13 May2013

Improving Lean Domain Search's Trending Topics Section

Posted by Matt Mazur (@mhmazur)

At the end of January I launched the Domain Name Trends section on Lean Domain Search which allows you to research trends in .com domain name registrations.

I planned on launching on a Monday (launching late in the week is rarely a good idea), but finished everything up a few days early so I spent the weekend prior to launch hastily implementing an additional feature that would automatically identify trending topics each day. The daily reports that it generated were not bad, but not great either:

I was never too happy with the quality of this report, but I got involved with some other higher priority projects and so improving it got put on the back burner for a few months. Finally, about two weeks ago, I started working on a new version. Here's the result:

View the actual report.

The three major change are:

Weekly reports vs daily reports

Despite something like 100,000 new .com domain name registrations each day, it's hard to identify meaningful trends using a single day's worth of data. When you think "domain name trends" you probably imagine something on a larger timescale anyway which is why I decided to eliminate the daily trend reports and replace them with weekly trend reports. If you're a domain name investor, these reports should provide a lot more value than the daily ones because they identify trending topics over a longer time period. In the future I might extend the analysis to include monthly reports too.

If you'd like to view all of the weekly reports, you can head on over to the trending topics archive. I went back and recalculated the trending topics for each week in 2013 so you can go back in time and see what topics folks were registering domain names for.

Domain names are no longer listed on the report

In the old version you could see a list of the new domain names below each list item. I originally thought this would be helpful, but over time I came see how it bloated the report. In this new version you have to go to the trending topic page for that topic to view the actual domain names.

New trending topic identification algorithms

In the past, the daily trend reports looked at the quantity of domain names registered for a certain topic to identify and rank trends. A better way, and the one that the new weekly trend reports use, is to look at the percentage change from week to week. This method tends to produce much more accurate results. For example, the top trending topic from last week was fucai which saw a 6,500% increases from the week prior (the purpose of these registrations is a topic for another blog post).

One final note: I recently changed trend result pages to show the last six months worth of trends instead of all the trends since January 1, 2013 in order to improve its speed. I now see that the shorter time period, while faster, is less useful so I am changing it to show the last year's worth of data instead. The results should still be quite fast and will be much more informative.

Hope you enjoy these changes —


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