Standardisation in domain name analysis
By Patrick Myles, CENTR Data Analyst - Over the past year or so, a group of registries and registrars based in Europe have been working to deliver tools, definitions and classifications aimed at helping the domain name industry to better segment and understand the market. The project was originally driven by AFNIC (.fr), DENIC (.de), EURid (.eu), Nominet (.uk) as well as several European registrars and has since attracted others, including CENTR.
The work of the group (called the RRDG – Registry Registrar Data Group) is intended to benefit both registries and registrars alike in providing a set of tools and standards aimed at allowing for a greater level of detail and benchmarking capabilities across the European domain market. As CENTR has become an active participant in the RRDG, we thought we’d give an update of recent work and milestones. Two key outputs from the group in recent months have been standardisation recommendation for registrar business models and industry classifications.
Registrar business models
The RRDG have come up with 7 key business models they consider to be the most common to domain registrar organisations. These categories (listed below with more detail on the RRDG page) could be used by registries to classify registrars by business model, allowing for a better understanding of registration statistics. Once the statistics are grouped by registrar business type, benchmarking both by registry and registrar can be done with greater accuracy and relevance.
A survey from the RRDG is open on CENTRstats allowing registrars to self-classify into one of the business categories. The survey also allows for feedback on the categories and input to how registrars feel their registries should share data.
Registrar business models:
- Domain Investor
- Brand Protection
- Retail and Hosting
- Access Provider
- IT Infrastructure
Example use cases
1. Registrar perspective – measuring registrar registration ratios or proportions against other registrars in the same business model.
2. Registry perspective – measuring the trends across registrar business models.
As more and more organisations working in the domain industry are crawling domains and websites, the volume of data and machine learning possibilities are also increasing. This, combined with registrars hoping to better target their potential audience, led the RRDG to develop a Domain Industry Taxonomy (DIT). The DIT is a 2-tier hierarchy of industry classifications built from the NACE codes (a European industry standard). The DIT allowed for a more customised approach to industries considered as more relevant to the domain name industry. Industry categories are available as a full table on the RRDG page as well as a full data table export with IDs and the matching NACE code.
The DIT categories were developed to enable domains to be attributed industry classifications through methods such as web crawling, machine learning or human eye classifications. Attaching industries to domains can help in comparing the breakdown of domains under management to national body statistics on business numbers. For example, if your crawler assigns 10 domains to the “real estate” category and there are 20 real estate businesses in your market, you could estimate a domain name penetration of 50%. This data will help registrars better understand market potential and more efficiently target their marketing efforts.
Example use case
Once a domain crawler has categorised domains into the DIT categories, national level business statistics can be used to get approximate penetration of domains by industry.
More to come from the RRDG
As part of the work of the RRDG, a closely linked group is also working on techniques in domain crawling and classifications of domains. The group is also currently working on standardised methodologies and definitions in registration statistics and ratios.
About the RRDG
The Registry Registrar Data Group (RRDG) was founded to bring European ccTLD registries and their registrars together to jointly progress the topic of registry data. The RRDG has been working on a number of streams, with a focus on providing European-wide standardisation of data-related topics.
Learn more at https://stats.centr.org/rrdg#about