Where Have all the (Short) Domain Names Gone?
Shorter domain names are easier to remember and easier to use on mobile computing devices. But the shortest ones are simply not available.
On March 15, 2006, BNA's Electronic Commerce and Law Journal reported that ICANN has frozen the release of new one-letter .com domains "for technical reasons," even though several one-letter domain names have been registered and currently in use. Domain marketplace operator Sedo estimates that the sale of these single-letter, .com domains could bring anywhere from $2 million to $5 million.
Now, a new study by Dennis Forbes reports that all of the two- and three-letter domain names have also been registered. "Of course, that's ignoring the fact that .COM registrars now mandate a 3-character minimum length, so it wouldn't be an option anyways," writes Forbes.
The most popular registered domain name length is actually 11 characters long, tailing off from there. And, on the other end of the curve, there are 253,000+ non-IDN domains that are 32 characters or longer, including 538 that are the maximum 63 characters long. These include such superlative domains as ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.com, WEBWEBWEBWEBWEBWEBWEBWEBWEBWEBWEBWEBWEBWEBWEBWEBWEB
WEBWEBWEBWEB.com, and DIDYOUKNOWTHATYOUCANONLYHAVESIXTY-THREECHARACTERSINADOMAIN-NAME.com.
Unfortunately, first-names are no longer an option either. Of the 1219 male names and 2841 female names listed by the US Census Bureau, every single one is registered.
Nontheless, there may still be time to get a slight variation of the first-name registration for that special someone in your life. "On the love front," says Forbes, "1958 (68.9%) of the 2841 possible 'ILOVE'-prefixed female names (using the census set of names) sit unclaimed, which is surprizing, as only 665 (54.5%) of 1219 'ILOVE'-prefixed male names remain available."