In December 2012 Afnic (.fr-registry) conducted a survey of all registered .fr domain names. This study revealed some surprising results. It showed which words were the most popular by registering .fr domains, which characters appear the most in IDN names and how many characters an average .fr domain contains.

It turned out that the average .fr domain contained 13.1 characters at the end of 2012. In 2007 this was only 11,7 characters. This rise can be explained by the fact that there are less and less .fr domains which are available for registration. So if you wish to register a .fr domain, it will soon be a longer one. Although some holders of .fr names really made an effort, for instance the holder of vente-maison-villa-appartement-terrain-la-salvetat-saint-gilles.fr. Next to this name there are still 29 other .fr names which contain 63 characters, which is also the maximum amount of characters a .fr name can contain.

Regarding IDN names, there are also certain tendencies. 74% of all those names contains the letter ‘é’, the second place is for the letter ‘è’ which only appears in 11% of IDN names. The top 3 is completed by the letter ‘ô’ (4%) closely followed by the letter ‘à’ (3%). The popularity of the letter ‘é’ in IDN names is shown by the following names: féminin-by-sociétégénérale.fr en télésecrétariat-téléphonique.fr.

The study also revealed that hyphens are used more frequently. 27% of all .fr names contains such character. However the name m-e-d-i-c-i-n-e-e-s-t-h-e-t-i-q-u-e.fr beats all competition, containing not less than 17 hyphens. Numbers only appear in 6,8% of .fr names and are most often used to indicate a year.

Finally Afnic also gave an overview of the 10 words which are used the most in .fr domains. The 2 most popular words are ‘france’ and ‘paris’ but there’s a neck on neck race going on between those two words for the first place in the list. ‘france’ appears in 12.300 .fr names, ‘paris’ appears in 12.296 .fr names. Moreover the study also revealed that compared to the previous study, which was conducted in the summer of 2011, there are 43% more domains which contain the word ‘paris’. The popularity and the rise of the word ‘paris’ could be an indication for the possible popularity of the extension .paris for which Afnic filed an application with ICANN. The top 10 is completed by ‘immobilier’ (real estate) ‘hôtel’, ‘location’ (rental), ‘saint’, ‘restaurant’, ‘service’, ‘web’ and ‘auto’.

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