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Number of .IE registrations continues to rise, now totaling more than 170,000

croaghpatrick.ie is still available. Credit: Darren McCarra
croaghpatrick.ie is still available. Credit: Darren McCarra
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croaghpatrick.ie is still available. Credit: Darren McCarra
croaghpatrick.ie is still available. Credit: Darren McCarra

2011 was a stellar year for .IE domains as the IE Domain Registry (IEDR), the body charged with managing Ireland’s official top-level domain (TLD), today reported that the total number of registered .IE domains grew by 12.9% in 2011, reaching 173,145 at year’s end.

In total, 39,398 new domains were registered in 2011, an increase of 7.7% on 2010 and a statistic which adheres to growth trends experienced in previous years. As also witnessed in previous years, the number of registrations recorded in 2011 was greater in the first six months of the year than in the trailing six. January to June saw 20,995 new registrations, while July to December saw 18,403.

The IEDR’s launch of OPTIMISE, an initiative to encourage Irish businesses to pursue online commerce, in May of last year resulted in the greatest number of .IE domain registrations in a single month, reaching 4,061 for the first time. Another initiative, Getting Irish Business Online, has also undoubtedly helped the IEDR reach record targets in 2011.

Many strong multinationals who have established themselves in Ireland have shown their support and commitment to .IE, including eBay, PayPal and Twitter.

The IEDR promises further initiatives this year to promote the .IE brand and will provide “dedicated support” to small and medium-sized Irish businesses who select .IE as their TLD of choice.

22 Comments

  1. I’ll generally recommend getting a .com then getting the .ie as well … getting a .ie kinda limits your exposure to the world to some extent fair enough it may be your target market but things are changing

  2. I’ll generally recommend getting a .com then getting the .ie as well … getting a .ie kinda limits your exposure to the world to some extent fair enough it may be your target market but things are changing

  3. No they won’t. If the site is hosted in Ireland and includes onpage indicators that it is Irish the ranking will be pretty much identical

  4. You can set your target market as well within google webmaster tools (assuming majority of people use google in Ireland)

  5. No they won’t. If the site is hosted in Ireland and includes onpage indicators that it is Irish the ranking will be pretty much identical

  6. You can set your target market as well within google webmaster tools (assuming majority of people use google in Ireland)

  7. Location relevancy is an important factor in rank. ccTLDs like .IE convey a site’s location in an “unmistakable” way so they can’t help but add weight to Irish-specific queries. IP address location and on page indicators are other ways of doing this. As is geo-targeting your audience in Webmaster Tools, although this can harm a site’s rank internationally.

  8. Location relevancy is an important factor in rank. ccTLDs like .IE convey a site’s location in an “unmistakable” way so they can’t help but add weight to Irish-specific queries. IP address location and on page indicators are other ways of doing this. As is geo-targeting your audience in Webmaster Tools, although this can harm a site’s rank internationally.

  9. Darren – we host thousands of sites for thousands of Irish and international businesses. We have a LOT of experience in this area and buying in to the SEO argument about .ie does not stand up to any real examination. For an Irish business a .com is a perfectly good choice and won’t impact them at all. The extra cost and hassle involved in registering a .ie isn’t really worth it for most people.

  10. Darren – we host thousands of sites for thousands of Irish and international businesses. We have a LOT of experience in this area and buying in to the SEO argument about .ie does not stand up to any real examination. For an Irish business a .com is a perfectly good choice and won’t impact them at all. The extra cost and hassle involved in registering a .ie isn’t really worth it for most people.

  11. Michele – In my experience if you have two identical websites, one a .IE and one a .COM, the .IE will rank higher than the .COM when searched in google.IE. There’s nothing wrong with using a .COM, I never said there was, but .IE is a viable choice. If you’re customers aren’t in Ireland, don’t use .IE. SEO arguments aside, .IEs add credibility as they’re effectively vetted by the IEDR to ensure an authentic Irish connection, they offer a greater choice in domain names (good for SEO too, sorry!), .IEs help businesses associate with the Irish brand and wasn’t .IE ranked the safest TLD in Europe or something?

  12. Michele – In my experience if you have two identical websites, one a .IE and one a .COM, the .IE will rank higher than the .COM when searched in google.IE. There’s nothing wrong with using a .COM, I never said there was, but .IE is a viable choice. If you’re customers aren’t in Ireland, don’t use .IE. SEO arguments aside, .IEs add credibility as they’re effectively vetted by the IEDR to ensure an authentic Irish connection, they offer a greater choice in domain names (good for SEO too, sorry!), .IEs help businesses associate with the Irish brand and wasn’t .IE ranked the safest TLD in Europe or something?

  13. Darren – again I’d disagree. The “credibility” argument only works for people who read the IEDR’s press releases. Normal end users don’t care. As far as they’re concerned it’s just a domain name with an overly restrictive set of rules that makes registering them an obstacle to business.

  14. We’ll agree to disagree. May need to call upon your hosting services in the near future, site crashed for two short periods again today. Downtime certainly isn’t good for ranking!

  15. As for the “ranking” argument – again I’d disagree. If the .com has “on page” content and indicators etc., it can and will rank as well, if not better than the .ie – our main site is a .com and outranks plenty of .ie sites – and is in the top 100 sites for Ireland according to Alexa (not that Alexa rank is accurate or anything)

  16. Darren – again I’d disagree. The “credibility” argument only works for people who read the IEDR’s press releases. Normal end users don’t care. As far as they’re concerned it’s just a domain name with an overly restrictive set of rules that makes registering them an obstacle to business.

  17. As for the “ranking” argument – again I’d disagree. If the .com has “on page” content and indicators etc., it can and will rank as well, if not better than the .ie – our main site is a .com and outranks plenty of .ie sites – and is in the top 100 sites for Ireland according to Alexa (not that Alexa rank is accurate or anything)

  18. We’ll agree to disagree. May need to call upon your hosting services in the near future, site crashed for two short periods again today. Downtime certainly isn’t good for ranking!

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Darren McCarra
Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.