Nov 29, 2022 - by Elisa Cooper

GCD Sixth Annual Corporate Domain Management Survey Highlights

GoDaddy Corporate Domains (GCD) recently conducted its Sixth Annual Corporate Domain Management Survey which was sent to over 500 corporate domain name professionals from diverse verticals including retail, manufacturing, financial services, travel, and media. More than half (56%) of survey respondents hailed from companies which own more than 3,000 domain names. Nearly one-third (29%) came from companies with more than 10,000 domain names.

Many Domain Owners Are Considering a Switch

This year’s survey found that a sizable 40% of respondents would consider leaving their current registrar. This rather substantial sign of itchy feet shows that many companies are less than satisfied with their incumbent providers and are potentially open to pursuing a switch in the future.

Domain Responsibility Varies by Portfolio Size

This year’s survey clearly showed that departmental responsibility for domain name management varied depending on the size of each organization. For large companies with over 10,000 domain names, 40% of respondents said that Legal managed domain names, followed by IT at 33%. In contrast, for smaller organizations with less than 500 domain names, 75% of respondents said domains were managed by IT, followed by Marketing (12.5%) and IT + Marketing (12.5%).

Domain Workload Corresponds with Portfolio Size

When asked how much time they spent on domain name management and related tasks, respondents’ answers varied from less than 1 day per week to 4-5 days per week. Upon further examination, there was a direct correlation between size of domain portfolio and time required to manage it. For example, 100% of companies with fewer than 500 domains reported that domain name management took them less than 1 day per week. On the flip side, 53% of respondents with 10,000+ domain names said they spent 4-5 days per week on domain-related work. The more domains the company has, the more time it takes to manage them.

Managing Domain Portfolios More Difficult for Larger Companies

When asked whether managing corporate domain name portfolios has become more difficult, easier, or stayed the same, the survey answers were all over the map. However, for those managing 10,000+ domains, 53% of respondents said it had either become “much more difficult” (20%) or a little more difficult (33%), evidence of the strain caused by large portfolios.

Uptick in Next TLD Round/dotBrand Interest

The domain industry is still waiting for ICANN to release the next round of gTLDs, and with those will come more opportunities for companies to apply for their own dotBrand TLD. Survey respondents showed a slight uptick in dotBrand TLD interest compared to last year’s survey results. Eight percent of respondents were “very likely” to apply for a dotBrand TLD in the next round compared to 6% from last year, and 14% said they were “likely” to apply for a dotBrand TLD compared to 10% last year.

New Challenges Emerge for Domains

Last year’s survey had illustrated that GDPR impact was the biggest challenge facing domain name professionals, with 45% of respondents naming GDPR their #1 issue. GDPR still led the field of challenges for this year’s survey, but with a lesser 39% response this year. Perhaps this decreased response indicates that companies finally have a better handle on GDPR-related issues. Abusive registrations rocketed to 31% this year compared to its meager 3% response last year, showing massive increase in this concern. Paring Back Bloated Portfolios remained fairly stable at 29%, compared to last year’s 27%. At 21%, “Blockchain Domains”, a new response option this year, came out of the gate strong – it tied score with “Defensive Domain Registration Decisions”. Blockchain is a growing item of concern for many domain professionals and is definitely one to watch for further evolution in the future.

Security Tops Key Goals for Domain Name Portfolios

“Security of Domain Names” was the #1 key goal named by domain name professionals for this year’s survey, capturing 86% of the “extremely important goal” responses. Next, at 45%, was “Defensive Registrations to Protect Brands Online”. “Domain Names Redirecting to Relevant Traffic” was close third at 43%. Rounding out the top 5 key goals were #4 – “Portfolios are Right-sized at 29%, and #5 – “Reduction of Domain Name Expenditures “at 26%.

Key Takeaways from the Sixth Annual Survey

This year’s survey showed a dynamic domain name industry that is grappling with many challenges and decisions. Many domain professionals are reconsidering their registrar options, and a small, growing contingent are considering dotBrand TLDs in the next round of TLDs. GDPR remains the top concern, though high numbers were reported for abusive registrations and blockchain, too. And as always, security remained the most important goal where domains are concerned, with all other goals taking a backseat.

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Elisa Cooper

Bringing with her 20 years of marketing experience, Elisa Cooper joined the company in 2017 to lead the organization’s marketing strategy and execution. A domain name industry veteran, Elisa has worked closely with many Fortune 1000 companies in assisting with domain and brand protection policy development and has spoken and written extensively on these topics.

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