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domain name

Nearly 200 million domain names worldwide!

domain name extensions

There are now more than 196 million domain names in the world according to a new study released by Internet infrastructure firm VeriSign.

Total domain name registrations VeriSign 2010

During Q2 2010, 3 million additional domain names have been registered. It's a 2% increase compared to Q1 2010 and a 7% increase compared to Q2 2009.

Most popular domain names are ".com" and ".net" which both account for more than 100 million of all TLDs.

China's ccTLD ".cn" is the sixth most popular with almost 8 million registrations due to heavy registration restrictions

Google now lists more results from the same domain

google logo

According to its Webmaster Central Blog, Google made a major update on its search algorithm: the search engine can now list more search results from the same domain within the top 10 Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Previously, Google limited to two the number of search results from the same domain to preserve relevance and diversity of results on a single search result page. 

This method provided the best answers to users for most queries. However, for specific queries, the old algorithm didn't work very well, especially when the user was clearly interested in a particular website. 

Now, Google will list more results from the same domain (even eight out of the first ten results!), so that users can find exactly what they want. There will be still a few results from other websites in order to preserve diversity.

From a SEO point of view, this is good news. If your website is well optimized, it means that you will have more pages displayed within the SERP. However, the feature will concern only specific queries, so the changes are quite minor.

How to Register a .CN or a Chinese Domain Name


About .CN domain names

.CN is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for mainland China. It is currently the sixth most common top-level domain, after .com, .de, .net, .uk and .org with over 7.62 million registrations.

Second-level domain names include generic second-level domains such as, and, and second-level domains of provinces such as, and

About Chinese domain names

Chinese domain names are domain names that contains at least one Chinese character. Domain names with Chinese characters may also be registered at the second level under the .cn TLD.

Latest June, ICANN approved the use of the internationalized TLD .中国 (".china" in Simplified) and .中國 (".china" in Traditional) by CNNIC. These two TLDs were added to the DNS in July 2010.

Moreover, CNNIC also proposes Chinese domain names in .公司 (".com" in Chinese) and .网络 (".net" in Chinese). However, these are not recognized by ICANN and are only available via domestic registrars.

CNNIC manages .CN and Chinese domain names

Founded in 1997, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) is a non-profit organization responsible for administering and managing .cn and Chinese domain names.

CNNIC operates under China's Ministry of Information and Industry (MII), an agency that oversees telecommunications, multimedia, broadcasting and satellite transmissions across China.

How to register a .CN or a Chinese domain name

CNNIC accredited Chinese Domain Name registrars responsible for providing Chinese Domain Name registration services. Based on the principle of "first come, first serve", you may select one of them, and go to their website to proceed with the online registration.

Any business or organization, worldwide, can register a .cn name under a new liberalized policy that no longer restricts .cn registrations to  Chinese. Currently the registration is not yet open to individuals.

When you register a simplified Chinese domain name, you will automatically and freely get a traditional Chinese domain name.
If you want to engage a dispute related to Chinese Domain Name, you shall contact the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Center.

Chinese character domain names approved by ICANN


At its 38th international meeting held in Brussels from 20-25 June, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) agreed that domain names could be entirely written in Chinese characters.

Chinese characters in domain names

The Internet's chief domain name authority approved a proposal to begin offering Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) in Chinese script.

The ICANN authorized therefore the establishment of three organizations to implement the country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) associated with the new IDNs in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan:

- CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center);
- HKIRC (Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited);
- TWNIC (Taiwan Network Information Center).

Website operators in Asia are soon going to be able to create domain names written entirely in Chinese characters, including the final TLD.

This approval is a significant change for Chinese language users worldwide. Let me remind you that one fifth of the world speaks Chinese.

Welcome to 中国 top-level domain

While Chinese websites would previously end their URLs with the suffix '.cn', the approval granted to Network Information Center organisations will allow every character of the URL to be written in the Chinese alphabet.

For example, new websites could have their URLs ending with .中国 and .中國 (.zhongguo or .china) TLDs. As planned previously, the campaign will transition existing websites smoothly by automatically assigning the new domain to websites that currently end with '.cn' in China.

At the same time, Hong Kong will get .香港 (.hongkong) and Taiwan will get both .台灣 and .台湾 (.taiwan).

Will you be able to visit theses Chinese URLs ? Yes, on the condition that your web browser is up-to-date. The ICANN has actually a list of foreign character domain names in alphabets such as Chinese and Cyrillic which will be interpreted as a string of English characters by modern browsers.

More non-Latin domain names to come

When the domain name system was set up TLDs such as .com or .cn were written only with Latin characters. However, ICANN has been making a lot of efforts to support non-Latin IDNs for several months.

Earlier this year, ICANN approved applications for Arabic-script IDNs submitted by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. There are still other pending requests from countries such as Jordan and Thailand to receive their own domains in Arabic and Thai.

Another more controversial top-level domain approved

The ICANN board also voted to allow the application by the adult entertainement sponsor 'ICM Registry LLC' for the controversial .XXX TLD to move forward. Originally submitted and refused a few years ago, ICM's proposal is to keep online adult entertainment to its own specific domain.

Once the negotiations are completed, ICANN will review the final contract to ensure that the registry is in alignment with the recommendations submitted by various governments. According to ICM, it is reasonable to expect the remaining issues to be resolved by the December meeting.

The next ICANN meeting will take place in Cartagena, Colombia, 5-10 December 2010. 

Domain Names Statistics

domain name extensions

There are 192 millions sold domain names in the world. which means 15 millions more than at the end of 2008.
so we will probably reach the 200 millions this year in 2010.

the .com is the king of domain names, with 84 millions, but the contry extensions are increasing faster.

The chinese domain names for example, the famous .cn is increasing by 467% in one year!

The first european one is the german one (.de) with 13 millinos, the french one has 1.6 millions.

The .com has increased by 7% in 2009.

The first domain name ever sold was, the 15 march 1985.

The .net is the forth most sold domain, after the .com, .cn (china), .de (germany).

No More Overseas Registrars for Chinese Domain Names .CN


Every day is full of suprises nowadays in China. Yesterday google threatend to leave china, and today we learned you can only buy chinese domain names (.cn) through a chinese registrar*. the China National Network Information Center CNNIC decided so...

1) Overseas registrars will be kind of angry to have this business taken away without further notice!

2) The ICANN will be angry, because don't forget that the chinese government controls the .CN... because the root database in the states allows them to. the ICANN

3) Most part of registrars within China don't have an english interface of their website... not speaking about an english speaking support service.

No worries, if you baught already your .cn through your overseas registrar before, you still can manage it through that company. It's just that you won't be able to buy new ones...

 thanks to buzz and the city for the info ;o)

* a registrar is a company that has the accreditation to sell you domain names.


National vs International Domain Name Extension and SEO

rankings of websites with national and international domain name extension

We did a few tests about the differences between national and international domain extensions regarding SEO, and the rankings of these websites in national search engines like google china baidu or bing. (check your rankings in google and baidu here)

What is a Domain name Extension?

  • International domain name extensions like : .Com, .Net , .Org or .Pro
  • National domain name extensions like: .de (Germany), .fr (France), .cn (China)

What was the Test ?

We launched several websites, with the same domain name, but with different domain name extensions (some national domain name extensions and some international). We let the search engines crawle them and index them, and then we test their rankings.

It appears clearly that the national domain extensions has a very strong impact on the rankings of websites in the designated country.

Actually, the National Domain Name Extension is more important than :

  •     The language used on the website
  •     The IP location of the hosting


For example, we did the test with the Chinese national domain name extension which is .CN, but the website was hosted in a European country, and the language of the website was English.
Still, the website was ranking better in google.CN (China) than in google.Com (language of the website) or google.DE (the hosting country). Why was it ranking better in google china? Well, the only link between these websites and China was the national domain name extension, and obviously, it’s weight on the rankings was considerable.


National domain name extensions are very very important to your SEO and your Rankings. (but still, you might chose an international domain name extension because of your branding strategy, etc. SEO is something you must consider, but not something that should replace ALL of your former marketing tools)

Our ranking study also showed that the “country” of your backlinks are also very important for your rankings in that country. To make it clear : if you have a website in the USA, but the majority of your backlinks are coming from England, your website is going to rank higher in Google England.
So remember, post the backlinks in the country you target (not only the language you target).

Google is Google, not by Chance:
Google is the smartest. On bing and baidu, we reached directly very high positions because of the domain names we’ve chosen and the domain names extensions, and we shouldn’t have. We had only 2 pages on the websites, a very young age for the domain names, and very few backlinks.  
That’s also no surprise as we have seen in the comparison between google and bing : “weight of keywords in urls on your rankings”
Google seemed to have a more wise approach and more balanced algorithm, which makes the search “safer” and with better quality.