain names is still available!
|Possible||.com Availability||.xyz Availability|
*.xyz Data retrieved 9/30/2014
*Verisign: The Domain Name Industry Brief Q4 2013 Highlights
*Slate: The Internet Has Run Out of Four-Letter Dot-Com Names
L = letter
N = number
character = L, N, or hyphen
C = consonant
V = vowel
To simplify the conversation, domain investors use specific letters to represent the type of domain name. For example, “L” stands for “letter”. Therefore, a LLL.xyz signifies a three letter .xyz such as ABC.xyz, while LLLL.xyz represents a four letter .xyz domain name.
What are these “valuable” domain names?
In the domain industry, investors speculate which domain names are most valuable by considering factors such as name metrics and aftermarket prices of similar domains. Name metrics used for the valuation of a domain name include length, character type, term popularity, and whether or not it is a dictionary term. In general, the rarer the domain name type, the more valuable.
Premium letter .xyz domains
Premium letter domains are even more rare. The most frequently occurring letters in the English language are considered “premium letters”. These are more valuable because of the higher likelihood that an individual or business will have those letters in their name.
There can only be 2,197 premium three letter .xyz domain names in the world. There will never be more. Absolutely none of them are available in .com. However, almost 40% of them are still available in .xyz.
And guess who has been snatching up all these short .xyz domains?
Not domain investors. To my surprise and delight, end users are the ones securing the premium names and proactively building new sites, rather than sitting on them as an investment.
As I mentioned, there are many factors that make a domain name valuable – one of which is scarcity. Now that .com is no longer the big fish in a small pond, its presence is dwarfed by other players like .xyz in the vast domain extension ocean.
End users have come in and registered valuable .xyz domain names, and have not only built websites around them, but their online identities, full-fledged businesses, nonprofit organizations, developer tools, and more.
I made the decision to DISRUPT the namespace and not reserve all the great names, leaving millions of sought-after keywords available to end users – and letting the market decide.
Join the next generation of internet users, or be stuck in the past.