Will The Real GoDaddy SOPA Numbers Please Stand Up?

30 Dec

So Ars Technica just ran a story titled “GoDaddy wins, and loses, Move Your Domain Day over SOPA”.  Well, that’s the story title now, but you can see from the URL the original title was “Move your domain day only a blip, but GoDaddy officially opposes SOPA”.  Which set me off because the entire article is around one day of data.  Shame on you Ars, this is lazy at best!

Ars linked to a source from DomainTools that shows daily changes for registrars.  With a few minutes of effort I compiled stats for GoDaddy for the month of December.  This chart tells a better picture of the SOPA impact on GoDaddy:


December 23rd is the day GoDaddy announced support for SOPA.  Doesn’t look like the GoDaddy Girls had a very merry Christmas this year as many did not wait on the “official” boycot day.  Since I often work on Business Intelligence projects however, I don’t put too much faith in aggregated numbers without looking underneath them.  Here is a chart showing Domains In vs Out, what the Net change is based on:


I can see that GoDaddy has a weekly rhythm to it’s domain business, and because the bulk of the Out domains came on a weekend, the impact is probably exaggerated a bit.  Still I can’t imagine any corporate getting excited at these charts.

Before I would really say what the impact was, I need more data.  I’d like to see these charts for the last 6 months, and also compare to year-over-year numbers.  I need to get a handle on what is typical for this time of year, and what an average week looks like.  What do GoDaddy’s numbers look like compared to the other top 5 registers?

Some other questions are what happened on the 15th?  If I had to guess I’d say it was a reporting or system error that was fixed a few days later, but how common is this occurrence?  The numbers for the boycott day also look high compared to the others.  There are many reports that GoDaddy is stalling on transfers and even registering domains itself to make the numbers look good.  This dataset is no smoking barrel, but it does hint at something out of the norm is happening and following these numbers for the next month may reveal a different picture.

Incase you want to do more digging, here is my data from DomainTools used in the charts above.  It will only be up for a week or so, so after then this will be a broken link.

More than enough time for Ars to do some real journalism, and cover the whole story.