attempting to reach the OECD's Website (
) typed instead
, which is not
registered by the OECD, they would be led to a traffic aggregation Website. A common practice, as in this
instance, is for an initial Website to be presented with links or language targeted toward keywords or
geography. If the user then moves to another Website, a pop up window will offer further directory options,
the opportunity to set the page as a home page or download other content or software.
One further aspect of the traffic aggregation model is important to understanding trends in domain
name registration. Registrants aiming to make money from traffic aggregation closely follow the expiry
dates of existing registrations. They target high traffic sites in the hope that the existing registrant will not
renew their registration. Accordingly, if, due to an oversight, for example, the existing registrant failed to
renew their domain name the speculator registers the name. The intent is to park the domain and earn
revenue from traffic aggregation for the time the domain rests in the hands of the new registrant. If the
previous registrant is willing to pay to retrieve the name, that presents an additional source of revenue.
As the annual cost of domain names has fallen from USD 35 to below USD 6, the number of `click
throughs' needed to generate a profit is relatively small particularly where links are targeted towards the
previous registrant's area of economic or social activity. Even at a rate, such as USD 0.02 per click
through, the cost of annual registration can be covered with one click through per day.
A further difficulty in assessing the demand for new gTLDs is the practice of defensive registrations.
To prevent the fraudulent or abusive use of names associated with their area of economic or social activity
many entities make defensive registrations. Businesses, for example, will commonly register trademarks
across all new gTLDs irrespective of whether they intend to use the name simply to prevent abusive or
fraudulent registrations. In many cases businesses will either not use such a registration or apply a redirect
to their existing Website.
There are few data available to inform the question of what proportion of names under new gTLDs
represent defensive registrations. At the time of writing ICANN is undertaking its own study to inform this
question. A previous study of registrations under
carried out in 2002, and therefore relatively early in
the evolution of a new domain name, found:
Comparison of registrants of
domains has shown that approximately 25% of
domains are likely registered by the same organization that holds the corresponding
Further inspection of these names shows that the overwhelming majority are not being put to
active use. Accordingly, we conclude that these domains are, by and large, defensive
registrations, for which the registrants pay their respective registrars only to prevent other would
be registrants from using the names.
The foregoing practices of cyber squatting, domain name speculation, traffic aggregation and
defensive registrations make it difficult to assess the demand for new domain names which results from
registrants wanting names for new and unique Internet applications (
Websites, e mail). Some data are
available from Afilias. Towards the end of 2002, as
reached 1 million registrations, Afilias stated:
Of all the new TLDs,
also boasts the highest percentage of active sites close to 70% as
well as the largest number of live, dedicated Web sites that encompass 27% of its registrations
By April 2004, the Afilias Website contained the statement that over two thirds of
were active, including over 400 000 live, unique sites. Active registrations include dedicated Websites, and
password protected pages but also redirects to other Websites and `parked pages'.
All that can be
determined from these data are that there are a significant number of Websites under
. This would