Domain name registration again in vogue

VeriSign's figures indicate that more people than ever are registering domain names--with .com leading the way.

Domain name buying is back in fashion once again--with registrations reaching levels last seen in 2000.

While domain name carpetbagging became a sport during the dot-com boom, as entrepreneurs snapped up URLs they hoped to sell for thousands of dollars, today's buyers are generally legitimate and simply want a Web address in order to publish a Web site.

More than 4.7 million new registrants joined the list of owners in the first three months of this year--an all-time high, according to VeriSign's latest domain name report.

The number of registrations for the first quarter of this year shows 21 percent growth year over year.

Generic top-level domains like .biz and .name are the poor cousins of the domain name game, with 8 percent of registrations compared with .com's 45 percent.

The number of names actually associated with an active Web site has risen from 55 percent at the last peak in 2000 to 64 percent now--a sign that asset strippers are disappearing in favor of legitimate business buyers.

About two-thirds of all domain names now registered are owned by businesses. And about one in 100 people own a domain name, according to VeriSign's figures.

Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.

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