That’s a question we get asked a lot. So I thought I would blog some updated stats.
In order to answer that question, you have to know what ‘all the domains’ actually is, in other words, you need the denominator for a coverage ratio. In a world where most ccTLD Registries do not publish zone files, this information is hard to come by. Fortunately, CENTR, the Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries, published this recent report updating rounded current domain counts in the top 20 ccTLDs worldwide. This data helps DomainTools gauge how good, or poor, our coverage is on certain TLDs, something our enterprise customers are increasingly interested in.
Unfortunately the domain count is not the hard part. The challenge lies in figuring out which domains actually make up those lists, that is, which domains actually exist in DNS for all ccTLDs. If you have those lists, you can actually create tools of real value for users, such as DomainTools Brand Monitor which currently follows over 100 ccTLDs, as well as all of the common gTLDs. To put a finer point on the challenges: when a user registers a .DE domain, for example, nobody knows but the user, the Registrar and the German Registry DENIC. How do you find out it just got registered?
This is an ongoing challenge, and one where success is measured as a matter of degrees. Domain discovery is one of DomainTools’ top engineering priorities, and something we are continually getting better at. Using a combination of significant amounts of our own internal data, some external data, and a ton of computing horsepower, we’re making noticeable progress.
So with that brief overview, and in the spirit of transparency, here is a snapshot of our recent coverage of the Top 25 TLDs by volume (ccTLDs and gTLDs). Note that .TK, as a free TLD with extraordinarily high growth and extraordinarily high turnover, is a special case that I will try to address in a future blog post.
* Recent zone file count, or data supplied by the referenced CENTR report.