The number of domain names registered world-wide reached 120 million in the fourth quarter, up 32 percent from a year earlier, according to the latest report on the domain industry by VeriSign, which manages the database of .com and .net addresses.
The boost in registrations is indicative of the healthy Web economy and the recent boom in online advertising and domain resales. Many domain investors continue to point their addresses to so-called parked pages showing lists of pay-per-click ads related to the address. VeriSign says 23 percent of all domains in the .com and .net extensions are parked. It defines a parked page as a one-page site that’s either “under construction” or lists PPC ads.
Country-code domains, such as .cn for China, experienced strong growth, reflecting increased commercial use of the Web world-wide, as well as speculative investments in those domain extensions.
Addresses in the .com and .net extensions account for more than half of all domains.