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Ask HN: What does traffic to example.com look like?
68 points by mkr-hn on July 19, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 32 comments
I couldn't find any kind of traffic report from searching.



W3.org used to have up to 130M (!) requests per day for HTML DTDs [1], probably mostly from poorly written spiders traversing all the links they managed to find the crawled HTML pages, or clients validating schemas without any caching of DTDs.

Would be indeed interesting to get reliable info about how example.com looks in comparison.

[1] http://www.w3.org/blog/systeam/2008/02/08/w3c_s_excessive_dt...



6.8M backlinks - woah.


Well, most of those are low-quality links. That must explain why I never see example.com come up in my Google searches.


There's no content that could be ranked. https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Aexample.com


This.


The domain "example.com" is reserved for examples.

http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6761#section-6.5


Something still serves pages and responds to requests. I want to know what the logs look like (in general). I hoped the person who administers it was an HN user.


$ nslookup example.com Server: 10.1.1.1 Address: 10.1.1.1#53

Non-authoritative answer: Name: example.com Address: 93.184.216.119

$ whois 93.184.216.119 <snip>

  % Information related to '93.184.216.0 - 93.184.216.255'

  % Abuse contact for '93.184.216.0 - 93.184.216.255' is 'abuse@edgecast.com'

  inetnum:        93.184.216.0 - 93.184.216.255
  netname:        EDGECAST-NETBLK-03
  descr:          NETBLK-03-EU-93-184-216-0-24
  country:        EU
  admin-c:        DS7892-RIPE
  tech-c:         DS7892-RIPE
  status:         ASSIGNED PA
  mnt-by:         MNT-EDGECAST
  source:         RIPE # Filtered

  person:         Derrick Sawyer
  address:        2850 Ocean Park Blvd., Suite 200, Santa Monica CA 90405 USA
  phone:          +18773343236
  nic-hdl:        DS7892-RIPE
  source:         RIPE # Filtered
  mnt-by:         MNT-EDGECAST
That seems to be the person you'd want to ask.


I had two options:

1: Email them and ask for myself, and only myself.

2: See if I could cajole the admin out into the light for a potentially interesting public discussion.


Well you got my up-vote. ;)

The trouble is, the edgecast.com Content Distribution Network (CDN) is owned by Verizon. In theory, the `nslookup example.com` command should fail with NXDOMAIN (Non-eXisting Domain) error, but on some networks like Verizon, the bastards are actually resolving it even though the IETF and IANA specs say it should never resolve at all. For notes, Verizon does transparent redirection of DNS requests on their network so you actually can't use anything other than their DNS servers, but this case is just odd.

EDIT: I originally wrote `whois` rather than `nslookup` --heck, whois doesn't have that error code. It's early/late, and it seems hn user "vertex-four" below is right about the "example.com" domain always being registered to IANA, but as far as I remember, it should never resolve to an IP address. Need sleep.


> In theory, the `whois example.com` command should fail with NXDOMAIN (Non-eXisting Domain) error

Huh? No, it shouldn't. Example domains are, according to the RFC, permanently registered to IANA, although not through the "normal channels" (I suppose they don't have to pay for them).

example.com and other example domains resolve correctly wherever you are. They are not treated specially in any way (or shouldn't be, according to the RFC) aside from that they're permanently registered to IANA and that application developers should understand that they're example domains. The RFC does not prevent IANA from running any services on example domains, and they choose to run an HTTP server.


You're right about the "example.com" and similar domains always being registered to IANA, and I even did a brain-fade on whois/nslookup in my comment, but as far as I remember, the example domains are never supposed to resolve to an IP? I'll look at this again after I get some sleep.


They used not to resolve in the far past. Apparently they decided otherwise later.


Do it! I would love to know the answer to this as well. I bet there's a great story here.


Compete.com has them at 155k a month. Now, having worked at Compete in the past, I usually found their traffic estimate to be off by 75-100% due to the lack of international data (and coordinating with publishers/looking at their Google Analytics data). Compete also can't capture mobile usage which could account for up to 50% of a domain like this.

So I'd estimate it at 600k/month. 150k x 2 = 300k, and then 50% coming from mobile that isn't measures = 600k.

Just a data point....Similarweb estimate could be better.


This would make sense for a website that actually has content people want. Traffic to example.com surely wouldn't be intentional or repeated, and certainly not the result of an end user typing "example.com" into the address bar.


Why? Why wouldn't people type in example.com?


~2M visits a month, 60% direct and 30% referral. http://www.similarweb.com/website/example.com


Archive.org has copies of this from 2002 with some variation over time https://web.archive.org/web/20020120142510/http://example.co...


Based on what the other comments suggest, does the page look the same to everyone?

Here's what it looks like for me: https://gist.github.com/jaxbot/a11d55ddaa12901162e5


Same here on multiple browsers. In case you're interested in what it's running : http://toolbar.netcraft.com/site_report?url=http://example.c...


Looks exactly like that to me.


The https://example.com/ site has a certificate valid for many interesting domains. Unfortunately, none of them are example.com. I guess it's because of the Edgecast CDN?


It's pretty high according to Alexa:

Global Rank: 9,789 / United States: 9,622

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/example.com


Don't @example.com email addresses get a ton of mail as well?


The domain doesn't publish a MX record, and the A record fallback isn't accepting connections on port 25. So no; while there's probably a lot of it that people try to send, none of it arrives.


I routinely put <whatever I feel like that day>@example.com email addresses in for sites that are braindead when it comes to data requirements.

Hell, I've even given human beings <my name>@example.com in conversation when they demanded an email address. And they accepted it.


If they had an MX record, this would be really interesting to see. I'm sure I've seen plenty of signup forms with placeholder text such as: user@example.com


It would be interesting to see how much traffic localhost.com gets too :)


Not an answer, but I just checked localhost.com to see what is there. 302 redirect to google.


Apparently it's actually owned by Google..?

IP Address 74.125.224.72 - 131 other sites hosted on this server IP Location United States - California - Mountain View - Google Inc. ASN United States AS15169 GOOGLE - Google Inc.,US (registered Mar 30, 2000)




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