In a world in which the number of Top Level Domains (TLDs) will soon expand exponentially, it's important to remember that dot com is still king.
The third quarter 2012 Domain Name Industry Brief from VeriSign reports that there are now approximately 105 million registered domain names in the .com TLD. In contrast, the .net registry now totals 14.9 million names. All domain names registered in Country Code TLDs (ccTLDs) now come in at approximately 104.9 million. There are currently 280 different ccTLD extensions in use at the top level.
Ranking TLDs by size, .com holds the top spot, followed by .de (Germany), .net, .tk (Tokelau), .uk (United Kingdom), .org, .info, .cn (China), .nl (Netherlands) and .ru (Russian Federation).
Overall, Verisign reports that there were 246 million domains registered across all TLDs in the third quarter of 2012, which is a 12 percent year-over-year increase.
While .com holds down the top spot in terms of total number of domain registrations, the base of ccTLDs is actually growing faster. During the third quarter of 2012, ccTLD registrations grew 18 percent on a year-over-year basis. In contrast, the total base of .com and .net registrations actually declined by 1.1 percent on a year-over-year basis.
Both .com as well as the ccTLDs could soon see more competition from domain buyers as a new set of TLDs is set to flood the market. The so-called Generic TLDs (gTLDs) system approved by ICANN in 2012 will enable as many as 1,900 new TLDs on the Internet.