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The World's Top 10 "Worst" Domains

March 9, 2016

The Spamhaus Project, an organization that tracks spam and related cyber threats, has "named and shamed" what it says are currently the world's worst Top Level Domains.

It will come as no surprise to some that all the domains listed in Spamhaus's top 10 are all new gTLD's.

The organization doesn't mince words, stating spam and other types of abuse continue to plague the internet due to poor policing from registries and registrars.

"A few registrars knowingly sell high volumes of domains to professional spammers for profit, or do not do enough to stop or limit spammers' access to this endless supply of domains. These registrars end up basing their entire business model on network abuse," it says.

We haven't published the list here as it will likely change over time; but you can view the current rankings here.

Spamhaus makes it clear the list doesn't consist of the worst TLDs in quantity, but those with the highest the ratio of domains within a particular name space considered by Spamhaus systems to be spamming or being used for botnet or malware abuse. 

Spam isn't just annoying, it creates static and is a major resource-sucker bogging down the Internet. In 2014, spam made up of around two-thirds of all email volume. 

The slew of domains that are now available are a double-edged sword. 

While they may provide more choice, many registrants may not understand there are good extensions and not-so-good. In one incident some years ago, Google delisted every site using a particular extension due to spam being rife. For honest operators, it may have been quite a blow as Google can deliver the bulk of a site's traffic.

Thankfully for Australians, our very own country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) is well established and trusted. It's one of the reasons why it's a wise business move to register a

A survey last year revealed two thirds of .au domain holding respondents said they chose to register .au domains as they considered them the most popular in Australia and/or best represented Australian organisations. A similar number of respondents stated they were more likely to trust a website operating under a .au name.

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