Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Phishing, Banks and .BRAND new gTLDs

I recently tried to complain against a phisher using as the phisher's Registrar and I also followed a procedure at the ICANN to see if anything would happen, but, as expected, nothing happened: the ICANN created a case and offered to fill-in another form and the Registrar did not even confirm he received my complaint. Note that I could also have complained at the Registry but  I did not know...time consuming?

Another approach for Banks
Below are examples of recent phishing emails I received in the name of a French bank. These are issues banks have to deal with on a daily basis and in volume: not only because it hurts their image but also because it causes serious problems to some of their customers. For these two reasons, and also because it is useless thinking that procedures exist at (some) Registrars to fight phishing, here is another approach banks can have to protect more their customers from phishing.

Phishing is this:
  1. The end user receives an email with a fake link to click onto: the email says that it is sent from but it is not, and at this level, you cannot learn who is the sender (because it is so easy to send an email using a fake one).
  2. The link to click onto is either some text (ie: "Confirmer votre PassCyberPlus" in my case) or a link which looks like it is a known link (domain name) from our bank (ie: ""). In both case, the link is a fake one, or an IP address (my case) offering to go to another website where the fraud is installed. Sometimes, it will ask for your login and password or it will try to automate the installation of a program to encrypt your hard drive (ransomware) or it will ask for more information.
End users are more trained than before but...
More end users receiving phishing emails do not click on their links anymore: they check before clicking. The real link appears down in the browser when passing (but not clicking) the mouse onto, so they can learn if the email is legitimate or not. Phishing has now become so common that end users have become familiar with checking a link before they click. Note that there will still need a few more generations before phishing becomes completely useless.

Banks can fight fishing another way
Trying to explain their client to be cautious with phishing is negative and trying to solve these problems with registrars, which often demonstrates to be completely useless and endless, is a total waste of time. ICANN will answer that it has no responsibility into this, and Registries...well...try to complain at a registry and tell us more about your experience ;-)

Another way for banks to fight phishing - and better protect their clients - is to "work on words": when building a website, navigation has to be simple, if there's more than two clicks to reach out to the information, you lose your reader. It is the same for banks' names: with too many names for branches, inline services, banks confuse their customers and that also takes them to click on the wrong link. Working on words is called branding. Banks want their clients to:
  1. Recognize their name;
  2. Go to the right website and not another.
With dozens of subsidiaries, trademarks, legal entities, names and other brands, it is impossible for a Bank to gather under a same name and under the same domain name but using a .BRAND new gTLD is a solution to this with an enormous advantage: thank to words, it reduces the risk of phishing and definitely kills any homograph attack in the egg. Here are the advantages to use a .BRAND domain name extensions, instead of a ".com" or any other country code Top-Level Domain (a domain name extension for a country).

The number one advantage to remember for a Bank is that when it controls the registration of its domain names, it also means that a phisher will never be able to register one of them: anyone can register a domain name ending in ".com", in ".fr" or any other domain name extension available to the general public: but not a ".brand".

Let's talk about my case figure, the "Banque Populaire" one
When you hit "banque populaire" in Google, you get a full list of words: banque populaire, bred, bred banque populaire sa, groupe bpce, casden banque populaire, etc...there are dozens of names belonging to Banque Populaire and dozens of websites:
    1. How do you expect clients not to be confused when receiving an email about Banque Populaire? How does the bank ensure that her client knows if the bank's name and URL are legitimate?
    2. Can you imagine the pleasure a phisher can have when preparing an attack with such a confusing information sent to this bank's clients: it's wonderland for phishers because the bank's client WILL be confused.
Why it matters
In terms of Branding
Paying attention to the name and the URL clients will be sent to matters and as I previously wrote it, if it is impossible to gather under a same name and domain name, gathering under a same ".brand" name changes everything:
  1. In terms of trust for the client: all services from the bank will be easily identified behind an exact same domain name extension. For example:
    1. www.casden.bpce (or ".banquepopulaire")
    2. www.bred.bpce
    3. www.banquepopulaire.bpce
    4. etc...
  2. In terms of name for the Bank: the domain name extension becomes the seal which connects all services, trademarks, names, categories of clients, subsidiaries, branches, office locations, the same Bank. When seeing this seal, the client knows that he is on a website belonging to the bank: "can't be something else". Instead of using various confusing domain names (which none can be certified by the bank), the ".brand" domain name extension simplifies it all for the client: when passing his mouse onto a hyperlink prior to clicking, the ".brand" extensions from the domain name is the seal that confirms that he can click.
In terms of strategy (for the Bank)
Things take time and don't expect a client to understand why a domain name using a ".brand" extension might be less risky for him to click onto, also expect things to be more the beginning at least; things take time and explanation.

Some banks have already migrated to their .BRAND new gTLD, there is even one in France: Since 2012, 1,230 new domain name extensions have been created, and this also means:
  1. More confusion to consumers;
  2. More options for phishers to fool banks' clients;
  3. But also more training and adoption for users: the more new domain name extensions start to appear online, the more coming generations are used to them.
There are today 490 ".brand" new gTLDs. They are trademarks to have acquired and signed an agreement with the ICANN to be granted the authorization to create and use their personalized domain names. It means that from an old and non-secure use of domain names, a few brands have already started to change to more secured strategies for the benefit of their clients: aren't Banks security?

Another alternative for Banks
Banks are the only one to have access to ".bank" domain names but in the case of a French bank, it does not match: you don't talk to French customers using an english web ending. Note that some French banks applied for a ".banque" new gTLD but then, withdrew their application.

Need help understanding all this? Contact Jovenet Consulting and ask for Jean.

Recent phishing emails received

Monday, March 19, 2018

Coming soon: the .ICU Sunrise Period

Domain names ending in ".icu" (instead of ".com") are coming to the market. The Sunrise Period was just announced and here is what the new gTLD application submitted to the ICANN says. According to the Applicant, the purpose of the TLD is explained below:
  1. Reflect and operate a distinctive that is aimed to identify the Applicant’s services (“ICU”)at the top level of the DNS’ hierarchy;
  2. Provide customers and other stakeholders of the Group, including, subsidiaries, and their respective suppliers, sponsorships, and their respective directors, officers, employees, with a recognizable and trusted identifier on the Internet;
  3. Provide such stakeholders with a secure and safe Internet environment that is mainly under the control of the Applicant, the Group and its subcontractors;
  4. Provide selected stakeholders in ‘ICU’ brands with the opportunity to create a secure and safe Internet environment that is to a large extent under control of the Applicant and⁄or such stakeholders.

Looks like a .BRAND new gTLD
Question 18/a from the application submitted to the ICANN generally reflects the purpose of the new gTLD and in this case, it clearly looks like the application was submitted for an internal purpose to the brand but the Sunrise Period is dated 24 April 2018 to 24 May 2018 with a Trademark Claims Period dated 29 May 2018 to 30 August 2018 with a Qualified Launch Program (QLP) dated 24 April 2018 to 17 May 2018 so unless I am wrong, .ICU domains should be made available for sale.

The registry website is available here and this is the ICANN announcement.

Friday, March 16, 2018

New gTLDs: Adopted Board Resolutions

In each ICANN meetings, working groups and the board gather to take decisions.

This document is a long one to extract the information related to new gTLDs "only" but here is some of it. There is a lot about the CPE process (Community Priority Evaluation) but I even if the document is entitled "adopted board resolution", I saw nothing "adopted". Note that the ICANN uses the words "resolve" but it does not necessarily mean that a case ends when it has been resolved. A good way to read this document in an efficient way is to use the search field of the browser and enter the word "Resolved". It is what I did and here is the result.

I found adopted board resolutions for some Top-Level Domains, they are dated 15 March 2018 so I guess that they are of interest:
  1. On the Community Priority Evaluation:
    1. Resolved (2018.03.15.09), the Board concludes that, as a result of the findings in the CPE Process Review Reports, no overhaul or change to the CPE process for this current round of the New gTLD Program is necessary.
    2. Resolved (2018.03.15.10), the Board declares that the CPE Process Review has been completed.
  2. On .PRESIANGULF new gTLD:
    1. Resolved (2018.03.15.13), the Board directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to take all steps necessary to reimburse the GCC in the amount of US$107,924.16 in furtherance of the IRP Panel's Costs Declaration upon demonstration by the GCC that these incurred costs have been paid.
    2. Resolved (2018.03.15.14), the Board directs the BAMC: to follow the steps required as if the GAC provided non-consensus advice to the Board pursuant to Module 3.1 (subparagraph II) of the Applicant Guidebook regarding .PERSIANGULF; to review and consider the relevant materials related to the .PERSIANGULF matter; and to provide a recommendation to the Board as to whether or not the application for .PERSIANGULF should proceed.
  3. On .HALAL and .ISLAM new gTLDs:
    1. Resolved (2018.03.15.15), the Board accepts that the Panel declared the following: AGIT is the prevailing party in the Asia Green IT System Bilgisayar San. ve Tic. Ltd. Sti. v. ICANN IRP; and ICANN shall reimburse AGIT the sum of US$93,918.83.
    2. Resolved (2018.03.15.17), the Board directs the BAMC to re-review the GAC non-consensus advice (as defined in Section 3.1 subparagraph II of the Applicant Guidebook) as well as the subsequent communications from or with objecting and supporting parties, in light of the Final Declaration, and provide a recommendation to the Board as to whether or not the applications for .HALAL and .ISLAM should proceed.
All adopted board resolutions are available here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

ICANN Correspondence and new gTLDs

There is a page on the ICANN website which lists all correspondences between complainants the ICANN. It has become a reflex to check this page on a daily basis because this is where it becomes possible to follow-up with problematic new gTLD cases. In 2018 some Top-Level Domain applicants already shared a lot of mails on .GAY - .MUSIC - .WEB - .WOMEN (this TLD does not exist but "hey") - .HALAL - .ISLAM and .CPA. The first correspondence is dated 1998.

Other interesting links
The "Litigation" link is also a good one to have a look at, they are litigation documents between parties and the ICANN. For example, it is where you can find documentation on the .AFRICA case (
DotConnectAfrica Trust v. ICANN (Appellate Court Proceeding)), the .WEB case (Ruby Glen, LLC v. ICANN), etc...

The Registry agreements link is one that is interesting too: the chronological listing allows to see when something new happens to a new gTLD. For example, on 10 March 2018, ICANN and gTLD Limited, entered into a Registry Agreement under which gTLD Limited, operates the .INC top-level domain.

For more new gTLD bookmarks, you can check this page at Jovenet Consulting.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

New gTLDs offer more alternatives (and innovation)

I went skiing and saw the ad below, it is an ad for a Land Rover offered at a car dealer whose name is Donnay with several garages around Barcelona Spain. The ski resort I went to is an important with many Land Rovers exposed in the mountain so I checked if there was a ".donnay" new gTLD but found none. Anyway.

Prints are often where we add a domain name to offer potential clients to visit a website but on this one, I find the URL used a little "old fashioned" compared to what could have been done with a domain name ending in ".barcelona" or even better: ".landrover". I checked the ".landrover" new gTLD application and read:
"The .landrover gTLD will provide an authoritative internet space for Land Rover, its affiliates and partners that are associated with the Land Rover brand. Second and third level domains can then be utilised for specific pages for Land Rover’s car models and dealerships, as well as for communication and marketing purposes, with internet users assured of brand authenticity".
Unless I am wrong, or completely stupid, isn't it precisely what the ".landrover" new gTLD was created and paid for: "to provide an authoritative internet space for Land Rover, its affiliates and partners that are associated with the Land Rover brand"?

Such great names could have been used: or

We're still far away
The .LANROVER new gTLD was delegated in October 2015, almost 3 years ago, but is it still not used appropriately. It is also possible that the people in charge of communication with affiliates and partners don't know about the existence of such tool.

I personally find that such an opportunity to demonstrate innovation in branding is a missed one in such a crowded place like a ski resort. This also clearly demonstrates that we are still far away from having communication specialists to innovate using their .BRAND new gTLD. This also happens with many other .BRAND Top-Level Domains at the moment.

For the note, three were 6,134 ".barcelona" domain names registered in February 2018 and 18 ending in ".landrover" in January 2018, down to 4 in February.

Land Rover: wake up ;-)

Monday, March 5, 2018

Concern Over DNS Abuse: really?

This is a recent letter sent to the ICANN from the The Independent Compliance Working Party and focusing on DNS abuse. It is signed by Adobe Systems Inc. - DomainTools eBay Inc. - Facebook, Inc. - Microsoft Corporation and Time Warner Inc.

I particularly focused on this line saying: "The number of abused phishing domains in legacy gTLDs is mainly driven by the .com gTLD". After more than 30 years facing phishing, spam and malwares...I really wonder "who" can still do anything about this.

I sometimes write to Registrars, Registries and the ICANN about domain name owners doing phishing and I admit that I never - NEVER - had anyone of them to act (ie: check the domain name and change its status to one that blocks the domain from harming consumers). Reading this letter, I see Trademarks seriously harmed by phishers and on the other side, I see organizations who won't act because a client is a client: phishers pay for their domain names. In France we have a saying: "pas vu pas pris".

The letter:
The undersigned global businesses and their customers depend upon the continuing security, stability and resiliency of the Internet, and thus have significant interests in domain name industry issues and outcomes. We are amongst the leaders in working to protect the interests of customers and those of the broader Internet from domain name system (DNS) abuse, in various ways. As long standing participants in ICANN- and industry-related conversations and policymaking, we are contacting you with our concerns about serious harm occurring to Internet users, and a request for action that we believe would serve the interests of the broader community.

Under your direction, ICANN’s Compliance team has broadened the various forms of feedback it seeks from the broader community. This is much appreciated. Accordingly, we write with concerns that you and your department are in a position to help resolve.

We commend ICANN for orienting its policymaking function towards a more data- and fact-based approach. This orientation of course depends on the availability of data and reports that provide an accurate view of the DNS and the impact of DNS abuse on stakeholders. While there is more data that needs to be collected and analyzed, it’s gratifying to see that ICANN Org is now in a better position to use and publish more widely available and reliable data to better evaluate DNS harm to users and more effectively exercise its responsibilities to help remedy ongoing harms.

Specifically, ICANN and the community now have at their disposal published data--namely, the Statistical Analysis of DNS Abuse in gTLDs (SADAG) report and the ongoing Domain Abuse Activity Reporting (DAAR) System regarding rates of abuse in the DNS. These rates are regrettably showing stark increases and serious concentrations of abuse across legacy and new gTLDs, registries and registrars, and in the proliferation of spam, malware, phishing and other harms. For example, according to the Domain Abuse Activity Reporting (DAAR) System report:
  • The 25 most exploited TLDs account for 95% of the abuse complaints submitted to DAAR.
  • Five TLDs alone are responsible for more than half of abuse complaints.

Additionally, according to the SADAG report:
  • The number of abused phishing domains in legacy gTLDs is mainly driven by the .com gTLD and at the end of 2016 represents 82.5% (15,795 of 19,157) of all abused legacy gTLD domains considered in this study.
  • …the five new gTLDs suffering from the highest concentrations of domain names used in phishing attacks listed on the APWG domain blacklist in the last quarter of 2016 collectively owned 58.7% of all blacklisted domains in all new gTLDs.
  • …we observe as many as 182 and 111 abused .work and .xyz domains, respectively. The results indicate that the majority of .work domains were registered by the same person. 150 domains were registered on the same day using the same registrant information, the same registrar, and the domain names were composed of similar strings. Note that only 150 abused domains, blacklisted in the third quarter of 2015, influenced the security reputation of all new gTLDs.
  • ...the overwhelming majority of malware domains, which were categorized as compromised, belong to one of four new gTLDs: .win, .loan, .top, and .link (77.1%, which represents 19,261 out of 24,987 domains).
You’ll agree these are troublesome statistics, and are antithetical to a secure and stable DNS administered by ICANN. We are alarmed at the levels of DNS abuse among a few contracted parties, and would appreciate further information about how ICANN Compliance is using available data to proactively address the abusive activity amongst this subset of contracted parties in order to improve the situation before it further deteriorates. Also, can ICANN provide any details as to whether the higher rates of abuse (as documented above by parties that appear not to be the subject of enforcement notices) correlates to specific breaches of the RA and RAA by the relevant contracted parties? Are there specific hurdles that Compliance perceives that inhibit enforcement activity against such contracted parties? Has ICANN prioritized its attention to compliance matters relating to such parties and does it have sufficient resources to handle them before they reach a new stage of criticality?

Specifically, is Compliance more assertively applying Specification 11(3)(b) of the Registry Agreement, compelling offending registry operators to disclose actions taken against security threats? How is ICANN’s Consumer Safeguards effort playing a stronger role in determining new areas for compliance action?

Not only do we look forward to hearing the details of ICANN Org’s comprehensive actions in this area, we seek, as an immediate and urgent matter, compliance action on the worst offenders in current ICANN reports.

We also would like to know additional ways in which the undersigned parties could support ICANN in this broad endeavor. If helpful to develop steps forward, we welcome an in-person meeting with you, other relevant ICANN Org executives, and your staff.

Over the long term, we suggest development of a data-driven roadmap for compliance based on key information and statistics. We encourage Compliance to consult with the wider community to help shape this data-driven roadmap, and we look forward to offering our further input. Thank you for your attention to this letter.

Read the full letter here. (PDF Download)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

UPDATED: New gTLDs in your kids' future

Many people remember the .NAME new gTLD which qualified for a first name or a surname. I bought one at the time: “just in case” because the similar one ending in”.com” was not available and I thought that I‘d found a use for it (different from a redirection).

I checked my name in several new gTLD extensions and noticed that many first names have already been registered.

When thinking about my kids’ future: isn’t it time to secure a good domain name for them?

Available but Premium
I bought my three kids their first name in a specific domain name extension but I will be honest in saying that the extension chosen was not exactly the one I wanted. The reason for this was that a domain name could be expensive to renew, year after year. I don’t know when (and if) my kids will want to use them one day so…price is important. Also, a first name has value: a lot of value because many people have the same name. When looking for common first names, you will notice that there are many that are available as “Premium domains” and so on, at a higher price, for the reason I explained above.

Cheap but in niche TLDs
My name is “Jean” and this word has other meanings, it is also a short four letters word so it makes it even more complicated to find an available domain name in most extensions, even in new domain name extensions but niche ones. Shall I register for €9,000 because it is a generic TLD? Clearly not. I went to my Registrar and I found some first names available for registration for €3,19 but in niche extensions that my kids will never use.

For example, the “.bargains”, “.cash”, “.mba”, “.reisen” extensions and many others are extremely cheap to register and renewing the domain name is not so expensive but what is the point in registering my kids their first name in one of these extensions if they never use them?

Your kids and the future
I don’t know whether my kids will need a domain name in the future and, even is some ultra generic keywords will still be available in not so niche new gTLDs that could match with a business they might be interested in developing; I do not know either if their chosen business will match the generic domain name I chose for them. Hunting for their first name as a domain name is a good start I believe.

From my searches - and I wanted to register my kids their domain name in the same extension - I realized that I am not the only person to be looking for first names in new gTLDs. I also realized that, when searching, there are still extremely good domain names to register for your kid(s). The one I chose for mine are in the “.business” new gTLD.

I often hear that people often use more applications than they do for websites; the future is in apps. Let’s say that this is a fact but when starting a business, you often need a name and this can be the application’s name: why not start with your family’s name or the first name of your kid as a domain name? The risk is low and purely financial (a few Euros) but the value could be extremely high in a few years...for your kids.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The .APP (and .DEV) new gTLD was announced

The highly awaited .APP new gTLD is coming. As a reminder, this Top-Level Domain was won in an ICANN auction by Google for $25,000,000 in 2015:
  1. Sunrise Period: 29 March 2018 to 30 April 2018;
  2. Trademark Claims Period: 01 May 2018;
  3. Qualified Launch Program: 27 Feb 2018 to 30 Apr 2018.
Learn more here.

The .DEV new gTLD is probably coming too but I could not find the official information but some details but in the recent consolidated .APP & .DEV policies.

Reminder: the .APP new gTLD is not just a simple domain name extension. You won't be able to do whatever you want with these domain names: surprise coming.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Some new gTLD registries could develop...

...but why isn't it so and can this be changed?

We are referring to non .BRAND specification 13 TLDs here, but to new gTLDs dedicated to selling domain names through the network of accredited registrars.
New gTLDs for niche markets
The idea here is not to mention them but if some niche TLDs have certainly been a good idea in some applicants' mind, the market targeted might not have been the good one: too small maybe. Also, were enough people invited in the same room to wonder about the potential market prior to take the decision to invest or was this the choice of a single person ot two? And buy the way...were potential technical service providers invited to the meetings to push for a decision? I hope not.

I personally thought that he 1.5 to 3% population rule to decide about a new gTLD market was a good one but it appears that it was not and most domain name registration volumes have proved this today.

Niche markets have a strong potential but counting on the network of accredited registrars is not the ultimate solution to sell domain names: existing registration volumes are proving this right now. If Premium domains help generate a small income, they don't help to deploy massively: in the case of niche TLDs, it is the diaspora targeted who can help.

Some TLDs cost too much to maintain
Whether or not they sell domain names, registries already have to pay a minimum of $25,000 a year to the ICANN, "plus the rest". I saw an invoice to be paid recently at a back-end registry with a line entitled "minimum annual commitment" with a $40,000 to be paid. I found that expensive for an annual commitment... I read again and it appears that the amount was a monthly one so multiply this by 12 and you get a $480,000 a year more on your global project.

In this case, whether you sell domain names or not, you already know that it will cost you $500,000+ a year for one TLD: "plus the rest".

Many registries are "stuck"
How do you expect to develop a niche new domain name extension when your costs are so high? I want to know about the magic formula because in this case, I don't see this as possible, especially when 1,038 registries on a list of 1,226 have less than 10,000 domain names registered (apologies for including .BRAND new gTLDs in these numbers but I am lazy).

I can understand that a company wants to pay the price to acquire a monopolistic position but I don't understand that a company starts a registry project with a monthly fee of $40,000 for nothing. There is a much better negotiation to have with a backend registry today. And of course...I am not even talking about the leaving fees which are just...ridiculous. A registry should not sign a contract with a backend registry if it blocks the entire project to develop.

The solution(s)
I shared with a friendly backend registry recently and he told me: "Jean: there is no magic solution to develop domain names", and I wondered: "Wow, he is a backend registry and he has absolutely no imagination". There are solutions:
  • There is one that I have seen working, it is similar to parking domains and combining the automation of SEO on a large amount of newly created domains. Added to this, bla, bla, bla and bla, bla, bla. You will have to call me for more ;-)
  • But there is another one that can match (not for all registries) if both the registry and the backend registry have found the right agreement to lower the price at the minimum at the backend, agreeing on a certain volume of domain names to be installed and paid. Same here, you will have to call me for more.
  • There is another one which requires that your application can be changed and that your TLD is not yet launched, but if you have no imagination, you should certainly not read about it.
I will leave all this here and you can contact me at Jovenet Consulting for more. For the note, I receive more and more requests from companies which don't have a website and people who don't exist neither on LinkedIn nor on Google so, I am happy to answer all emails but you know...we also had Internet in France 20 years ago :-)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Redirections for .BRAND new gTLDs are risky

Do you go through the long and expensive process to apply for a new gTLD redirections? Well, it's up to you but I've personally changed my mind on this.

What are we talking about?
Many explain that operating a .BRAND domain name extension "also" allows to do redirections from a ".brand" personalized domains to old website's URLs. The idea is to create your own www.whatever.YOU domain names and use them to create qualitative/generic second level domains such as www.service.YOU - www.corporate.YOU - www.products.YOU - www.brands.YOU - etc... and redirect them to existing/legacy domain names such as Examples:
  • will redirect to
  • will redirect to
  • will redirect to
  • etc...
An expensive trick
Using a .BRAND new gTLD to do redirections is an awfully expensive trick. I am reconsidering the use of redirections since I find that it is an absolutely nonsense to be charged $25,000 per year by the ICANN to use a tool which consists in doing things that will not even appear on Internet: a .BRAND new gTLD is a tool used for branding, trust and security: is this the message sent to customers when doing redirections? And when referring to the $25,000 per year, I only refer to the ICANN fee : there are other costs.

Challenging for a company
Many existing applicants don't use their .BRAND extension because they wanted to secure an asset: they spent $180,000.00 to ensure that no third party would do the same, but that's not the only reason. Another reason is that - for existing brands - it requires to change many technical website and online database configurations, logos and things like all the printing that come with changing your name for your employees: printed ads, visit cards, online signatures, emails, etc...

Just imagine what it means to "upgrade" all emails with a new ending from a 1,000 employees company when it's been using emails ending in ".com" for the past twenty years: that can be a time consuming project. Imagine the complexity for technical departments which have the responsibility to ensure that all emails sent are received: this taking into account that some servers are still not set-up to receive emails using a new domain name extension. Imagine the same for a 10,000 employees company. And imagine a company like Airbus SAS, which has acquired the .AIRBUS new gTLD and its 130,000 employees: of course, all don't use an email but this gives you an idea about what their technical department has to face.

Google does index redirections but...
And that is a good point but the more I see such redirections indexed, the more I feel that Google sends its users to a wrong content: the purpose of an URL indexed in a search engine is to be able to click on it, knowing that it will take you to where it says it is going to take you, not to another place.
Beside...what if Google decides to change this, and suddenly blocks such uses? Start over? I don't like it to be redirected as a consumer anyway.

SEO experts
Any good SEO expert knows that "new" domain names are indexed the exact same way a ".com" is so...does it make any sense to spend/waste time working on a trick with the risk that all the work done goes to the trash if a penguin suddenly decides to swim right instead of left? Does a .BRAND new gTLD applicant want to pay an expert to suddenly be explained that all the work paid and done for was a waste?
Come on: redirections are a good teasing in favor of .BRANDs (since very few have ideas on how to use them) but the risk remains very high to work for nothing (and crap) when the same time could be spent on working on the real .BRAND domain names and guarantee that time spent on SEO is not wasted.
Of course this means that a company understands the benefit to start deploying and maintaining several websites instead of one and that's where...time is worth spending.

Redirections: are you sure?
I recently used a commercial tool to offer redirections and I tested possible errors: for example,what happens when hitting a redirection with an error? Some countries like France have services to track bad behaviours and unfortunately I once happen to see the screen below to appear.

Some of these services are popular and pretty much used worldwide. The problem is that they are also used by bad users and for bad behaviours to trick end users (when for example you are taken to survey or an ad). Unfortunately here, added to the fact that you send a very negative message to your reader, it also means that it is your .BRAND extension which becomes listed by law enforcement services. The service I tested offered to pay "more" for such errors not to happen.

The real benefit of redirections
I am not going to make friends writing this but if I agree that using redirections can help to the visibility of a website, it also helps service providers to generate paid domain names. In simple words: the more domain names are created (whatever their use is), the more income it means for the service provider in charge of sending you the invoice. Redirections will always be useful to someone: operators of .BRAND new gTLDs will benefit from them but certainly not only ;-)

Still want to apply for a .BRAND ?
The hell YES! We explain the benefit to apply for a .BRAND new gTLD on the front page of Jovenet Consulting. Start with reading the advantages to operate your own .BRAND and if the idea is to generate an income from a new gTLD: we're happy to help.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Just noticed: the .RUGBY new gTLD

The world of Rugby now has its own identity on Internet: they are domain names ending in ".rugby" instead of ".com".

I just noticed that the registry launched a new version of its website: so I went through the procedure of registering a domain name and it appears's working.

A strange launch phase
For those interested, here is the launch phase which explains WHAT, WHEN and HOW MUCH. I found - yet - no list of accredited registrars to .RUGBY domain names but I am confident that it is coming.

I first thought that .RUGBY was a closed TLD but it appears that it is open to all (...)

There is an interesting phase called "Limited Registration Periods" which is typically what a client for a registry would want to have for a TLD like .RUGBY and I understand this choice. Unfortunately these phases have proved that they just don't work in terms of registrations: no one buys domains when it is so restricted and complicated. This phase started in January 2018 already and there are 3 in total. They end on the 28 of June 2019! As of today, there are 19 domain names registered in total.

General availability
Anyone who will have been afraid by this launch phase will have access to .RUGBY domain names on the first on July 2019: in one year and 5 months. At this moment, there will sure be a huge list of accredited registrars since there's no better branding for any business connected to Rugby.

The problem that I foresee? The $100.00 price tag in general availability: it is the cheapest one advertised on the website and regular users...don't buy at this price.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

It's over for .CORP - .HOME and .MAIL

The ICANN finally took a decision in regard to three new gTLD applications. The 3 TLDs concerned are:
  1. The .CORP new gTLD
  2. .HOME
  3. .MAIL

Below is a copy paste of things to remind from this decision and the last paragraph is my fast opinion on all this:

The Board directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), that the applications for .CORP, .HOME, and .MAIL should not proceed and, to account for the unforeseen impact to application processing, the Board directs the President and CEO to, upon withdrawal of the remaining applications for .CORP, .HOME, and .MAIL, provide the applicants a full refund of the New gTLD Program application fee of $185,000.

Why is the Board addressing the issue now?
Previously, the Board has considered the applications for .CORP, .HOME and .MAIL and determined to defer delegation of these names indefinitely because of name collisions. 

What are the options being considered?
What factors did the Board find significant?
Contemplating that the Board does not intend to delegate the .CORP, HOME and .MAIL strings before the end of the 2012 round of the New gTLD Program, the options presented to the Board took into account two key questions:
  1. What type of refund should be provided to the applicants?
  2. Should the applicants receive priority over other applications for these strings in any subsequent round of the New gTLD Program?
As such, the Board has determined it would be appropriate in this case to account for the unforeseen impact to application processing and to provide the remaining applications for .CORP, .HOME, and .MAIL a full refund of the New gTLD Program application fee of $185,000, upon withdrawal of the application by the applicant.

What significant materials did the Board review?
For the full list, check on the link below.

Are there fiscal impacts or ramifications on ICANN?
The Board considered the impact of providing a standard versus a full refund. The total estimated cost of providing all remaining 20 applicants the standard refund is $1,300,000, whereas the cost associated with a full refund is $3,700,000.

Are there positive or negative community impacts?
Taking this action will help support ICANN's mission and is the public interest to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems.

Jean Guillon's opinion on this
We certainly do not need more similar new gTLDs such as .MAIL and .EMAIL or .HOME and .HOMES : trademarks already have enough problems to fight cybersquatting and new gTLDs with hundreds more extensions have not helped so extracting more similarities is a very good thing.

Click here to read the full story.

Friday, February 2, 2018

January 2018: new gTLD reports are up-to-date

New gTLD reports are now available in English and in French: they are updated once a month when the month ends, these reports deal with domain name registration volumes according to various groups and industries:
  1. CATERING RESTORATION (.restaurant - .kitchen - .bar - etc...);
  2. PHOTOGRAPHY (.photo - .film - .gallery - etc...);
  3. CITIES : these are city names only (.paris - .london - .tokyo - etc...);
  4. COMPANIES : new domain name extensions that we believe a company should keep its eyes on;
  5. The LAW and LEGAL matters (.legal - .attorney - .lawyer - etc...);
  6. FINANCE (.credit - .capital - .finance - etc...);
  7. COLORS (.orange - .pink - .green - etc...);
  8. SPORTS (.hockey - .basketball - .ski - etc...);
  9. ALCOHOL (.beer - .wine - .vodka - etc...);
  10. REAL ESTATE (.realestate - .realtor - .villas - etc...);
  11. Singular VS Plural versions of a new gTLD : these are domain name extensions which exist in their singular and plural version (ie: .gift and .gifts);
  12. FRENCH new gTLD applicants : these are applications submitted by French companies only;
  13. RELIGIONS (.catholic - .bible - .church - etc...);
  14. CARS (.taxi - .auto - .car - etc...);
  15. HEALTH (.health - .doctor - .hospital - etc...);
  16. ADULTS (no comment) and;
  17. Multiple Registries : group of Registries operating five (5) and more domain name extensions.
We got rid of two reports: "French connotations" which took me too long to update and the one related to generic TLDs which was added to the COMPANIES one.

Our reports are available in French too.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New gTLDs and Health in 2017

This is a sum-up of 2017 focusing on new domain name registration volumes related to Health related new domain name extension. I listed 30 of them:
  • 19 are generic domain name extensions. I included in these applications, the one are restricted and the one that say they are restricted :-)
  • 10 are Trademarks (specification 13 of the applicant guidebook);
  • The .MEDICAL new gTLD was withdrawn.

10 .BRAND new gTLDs
Some Trademarks started to register domain names in the end of the year: .LUNDBECK - .LUPIN - .HISAMITSU and .TEVA created between 9 to 30 personalized domain names. The rest of these applications mostly stick to one single domain name registration but .LILLY which had three in December.

Deep blue
One extension has been highly successful and never lost registrations from one month to the other: the .CARE Top-Level Domains gained 4,000 new registrations in one year to end with more than 17,000 registrations. Same for the .DOCTOR TLD which sticked to the blue during the year. It started from 2,118 registrations and ended to 3,751. The .HEALTH extension has been doing good as well as .HOSPITAL and the restricted .PHARMACY : all kept receiving registrations from January to December.

What about the red?
Health related volumes of domain names are increasing globally and it looks like registants are renewing them but within 3 extensions: .DIET - .SURGERY and .HIV. I believe it will take time for private surgeons to realize that there is an online identity created "just for them" but I think that .DIET should be adopted much faster.

The .RIP new gTLD
I have been asked several times why .RIP ("Rest In Peace" or "Requiescat In Pace") was added to this report and I still have no answer to that question. I wanted to keep an eye on this string because it is the only one that gives websites a perfect identity for a content dedicated to someone who passed away. I wonder when businesses related to the death take advantage of this (online cemeteries, French pompes funèbres...) because these are lucrative and the web is full of messages dedicated to people who passed away. The .RIP new gTLD can give them a strong identity...up to 10 years in packaged offers.

Check the full report here (the report is now available in French too).

Monday, January 29, 2018

Generic new gTLDs (to replace ".com")

From company names to trademarks and online boutiques to pornography, I like to call the ".com" domain name extension a generic one because it used for everything. If new gTLDs offer the advantage to differ from ".com" by bringing precision right in the domain name extension; some, by trying to compete with ".com", are offering another advantage: AVAILABILITY. Remaining generic new gTLDs, they also offer the possibility to remain global.
In simple words: you can buy a new domain name from the latest ICANN new gTLD program with an extension that has the exact same meaning as a".com".

9 generic TLDs
I listed nine generic domain name extensions which, I believe, have the same use as a ".com":
  1. The .GLOBAL new gTLD;
  2. .SITE
  4. .WORLD
  5. .ONLINE
  7. .CONTACT (not "really" launched yet)
  8. .HOME (not launched yet)
  9. .WEB (not launched yet)
Are these TLDs successful?
When comparing with ".com" domain name registration volumes, the .ONLINE new gTLD had 782,790 registrations in December 2017 when .COM had 128.548.420 so we have a 128 million registrations difference between .COM and its closest competitor (...)
Does it mean that generic TLDs are not a success? Certainly not since .ONLINE gained 215,000 new registrations in one year. This is noticeable.

In the blue
On these 9 domain name extensions, two remain to be launched, the .CONTACT new gTLD has sticked to one single registration during the entire year (my feeling is that the applicant...well...who cares if he is about to sell his TLD to Afilias) and one has lost a little less than 50,000 registrations.

The TLDs after gained registration from January to December: .ONLINE - .WEBSITE - .WORLD - .GLOBAL and .INTERNATIONAL. When .CONTACT launches, I am confident that it is a success too.

We don't need more
While I find this positive to be able to register a domain name using a generic extension, I also fear that it could become a risk. The .SITE new gTLD lost a lot of registrations between January and December 2017: could the existence of the similar .WEBSITE extension be a reason for this? Note that the registry's method to install its domains on the market could also be a reason why a TLD loses registrations: the fact that many registries have tried the same methods to give names away (or at very low prices) could start to show signs that the method was not such a good one.

Also, the presence of so many similar generic TLDs on the market could also push to registering domain names in niche extensions which have no close competitor and which offer precision. We clearly don't need more generic extensions.

Check the full report here (the report is now available in French too).

Friday, January 26, 2018

New gTLDs and cars: successful in 2017?

There are a lot of domain name extension related to cars in the automotive industry, even tire manufacturers applied for their .BRAND new gTLD. An interesting fact is that a lot of car manufacturers applied for their personalized domain name extension and almost all car trademarks were represented in the first round of the ICANN new gTLD program. In this list of 64 applications, one IDN was submitted for Volkswagen (China).

In the Red
In the "red" means that a domain name extension lost registrations between January to December 2017 (when the opposite should have happened). Are concerned the .LIMO - .AUTO - .CAR and the .CARS new gTLDs. 7 applications were withdrawn and one remains "On-hold".

"On-hold" is a problem
The .RAM new gTLD (Chrysler Group, LLC) has remained on hold because of a GAC Early Warning dated 2012. Since then...very few know if this is about to change one day. There was a change to the application in 2015 but it seems that things take time. The problem about these applications is that they are supposed to be "fixed" prior the launching of the next round to submit more new gTLD applications. At least, it is what the new gTLD applicant guidebook says.

In the Blue
The highest number of domains registered in this industry is for the .PARTS new gTLD with 5,574 registrations (note that this TLD will be removed in 2017 since "parts" is not exclusive to the automotive industry), then comes .TAXI with 5,573 (December 2017). Surprisingly, the .TIRES extension had 844 names registered in December which is almost 200 more than what it had in the beginning of the year. I am impressed.

A lot of .BRAND new gTLDs
They are represented with a "®" sign and I found 53 of them. 19 trademarks had one single domain name registered but it certainly does not mean that a trademark like the .FERRARI new gTLD is less innovative than .LAMBORGHINI which had 16 domains registered in December 2017 ;-)

Considering the volume of domain name registered, many car manufacturers really seem to have found a use of their .BRAND Top-Level domain:
  • AUDI has 636 ".audi" registrations in December 2017
  • SEAT had 436
  • MINI had 37
  • BMW had 33
  • LAND ROVER and JAGUAR had 29
  • VOLVO had 26
  • BENTLEY had 25
  • SUZUKI had 8
  • ...
Some trademarks like Porsche, Peugeot, Renault are missing and when thinking about the hundreds of car brands, I am confident that this should give ideas to new gTLD service providers...for the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program.

Check the full report here (the report is now available in French too).

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Religious new gTLDs: blue or red?

There are a certain number of domain name extensions related to religions: most are catholic and almost all of them have received more domain name registrations in December 2017 than what they had in January 2017, this is a good point.

20 new gTLDs
On the list of 20 religious new gTLDs:
  • The .FAITH has more than 50,000 registrations;
  • The .WEDDING and .CHURCH new gTLDs have more than 10,000 domain names registered;
  • The .BIBLE and .CHRISTMAS have more than 1,000 domains registered;
  • 3 of them are IDNs with one domain name registered;
  • 2 are .BRAND new gTLDs representing a religious organization: .CBN and .LDS
Only 8 TLDs "launched" with more than 5 domains registered on a total of 20 and 8 of them sticked to one single domain name registration during the entire year (12 months). My brilliant analysis is that these registries still have absolutely no idea of what to do with their costly domain name extension. This is something that I don't understand: can the only reason be that the Vatican fears that a third party would have submitted an application for the .MORMON new gTLD ? Come on...

Blue or red?
Only two of these extensions lost registrations from January to December: the .CHRISTMAS Top-Level Domain lost 940 domain name registrations and .WED ... seems now like an example of a failed TLD: it only had 108 domains registered in January and 37 in December (we already wrote about this).

The .FAITH Top-Level Domain ended the year with 4,000 more domains registered: 51,400 in total and .CHURCH had almost 5,000 more by the end of the year.

Will they ever launch?
The .UMMAH application was withdrawn but two applications remain in "On -hold", which means that no one can tell if they will ever see the day. The two religious TLDs concerned are .HALAL and .ISLAM

I want to keep an eye on the .ISMAILI Top-Level Domain which gained 4 more domains in December 2017. The .CBN gained one more in december too.

Check the full report here (the report is now available in French too).

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

French new gTLDs in 2017

French companies have submitted 49 new gTLD applications to the ICANN:
  • 33 have been delegated and are active;
  • 15 have been withdrawn;
  • 1 has not been processed.
From that list, 34 are Trademarks but some have been withdrawn. Note that the .OVH new gTLD for example is a trademark too but its domain names can be purchased so it is not listed as a trademark.
Four extensions represent French regions: .CORSICA - .ALSACE - .AQUITAINE (the application was then withdrawn since the region changed its name after the ICANN submission process) and .BZH (for Brittany).
The .PARIS new gTLD is the only city extension from a list of 39 city new gTLD applications (note that .BCN and .BARCELONA city TLDs are counted as one city and not two).
There was just one IDN new gTLD submitted, the .欧莱雅 IDN but it was withdrawn (It means .LOREAL in Chinese). Note that the .LOREAL new gTLD was withdraw too and this came as a huge surprise from our industry.

Different meanings
If the volume of domain names registered - AND PAID - is very important for a registry who sells its domain names through the network of accredited registrars, its signification has a different meaning for a .BRAND new gTLD (specification 13 from the ICANN new gTLD program). For .BRANDs, it means that trademarks have inserted the "new gTLD tool" into their branding, and maybe, long term marketing strategy: the .BNPPARIBAS new gTLD is a good example of this.

Blue or red?
Some registries have been successful installing their domain names:
  • In regard to .BRAND domain name extensions, it should be noticed that .MMA had 1,700 of its domain names installed by december 2017: this is "huge" for a Trademark. Then .BNPPARIBAS - .LECLERC and .WEBER had between 100 and 200 names created. Surprisingly, most French .BRAND new gTLDs start to use their domain names: four trademarks only had less than two domain names created.
  • In regard to extensions dedicated to selling domain names through accredited registrars, we can say that they are few but the .OVH new gTLD (a retail registrar itself) had less domains created by December 2017 than in January 2017: this represents more than 50,000 domains still. the .PARIS extension lost 2,000 form January 2017 to December 2017. Interesting: the .BZH and .CORSICA new gTLDs are growing very slow...but they grow.
A lot of interest in the next round
Following my discussions with various trademarks and French law firms, it appears that there could be interest for 200 French applications in the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program. There could be similar figures in other countries. Let's just hope that the ICANN won't limit the number of applications.

Check the full report here (the report is now available in French too).

The .ABUDHABI Sunrise Period

Two sunrise Periods were just launched for the ASCII and IDN versions of the ABU DHABI new generic Top-Level Domain (the city new gTLD).

The strings concerned are:
  1. The .ABUDHABI new gTLD;
  2. The .ابوظبي (abu dhabi) new gTLD.
  • START: Sunday, 21 January, 2018 - 16:45;
  • END: Thursday, 22 March, 2018 - 16:45.
Check the Trademark Clearinghouse calendar to learn more.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A web crawler for new gTLDs

ICANN IT has released a UA (Universal Acceptance) Web Crawler that’s been published on GitHub. The website explains that it is "a tool to find the UAC compliance factor of any website". In more simple words: a tool to help you ensure that your domain names and email addresses can be used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices and systems.

What does the crawler do?
I first thought that ICANN had created its own browser but found out that it had nothing to do with this so since I am not geek enough (sorry Don) to try the tool myself, I pasted this from the official website so you can feel free to give it a try yourself:
The UAC Crawler will enable companies and website owners to find out the complexity involved in making their web assets Universal Acceptance Compliant. The idea behind the UAC Crawler portal is that it will give a complexity score which will help nontechnical user base to get started with the UAC journey. The UAC Crawler will crawl the website and generate a list of all internal links - Each use of a link might need to be checked that it can handle UA. It will then generate a score based on how compliant the website links are. The score will be out of 10 and will be based on the following factors:
  • Domain Unicode URL Compliance - Checks if all links are UA compliant. It checks for the HTML encoding of the page to verify if it is UTF compliant;
  • Unicode Email Address Compliance - Checks if all email addresses are UA Compliant;
  • Inactive URL Compliance - The tool also checks for inactive or dead links.
Check the full presentation here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Reserved names : ICANN confirms its list

It will have taken four years for the ICANN to finalize the list of reserved names and put a date on it for its implementation at registrars and registries.

What are we talking about?
The list of reserved names consists in blocking certain domain names from being registered by third parties because they could belong to certain identified organizations:
  1. The Red Cross (;
  2. The International Olympic Committee (;
  3. International Governmental Organizations (IGOs);
  4. International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs).
First of August 2018
The first of august if the deadline when all this must be organized and implemented at registrars and registries. In more simple words, it means that keywords from that list must not be made available for registration anymore in any existing (and coming) domain name extension. An example: you will not be supposed to register a domain name such as www.redcross.whatever - www.nisseki.whatever or www.idea.whatever. Note that this is already the case for most of these strings nut the list has been updated. I suggest to check the complete list because it is a rather long one and there are many words with 3 and 4 characters.

From my understanding, you will receive (or already have received) an email if you use one of these domain names but the ICANN also have plenty of procedures to deal with this. Note that for INGOs, the ICANN suggests to consult an attorney or legal expert for guidance if you have questions.

What do they think about this and this offered to specific organizations and not all trademarks? Well, this has been a question asked by many and I suggest anybody who wants to have that question answered to join the ICANN working groups to try to change this ;-)

You can check the front page for reserved names here and the complete and up-to-date list of reserved names here: it is this that you want to read. For the "bla-bla" and a much longer explanation, it's here.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Singular or Plural: have registrants chosen?

2017 has been an interesting year with a lot of new gTLDs launched and the opportunity for me to have a look at a complete year in terms of domain name registration volume.

One new gTLD report that I update on a monthly basis has gained a lot of traction, it is the one that concerns Singular VS Plural new gTLDs: which, of the two domain name extensions, receives more domain name registrations?

Sticking to one
Some extensions can't yet be compared as they have not really launched yet and stick to one domain name registered. It is the case for .COUPON - .CRUISE - .DEAL - .FAN (5 registrations) - .WATCHES and .MOTO (which does not count since it is a .BRAND).

What to think about these variations?
It is noticeable that many registrations volumes DON't make any sense between the singular and the plural version of an extension and there are reasons for this.
  1. Marketing/selling method: for .ACCOUNTANT and .ACCOUNTANTS, you can clearly see that there's something wrong strange: how can there be such a difference between the two same extensions when one has 94,000 more domain names sold at the end of the year while the other only has 2,500 domains on the market? Selling at ultra low prices is one method used by multiple registry Famous Four Media For .ACCOUNTANT but could this be the only reason?
  2. There is a price difference for .GAMES and .GAME (this is one example): the first one can be bought for less than $10 when the other will cost $160 for one year. That makes quite a difference when having to choose for the right extension.
  3. Some TLDs are losing traction: it is quite possible that some TLDs have been "boosted" after launch (come on...we all know that) but the problem is that it cost to boost a TLD and when names don't meet adoption, even when "given away", it is clear that boosting an extension has to end, and happens bullet 4 below.
  4. No renewal: a domain name which has not found its registrant for a renewal it is just dropped and that is also why some registration curves form the report go in the opposite direction.
Famous Four Media
The .LOAN - .ACCOUNTANT and .REVIEW new gTLDs belong to the same multiple registry Famous Four Media. All three have (very) surprising high registration volumes compared to other TLDs from the list.
This major new gTLD actor often offers promotions to its accredited registrars. In simple words, and added to the ultra low price of its domain names, it means that you should buy today...and for 10 years if you are concerned by their domain name extensions.

Two TLDs caught my attention: the .PROPERTY and .PROPERTIES new gTLDs. If the plural version has an interesting curve, +3,000 registrations in one year, the singular version lost, from January to December 2017, seven thousand domain name registrations. The opposite is supposed to happen.

Clean TLDs
Good point for .MARKET and .MARKETS new gTLDs: the only two extensions from this list which gained registrations from a month to the other.

New methods
What if it became more interesting for a multiple registry to register a domain name for itself and generate more income from that parked domain instead of selling it? There's a method on the market and it appears that "many" multiple registry are testing it right now.

Can we say that registrants (those to register domain names) have made their choice between using the singular or the plural version of a similar domain name extension? Clearly not because 2017 results make no sense and unfortunately, marketing a domain name does not mean that you sell it. Registries are still testing the market with new methods and approaches. "Gain sharing" is one of them but shush, I did not say anything.

On a personal note, I do not understand how multiple registries can find enough time to market so many different domain name extensions: it takes time to market just one so how do you manage to find the time for...dozens? This might also explain why some extensions can't compete with their singular of plural version.

Check the full report here (the report is now available in French too).

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A limit to 1,000 new gTLD applications?

When the first round of the ICANN new gTLD program, who knew that there would be so many applications submitted?


The funny thing is that - and let's be honest - nobody knew that it was possible to submit a new  gTLD application: nobody knew but the very 1,930 few applicants who submitted theirs (which was considered as "a lot" by ICANN insiders).

1,930 applications
When looking at the official numbers, 1,930 applications were submitted and 1,227 have completed the program (which means that they are active). They are extensions dedicated to selling domain names and .BRANDs dedicated to companies with a prior right to operate their personalized domain names.

First thought
My first thought us that 1,930 applications - worldwide - is nothing compared to what it could be in the next application round now many more people know that it is possible to submit an application.

I came out to reading this recent publication from the ICANN with a strange title: "SAC100: SSAC Response to the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process Working Group Request Regarding Root Scaling".

When reading this document, there is a strange line which I find very scary, it says: "whether the limitations on delegations per annum (1000 / year) could be revisited". I think that this was already written in the new gTLD Applicant guidebook somewhere and I am not digging more but my understanding of this is that the next new gTLD application window could be limited to 1,000 applications only.

Just for France, there were 49 applications submitted and the French potential for the next round is of 200 applications. I imagine that it's probably going to be the same in other countries so the total number of applications submitted should be of more - MUCH MUCH MORE - than 1,930 applications submitted.

What if this number was limited to 1,000 applications?
Of course, I am confident that this is never not going to happen but would this happen, here is what I think that it means for potential applicants:

  1. Don't "play" and ensure that your new gTLD service provider knows what he does because sits are going to be very limited;
  2. Make sure that your technical backend registry won't first have to go through a technical validation process by the ICANN because this takes time and many already have "passed the test": working with a newcomer won't necessary put you in first 1,000 seats for your application to be validated by the ICANN.
  3. Don't mess up because it could take a year for you to submit your application again if you fail.
  4. Be worried: when you want to buy an special apartment in Hong-Kong, money is not the problem, the waiting list is.
Let's remain optimistic
The ICANN earns a lot of money with new gTLDs and as far as I know, the web works fine so why would this change?


The .BANK and .INSURANCE new gTLDs are NOT removing eligibility verification

A recent letter was sent from the ICANN, by the Registry Services and Engagement Director, to Craig Schwartz in charge of the .BANK and .INSURANCE new gTLDs.

Removal of Eligibility Verification
The letter is entitled "Removal of Eligibility Verification for gTLD: .bank and .insurance for RSEP ID: [#879030]" but it appears that the content is not exactly about this.

A misleading title
It appears that the title of the letter is misleading and in fact, the two registries are not removing eligibility verification. The registries of these two restrictive TLDs, are considering a change in how verification is performed.

Read the letter here.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Real Estate and new gTLDs: blue or red?

Few Real Estate related domain name extensions are reaching out to the 10,000+ domain name registrations in 2017 but eight of them and three have more than 40,000 domains registered:
  1. the .REALTY new gTLD;
  2. the .REALTOR TLD and (there is a "story" about these registration volumes);
  3. the .AGENCY Top-Level Domain (which we will remove from the listing since an agency is not necessarily a Real Estate agency).

Sticking to the blue
Seven new gTLDs kept receiving registrations from January to December: .HOUSE - .PLACE (will be removed in 2018) - .INSURE (removed in 2018) - .CREDIT (removed in 2018) and .HOMES are part of these.

Sticking to the red
Some TLDs are NOT doing good and by writing this, I mean that they lost registrations from January to December, when the opposite should happen. Note that this does not mean that they are "dead TLDs", it means to me that operators of some of these registries just "stopped the crap" and ceased using fake methods to show that their domains are being adopted. Another reason can be that...registrants are just not renewing for other reasons and some of them could be:
  • Why renew a domain name that I will probably not use when I have discovered that its plural version also exists?
  • Worse: why renew when I have discovered that the plural version of my domain is registered by a third party?
  • Why would I confuse visitors of my website with too many domain name extensions which mean the same?
Explanation: by "plural version" of a domain name, I refer to the exact same second level domain name registered in two different domain name extensions, the singular AND the plural version: AND The explanation for a "same meaning" would be: and


Sticking to the "ultra red"
Some top-Level domains lost more than 50% of their initial registrations from January to December: .CASA - .RENT and .ARCHI

One highly expected domain name extension has been in stand-by for...years. The registry agreement for the .REALESTATE new gTLD was signed in September 2015 but the website of the future operator only says: "it is anticipated that it will launch in the first quarter of 2018". There were four applicants for this extension.

Check the full report here.

Register your Trademark using an agent.