.KIWI gains 170,000 domain registrations in 2 weeks (Yeah, Right!)

kiwi domains

.KIWI, a new domain extension aimed at the New Zealand market, has experienced tremendous registration growth the past two weeks.

.KIWI has gained 170,000+ domain registrations according to NtldStats and NameStat, websites that track new domains. As of this writing there are 187,225 .KIWI domains registered.  This now puts the .KIWI domain 22nd in terms of domain registration volume on NtldStats.

These are impressive registration numbers for a domain I'm fairly sure few people know about.  I am doubtful many Kiwis, a term for people from New Zealand, even know about .KIWI domains.  This is who .KIWI was introduced for in the first place.

The main domain extension that people use in New Zealand is .NZ and more specifically .CO.NZ domains.  According to the Domain Name Commission, the governing body for .NZ domains, there are 668,000 .NZ domains across the entire .NZ domain space.  A good amount of domains for a country that has only roughly 4.4 million Kiwi residents.

With 170,000 .KIWI domain registrations in two weeks, does this mean that a bunch of Kiwis see the benefits of .KIWI domains? Extremely unlikely, what is more likely….

Domain Zone Stuffing

Okay, let's be honest. You don't get 170,000+ new domain registration magically out of thin air.  While it would be nice to root for the new upstart domain extensions the reality is we have seen this play many times before.  New domain registries claim success by jacking up domain registration numbers and stuffing the zone file.

.XYZ has done this many times and even given free domains.  .XYZ ran a deal with Network Solutions where they gave customers free .XYZ domains that matched the .COM domain in their account. The .XYZ registry also ran a promotion in the summer where they sold .XYZ domains for 1-2 cents.  Currently they have the most domains with 6+ million .XYZ domains registered.

Odd thing though is searching I can't find any registration deals for .KIWI domains that occurred in the past 2 weeks.  Is this a similar move like the .XYZ and Network Solutions deal?

There are only two domain registrars that have the bulk of .KIWI domain registration. They are Tucows, which resells domains through it's OpenSRS platform and runs the domain registrar Hover.  Tucows has 104,297 .KIWI domains under management.

Then there is Web Drive Ltd. which operated as DomainAgent.co.nz a reseller for .NZ domain names.  There isn't much info about the company but they seem to specialize in reselling .NZ domains to registrars.  They are a business to business domain registrar platform.  This makes me wonder if DomainAgent.co.nz and Tucows gave registrars .KIWI domains free to match whatever domain they currently own.  Or did domain reseller partners actually sell these .KIWI domains?

Currently it's really unclear.  Before this domain registration spike the .KIWI domain was stagnate at around 10,000 domains.  So they needed to do something.  I have never seen a .KIWI domain in a search result, but zone stuffing a bunch of domains that people are not using.

Most people wonder,  “Why would you want to have a ton of domains that are nto in use?” Simple, this enables the new domain company to claim success and show-up on the domain registration leadeerboards on sites like NtldStats and NameStat. .KIWI is 22nd on NtldStats board right now and 19 on NameStat for domain registration volume.  Great for recognition and and getting the world out there about you new domain.  It's a simple marketing really.

Like all domain registries, .KIWI has over 1 year to figure it out.  We all know the domain drops don't happen on expiration but take a few months after that.  So they try to get ahead of these drops by re-running deals.  Eventually this will catch-up to new domains though.

What are your thoughts about 170,000 .KIWI domains being registered in two weeks? Can this be legitimate domain registrations or is the .KIWI registry doing a classic new domain play?

Are you a Kiwi? Do you think .KIWI domains will ever be as widely used as .NZ domains ?

Facebook blocks .XYZ domains and new domains from Pages

facebook logo

Facebook apparently doesn't like .XYZ domains very much.  The social networking giant blocks .XYZ domains when users try to add the URLs to Facebook pages.

A Facebook user in the help community asked about adding .XYZ domains to their Facebook page;

hello, i really would like to add my .xyz domain name/site to a facebook page i have created, i noticed it would only allow, .com domains and other general TLD's only it would be great if someone can help me with this.

The response from Samuel on the Facebook Help Team;

Hi Malin,

Currently, it's not possible to add a .xyz website to your Facebook Page.

Ouch! No clear explanation was given why Facebook made this decision.  Likely it us because of the large amount of spam that is distributed on .XYZ domains and other new domain extensions.

Recently NameCheap stopped supporting .XYZ domains and will not allow customers to buy the new domain extension or transfer in .XYZ domains. If you already have an .XYZ domain at NameCheap you can still renew it. I wonder if this is one the complaints NameCheap got from customers? Not being able to add your domain to a  Facebook or other social networks would be a big deal.

On a promoted Reddit post by the .XYZ registry, other .XYZ customers complained about the same issue. The user @idvix said;

Facebook does not accept .xyz domains on their advertising platform… Good to know before you set one up.

There were no issues when @idvix added a .CH domain, the country domain for Switzerland, to Facebook however.

They systematically rejected around 20 variants of an ad pointing to a .xyz url and accepted the exact same campaign with the exact same pages under a .ch domain Never gave a reason even on appeal, but since the only thing that made the campaigns pass was the domain change I googled it and found out people reported the same problem on the facebook helper website

The Reddit user @shakesy also had trouble adding their .XYZ domain to a Facebook page. They recommended people;

DO NOT buy an .xyz domain. I bought one for my portfolio site because I thought it sounded cool. Turns out .xyz is a very sketchy domain used by alot of spam sites. As a resault, I was not able to share my site on facebook or twitter, as their security features automatically blocked it. Had to buy a second domain.

Getting the .XYZ domain approved was a real problem and time consuming ordeal, so they decided to use the ccTLD (country code top level domain) for Canada, .CA.

Spend days trying to get this solved. In the end, it was the xyz that Facebook didn't trust. Soon as I switched to a dot ca, all the problems were gone.

Facebook blanket blocks it because its used by an overwhelming number of untrustworthy sites, which is crappy. But also the domain has earned its bad reputation. End result is the same either way. If you want to share your site on Social Media, xyz is a bad idea. Ive also heard reports of email services blocking emails from xyz addresses.

The .XYZ registry suggested in the thread that the @shakesy use Facebook's debugging tool.  Also to make sure the content for the .XYZ domain meet the Facebook quality and Terms of Service guidelines.  @shakesy response to this;

Did all that. My content met all of Facebook T&S, made sure of that. Went through the debug process many times. None of it helped. Soon as I switched off xyz, the problem was immediately solved. Same content, same hosting, same everything. The only thing causing the problem was the xyz.

The user @weeandykidd complained about adding .XYZ domains on both Facebook and Instagram.

I have a few xyz domains but lord help you if you want to post them anywhere. Instagram blocks them, Facebook captchas and blocks them

Interesting since Facebook owns the photo sharing app Instagram.

So what did we learn? .XYZ domains apparently are going to cause issues when trying to add them to Facebook pages and other social networks.  In addition promoting posts on Reddit can be a major disadvantage for new domain companies. That's because smart writers will write about problems with your new domains users are actually having.  Not some BS marketing that you are trying to push. 🙂

If this is happening with .XYZ domains, is it happening with other new domains? Very likely Facebook is blocking other new domain extensions in addition to .XYZ domains. I bet .TOP domains and other highly spammed extensions are having trouble getting added.

Have you had bad experiences with Facebook and .XYZ domains? Have you had problems adding any new domain to Facebook or another social network?

Want a good .BLOG Domain? Available Blog Domains (in .COM)

blog domain

Now .BLOG domains are in the wild and available for anyone to register, I thought I would do this article on good available Blog domains. Not in the .BLOG domain extension though since WordPress and Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, have gone batsh*t crazy with premium renewals.

Apparently Automattic wants $10,000 (price went up in 1 day) $11,500 per year for Adam.blog.  Have they lost their F#cking minds?

Yes, they have but those are not the only insane premium renewals being pushed by Automattic. Here are some others.

  • Beer.blog – $110,000
  • Marijuana.blog – $11,500
  • Cannabis.blog – $2,600
  • Hemp.blog – $700
  • Hash.blog – $700
  • Baseball.blog – $6,000

And there are plenty more of INSANE .BLOG domain renewals like that. Just to be clear that is not a one time upfront payment. Those listed price are what you need to pay each year.

On top of the complaints about premium pricing, WordPress has angered many potential Customers doing a “Bait and Switch.”  WordPress and Automattic offered many premium .BLOG domains to customers who paid a $250 application fee, then reserved them for company use.

I’ve lost so much respect for Automattic through this whole .BLOG domain launch process.

I used to think Automattic and WordPress was a cool and innovative company. Now it just seems like all the other domain name registries and other corporate tech companies. Sleazy and they don’t care about making customers happy. They only care about squeezing as much money out of .BLOG as possible.

I guess they feel the pressure to make back that $19 million they had to shell out for the .BLOG domain extension. Isn’t it a better to sell more and increase usage rates?

New Domain Reality Check

These insane new domain companies need a reality check.  To combat this insanity I've decided to start to a series that lists available .COM domains that match crazy new domain premiums.  If you can have a .COM and pay $10 per year to renew it, why pay an insane premium renewal?

Here are good available KeywordBlog.com domains that I found while doing some quick searches. The full domain is listed and the premium .BLOG domain pricing after.  All these domains can be bought for $10 at any registrar you desire.  I just prefer NameSilo these days, you can read my NameSilo Review.

It should be noted that all these .COM domains were available at the time of writing this article. These domains could be registered at any time after this posting. If after reading this you decide to register one of these domains, can you please leave a comment and let others know?

Blog First Names

Here are many common, and not so common, first names ****Blog.com domains that are available to register.  There are even more but these are the ones I've just decided to list.

Other available Blog Domains

Huge Indian city with 17 million people. This .COM would be a good registration in my opinion.

Greenville is a city in South Carolina. If you were from Greenville and wanted to start a website about happenings around the city, a nice domain to do it on perhaps.

Thoughts on Available Domain Lists?

There are also LOTS of good Keyword+Blog.COM domain combinations still available for to register. It doesn't take that long to look and find them. You do NOT need to pay a premium to get a good “blog” domain. 🙂

My thoughts are the .BLOG domain extension isn't going to do well.  At least in the long run.  I already explained in this article with Matt Mullenweg talking the about .BLOG domain, the likely process a new blogger using WordPress.com will go through.

  1. Person buys .BLOG domain
  2. They use WordPress.com (free) or WordPress.org (self-hosted)
  3. They write 3-5 blog posts
  4. Try to get traffic, shares, and comments
  5. Not successful with blogging
  6. Go back to using Social Media
  7. Abandon blogging
  8. Domain renewal comes up… they drop the .BLOG domain

Getting traffic and getting good links is MUCH harder then when blogging was new.  It's not getting any easier by using a new domain.

Besides evidence has clearly shown that Millennials don't trust new domains.  In addition over 70% of new domains are parked and that number keeps going up.  The rest are being used for email spam as this IT Manager explained.  There is just no trust for new domains and adoption and understanding by the general public will be long and painful.

What do you think of this “Premium Regs” domain list?  Can you let me know with a comment below? If you like me doing this I'll start doing a regular weekly series highlighting good available .COM domains, where the new domain has a premium renewal. If you have any suggestions for a plugins to help with affiliate links or to make the process easier let me know.  Are there specific keywords you would like to see?

Millennials HATE New Domains More Than Older People

The media always likes to talk about the how millenials are changing the world. Young people always embrace change and the hip thing, right? Not true when it comes to new domains apparently. 

According to the British SEO (search engine optimization) company Varn, millenails HATE new domains more than older people. At least they don't trust new domain names as much as the older generation.  

Varn asked people across the United Kingdom (UK) this question. 

“Do you trust companies with .co.uk and .com domains more than those with other newer domains such as .eu, .biz, .net, .fashion, .london and .digital, etc.?”

It should be noted that .EU has been around for over 10 years. The .BIZ domain has been around for almost 16 years and .NET… well that's been around for as long as .COM.  The big three extensions .COM/.NET/.ORG have all been around for 30 years.  So .EU, BIZ, and .NET are not “new” domain extensions.  However .FASHION, .LONDON, and .DIGITAL have only been available for a limited amount of time.  

Over 70% of people said they do not trust new domains.  This is not surprising considering new domain names distribute spam only. 

What was most interesting about Varn's research was the fact that Millennials and Generation Y trust new domains LESS than older people. Of the 25-34 year-olds surveyed;

  • 77.6% said  “I trust .co.uk and .com domains”.
  • Only 21.3% stated in the survery that they “trust all domains the same”. 

When “Mom and Dad” were asked the same question, 55-64 year olds response;

  • 61% of them trust .com and .co.uk domains more
  • 35% of them answered “I trust all domains the same”

That means the younger generation trusts tried and true .CO.UK domains and .COM domains 16.6% more.  While younger people trust new domains 13.7% less compared to older people. 

Young people trust don't trust these new domains. This makes sense if you think about it. If you are more used to using the web you get used to the standards. In the United Kingdom that is .CO.UK and .COM.  So that is naturally what young people trust. 

This totally explains why I need to help fix viruses and issues on older people's computers more often. They are visiting spam and malware sites that are on new domains getting the computer infected. Now we just need to educate older people to only use good country code top level domains (ccTLDs) such as .UK and .COM, .NET, and .ORG. Young people know intuitively to avoid new domains. 

Marekting, media, and society make us believe those that are Millenials and Generation Yers are supposed to always like the cool, new, and hip thing. Obviously this research and suvery show otherwise when it comes to browsing the internet. Particularly when it comes to new domains.

The claim from new domain registires, companies, and consulting groups is that these new domains are for the “next generation”.  That argument goes out the window if young people don't want to use them. More importantly if they don't trust a new domain space to begin with.

Amazingly older people trust new domains 13.7% more. Will you see new domain companies marketing to 55 – 64 year olds?  I doubt it because that's not a good use of marketing dollars. Why would you target a demographic that has money? 😉

Are you a Millennial or in Genereation Y?  Are you older? What do you think of these findings?

70% of People do NOT trust New Domain Names

new domain trust

70% of people asked do NOT trust new domain names, according to a British SEO (search engine optimization) firm.

The SEO company, Varn, conducted a survey asking 1,000 people across the United Kingdom about new domain names. Here was the question;

Do you trust companies with .co.uk and .com domains more than those with other newer domains like .eu, .biz, .net, .fashion, .london, .digital etc?

Varn found that 70% of people don't trust new domains. The answers were grouped into three categories.

  • I trust .CO.UK and .COM domains more
  • I trust all domains the same
  • I trust .EU, .BIZ & .LONDON etc domains more

What's interesting about Varn's survey is that they were variations with different groups of people.  Varn says that women are more cautious with new domains compared to men.

  • 74% of women trust .COM and .CO.UK domains more
  • 67% of men trust .COM and .CO.UK domains
  • 29% of men trust all domains the same
  • 22% trust all domain extensions similarly

While that's interesting… it isn't the shocker of the new domain survey.

Young People Don't Trust New Domains!

Varn found a higher percentage of young people do NOT have trust in new domains compared to older people.

The response from 25-34 year olds;

  • 77% said, “I trust .CO.UK and .COM domains”
  • 21.3% said they trusted all domains the same. 

55-64 year olds had a much different view;

  • 61%  trust .COM and .CO.UK domains
  • 35%  said “I trust all domains the same”

That means there is 16% less trust among Millennials and Generation Y for new domains.  

The claim from new domain companies and registrars is that, “New domains are for young and next generation.” That is clearly not the case according to Varn's research.
They sum up the survey results with some wise words;

So why do people not trust newer domain names as much? Well security seems to be the main reason. Some internet users associate the new domain names with spam, or fear that the site may not be secure so personal information and payment details may be at risk.

We've already seen spam be a major issue. This IT Manager blocked ALL new domains due to spam.

Since this is a British SEO firm that focuses on search metrics.

What does this mean for your website?

Ultimately we can summarise it as trust= CTR= rank. If users trust older extensions such as .com over the newer ones then websites with new TLDs will have lower click-through rates (CTR), which could then over time mean they perform less well in rankings.

What do you think of these findings on new domains? Does it surprise you that 70% of people in the UK do not trust new domain extensions?

WordPress angers .BLOG customers with BS Changing Rules

blog domain

Automattic, through it's subsidiary company Knock Knock Whois There, is angering many potential .BLOG customers with changing the rules for the new domain extension.

No .BLOG for You!

Apparently many people that applied early to get a .BLOG domain found they were out of luck.  Automattic, the company that runs WordPress, decided to change the rules through the Landrush phase of .BLOG's release.

The issue is that many people applied early and directly with .BLOG and Automattic to get a .BLOG domain name. To be first in line to get the .BLOG domain you really wanted you need to pay a $250 application fee and a $30 a year domain registration fee.

If there were multiple people that applied for the same .BLOG domain, those were supposed to go to auction.  Here is a nice video explanation of how Landrush is supposed to work.

What's .BLOG's Landrush Phase?

However it didn't work like this. Chris Schidle documented his frustration with .BLOG and Automattic in a blog post “The .blog Bait & Switch“.

About Reserved Domains

WordPress and Automattic are clearly getting a lot of complaints on the .BLOG Landrush process.  It made them, of course, write a blog post “About Reserved Domains” about the situation.

They start off by defending themselves;

As we move forward on the road to General Availability, which will start on Monday, Nov 21st at 15.00 UTC, we’d like to take a moment to explain the process behind the decision to activate domains in our Founder’s Program while reserving some others.

Founder Program, or Qualified Launch Phase (QLP)

As a registry, we had the option to activate up to 100 domain names, either for our use or to give to third parties to promote .blog.

We offered some these domains to third parties, and you can see a showcase of these sites on our Founders page. We also decided to offer a list of 25 very generic domains to WordPress.com, so that they could be shared for free among millions of users instead of being owned by single entities.

This essentially means they want to subdomain these .BLOG domains for use on WordPress. For instance I can blog on – adamisreallreallycool.wordpress.com. They want to offer the same option for .BLOG domains. So I could blog using a .BLOG domain such as – AdamHasGreatTastein.Music.Blog – using WordPress Multsite.

Reserved Domains

Reserved domains are domain names that are not registered, and cannot be registered until released. As a registry, we can decide to reserve as many domains as we want.

We reserved all one-, two- and three-character domains from being registered by anyone and will probably release them in the future. In addition, we allowed employees of our parent company, Automattic, many of whom are bloggers and passionate about blogging, to reserve a single domain each, some of which were first names.

In plain English what they meant to say, “F*ck that you paid $250 we don't care, we are playing favorites and reserving what we want.”

Many of Automattic employees are grabbing first names which many people paid $250 for and were the only application. Even if Worpdress/Automattic had no other applications if someone within the company wanted it, you got screwed.

The blog post continues to explain how dealing with new domains means you get F*cked.

Landrush Applications

Many registrars started taking pre-registrations for the Landrush period as early as last August. We do realise that some users were disappointed when they discovered that the domain names they had applied for were in fact attributed as part of the Founder’s program, or reserved, and wouldn’t be possible to register or auction at the end of Landrush.

We want to charge ridiculous premiums for these .BLOG domains. Why would we let someone who got in line early get it for $250 plus $30 dollars?

We would like to apologise to these users, but as the lists of Founder domains and Reserved ones weren’t final until just before Landrush, we couldn’t communicate them to registrars in advance (there is nothing registrars hate more than ever-changing lists of reserved domains).

We don't know what we are doing and F*cked up. Instead of admitting a mistake and letting good people get the domains we want, we are playing games.

In addition, domains were removed as well as added to the lists, and we didn’t want to take the risk for registrars to refuse applications in September for domains that would be released in October.

To mitigate the downside of such uncertainty, we structured our fees in a way that registrars are charged only for successful registrations, giving them the opportunity to refund their clients in full for failed applications.

We are changing the rules for .BLOG at will. This will continue so we can make as much money as possible to recoup the $19 – $20 million ICANN extorted from us for rights to sell .BLOG domains.

Pretty much most people that got in early to get a .BLOG domain found they were completely out of luck. They just wasted time and money with WordPress and .BLOG.

Chris's story is quite popular on Hacker News at the moment.  A user by the name of Charles A Finley (a reference to show Burn Notice) commented;

I had this happen to me as well. I registered a domain directly with get.blog on the day that they first started accepting pre-registrations. I got an email a couple of days ago saying that I would be getting my money back, nothing about an auction. I asked for details because I too was expecting an auction. My response also came from the same guy (“Ran”) who said that it wasn't available when my “application” was processed.

The twist in this case? The domain I applied for is now pointing directly towards WordPress.com. So get.blog, owned by parent company Automattic, took the domain which had been made available for the public, and gave it to WordPress.com. I wonder what ICANN will have to say?



Making potential early customers anger about the process is a recipe for your new domain extension to fail.  I already shared my thoughts on Matt Mullenweg promoting .BLOG.

It seems that Automattic is getting desperate and trying to squeeze as much profit out of .BLOG as possible.

This just shows how new domain companies are changing the rules as they go screwing potential customers.  Automattic and .BLOG are no different peddling complete and utter B*llSh*t!

WordPress and .BLOG are not going to reach that 250,000 domain registration goal they set for 2016.  At this rate they will not even reach 100,000 with only a few weeks left in the year.

.BLOG is going to fail like many new domain extensions. We've already seen that over 70% of new domains are parked and that number keeps growing.  NameCheap stopped supporting .XYZ domains, and NameCheap has over 1 million .XYZ domains under management. That's just insane.

What do you think of these .BLOG and new domain shenanigans? How do they expect to grow domain registrations and usage when they treat potential customers like this?