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Tracking gTLD Marketplace Health

Today, ICANN published the gTLD Marketplace Health Index (Beta), which presents statistics and trends related to generic top-level domains (gTLDs). ICANN intends to publish these statistics biannually to track progress against its goal of supporting the evolution of the domain name marketplace.

The initial set of metrics was divided into three categories:

  • Robust competition – geographic representation of gTLD registrars and gTLD registry operators, trends in competition among gTLD registrars and gTLD registry operators, expansion in second-level domains (legacy gTLDs, new gTLDs, internationalized gTLDs)
  • Marketplace stability – accreditation and disaccreditation of gTLD registrars
  • Trust – gTLD registrar terminations, WHOIS accuracy rates, and UDRP and URS complaints

View the Health Index [PDF, 2.37 MB].

Public Comment Period

The gTLD Marketplace Health Index (Beta) includes gTLD data collected by ICANN. There are many other potential sources of data to consider as ICANN and the community work together to develop additional metrics. To this end, we've opened a public comment period on the health index and a set of proposed discussion topics regarding additional metrics is included in the report. I hope that these materials will spark continued community collaboration on the initiative and shape abstract discussions into a more concrete, implementable set of concepts. The deadline for comment is 6 September 2016.

Comment Now.

Why Create a Marketplace Health Index?

ICANN's Strategic Plan, covering fiscal years 2016–2020, charges the Global Domains Division with supporting the evolution of the domain name marketplace to be robust, stable and trusted. We've been consulting with the community for about one year to determine how best to achieve this goal. These consultations led us to create an initial set of metrics for a domain name marketplace health index. ICANN then enlisted Hemant Bhargava, a professor at the University of California-Davis Graduate School of Management, to review the proposed metrics and overall approach from an academic perspective. Read Dr. Bhargava's report [PDF, 351 KB].

Get Involved!

We need your feedback! The index will be much more valuable if we build upon this beta version with a more comprehensive set of metrics for the gTLD Marketplace Health Index 1.0.

If you're interested in this topic, I encourage you to join the gTLD Marketplace Health Index Advisory Panel, a group of community volunteers convened earlier this year to collaborate with ICANN on the design of the health index. To join, visit and subscribe to the Advisory Panel email list.

Following the close of the public comment period, ICANN will begin holding regular meetings with the gTLD Marketplace Health Index Advisory Panel. Our goal will be to finalize a list of additional, refined metrics during this calendar year so that the required data can be collected, analyzed and ready to publish in the gTLD Marketplace Health Index 1.0 in early 2017.


    Shivam  22:40 UTC on 30 November 2016

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Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."