With .uk domains on the market since 10 June, and the upcoming launch of the new .nz extension into the New Zealand market on 30 September, it seemed like an appropriate time to look at .uk registration trends. To date, little quantitative data has been available on the subject.
16,729 domains in Alexa’s list of the top 1,000,000 busiest websites in the world are .co.uk, and eligible for the .uk. All the analysis below is based on this sample of 16,729 domains (see “Methodology” section for more details).
- 1,934 .uk domains have so far been registered out of those 16,729 (11.6% of possible registrations)
- Of these 1,934: 532 were registered on 10 June (first day of .uk availability), 966 during the first week of availability and 1,411 during the first month
- The takeup of .uk appears directly related to the popularity of the website in question. 90% of the Alexa top 1,000 sites have registered their .uk, but only 8.2% of sites with Alexa scores between 800,000 and 1,000,000 have done so
- The takeup of .uk has approximately doubled at all Alexa ranks between 16 June 2014 and 28 September 2014
- After an early flurry of registrations, the pace of new registrations has tailed off to around 20-35 new registrations a week
- On current trends, less than 40% of .co.uk website owners will exercise their right to the matching .uk before the end of the 5 year reservation period.
Change in Takeup of .uk Over Time
The Alexa analysis was conducted twice, once on 16 June 2014 and once on 28 September 2014. The difference in the takeup of .uk is summarised in the graph (blue: 28 September; red: 28 June) and table below.
Pace of .uk Registrations
The graph below shows the number of new .uk domains registered each week (during the week beginning with the date on the horizontal axis)
With the initial wave of registrations out of the way, the continued pace of registrations is very, very slow. 1,411 .uk domains were registered in the first 4 weeks, 281 in the next 4 weeks, 131 in the next 4 weeks and just 111 in the most recent 4 week period.
Looking at this data, it is clear that, at the current pace, less than 40% of .uk domains will end up being registered by eligible .co.uk owners during the 5 year period that the .uk has been reserved for them. That’s without taking into account the downward trend on the graph.
The Alexa 1,000,000 dataset (list of the top 1,000,000 most visited sites in the world, as measured by the Alexa toolbar) was used as the starting point for analysis. That file was processed to extract only those sites using a .co.uk domain, and potentially eligible for the .uk version of their web address. This left a little under 17,000 “candidate” domains.
These domains were run through the Nominet DAC to check their status, and the results broken down by registration status and date for statistical analysis in Excel (the same process was undertaken on two separate occasions, in order to obtain comparative data – up to 16 June 2014 i.e. week 1, and up to 28 September 2014).
(Note that since the Alexa dataset is protected by copyright, and Nominet’s T&C prevent the dissemination of whois output, the processed datasets cannot be made available, but they can be reconstructed by applying the methodology outlined in the previous paragraphs.)