Every month, we provide an overview on this website of the terms that appear most frequently in new domain names. Looking at it month by month, it might at times seem as if there is little movement in that top. But that is not the case... Let us take you for a plunge into the turbulent waters of domain names -- a statistical overview in which surprising peaks, periodic patriots and modest epicureans play the leading roles.
Little seems to have happened in the top five apart from some internal shifts even if we look at the rankings of the past few years. ‘Immo’ (real estate) had been at the top since 2018. Only in 2019 did it have to give up its pole position to ‘horeca’ (hospitality industry). That surprising frontrunner owed its victory exclusively to a one-off peak in May.
The debate about the abolition of flexi-jobs flared up at that time and the hospitality industry seemed to be the main victim. But whether that has anything to do with the peak is not clear from our data.
There is only one term in our rankings that shows a similar sudden one-off spike and that is ... corona.
Note especially how the term 'corona' appears out of nowhere... until the bomb explodes. Finally, the virus erupts. Unfortunately, we do not have to dig deep into our collective memory to find an explanation for this peak in March 2020.
A surprising peak that we cannot explain (for the time being) is that of the locksmiths. The terms 'slotenmakerij’ (locksmithy), 'slotenmakers’ (locksmiths) and 'slotenmaker’ (locksmith) peaked in March and April of last year. And if we look back to previous years, it appears to be more or less an annual habit.
If the registered domain names are an indication of what is going on in society - and we believe they are - people seem to have changed their locks en masse towards the end of winter. Anyone who has an explanation for this may always contact our communications department.
Apart from those surprising peaks, the top five is rusty. ‘Immo’ (Real estate) wins by a wide margin and peaks every year in September. Do we buy more houses after the summer? It is not surprising that we start looking for a new home en masse in September. It is also the period when people change jobs in large numbers. We had holidays, we spent more time at home, we had time to think about a new life, a new house...
Suppose we then find our dream house in October, November. Three months later the deed of sale is signed. In February we move... and there we have an explanation for those new locks!
But we are going off script... back to the stable top five. Together with 'immo’ (real estate), 'box', 'group' and 'bio' appear to be monopolizing the top five. It is much more fun to look at what is happening below.
There, we see for example how 'Antwerpen' turns out to be the most popular city in the country (in domain names at least). 'Gent' and 'Antwerpen' have been following the same line since 2017. If 'Antwerpen' rises, 'Gent' rises with it, but at a slightly lower level. 'Liège' largely follows the same line. So does 'Bruxelles'. However, whereas 'Bruxelles' was still by far the most popular city in the country in 2017, our capital city had to take the thumbs down from Antwerpen in 2018 and since 2019 has also had to Gent move ahead.
And all this while the ‘Stad aan de Schelde’ has been losing popularity every year since 2018, with an absolute low in 2020, only to rise like a phoenix from the ashes in 2021. ‘Belgium' also suffered a popularity dip among domain name holders in 2020. But the patriotic feeling quickly flares up again when we deliver top performances at the Olympic and Paralympic Games or in football.
What never really flares up but never disappears is our epicurean lifestyle. We spot it every month in the most frequently used terms in domain names. Bar', 'club', 'events', 'food', 'restaurant' regularly appear in the monthly top 50. Just like 'pizza', 'pitta' and 'sushi' do. We like to eat and we seem to prefer to do so outdoors.
Apparently, this does not make us feel completely innocent. ‘Fit' always scores quite well and popular terms like 'beauty', 'zen', 'coaching' seem to indicate that we take good care of our bodies and our health. Perhaps that high-scoring 'club' is not a cocktail club at all, but a fitness club. The fact that we ourselves thought the former says more about us than about the domain name holders. Who knows, that 'bar' might even be an energy bar, or the metal bar on which we slide more and more weights in the gym to compensate for our epicurean lifestyle.
Finally, a surprising observation: over the years, domain names seem to get shorter and shorter. Admittedly, we are talking about 0.4 letters in five years, which is comparable to the rate at which the Himalayas grow. But if you extend the line of the graph imaginatively, we will have single-letter domain names within 28 years.
It won't be that fast, but it does go against our intuition. We thought that domain names were becoming longer because the powerful short domain names that are easy to remember have already been registered and are no longer available. On the other hand, it is of course very trendy to omit vowels in words, names and domain names under the influence of young people's language. Just look at vrtnws.be, for example. Remember its predecessor deredactie.be.
For the time being, however, we will stick with dnsbelgium.be. We don't like the look of dnsblgm.be.