Each year, the research team analyses the way that IDNs are used. This involves tracking the rate of active nameservers, and then looking at how many IDNs resolve to web content (‘active web content’).
For language analysis, our data sample was similar: 2.3 million IDNs, comprising gTLDs and .eu. Of these, approximately 1.8 million were at the second level, and 500 000 at the top level.
The research team was able to download content in 47% of the second level IDNs, and 16% of top level IDNs. Compared with last year, the differential between second and top level IDN rates of active web content has increased.
The analysis shows that the rate of active web content varies between TLDs, across both second and top level IDNs. For example, 66% of IDNs under .eu (second level) have active web content, whereas fewer than 12% of IDNs under .top (second level) have active web content.
As in previous years, we see that the percentage with active web content is lower than the percentage with active nameservers. While measuring active nameservers can be fairly objective (ie presence or absence of A records), the results for measuring active web content can be affected by connection speeds, and methodology (ie the unpredictability of the ICANN CZDS service, how many seconds before time-out, how much text is required to determine the language of content). These differences make it more challenging to make like-for-like comparisons year on year.