Calculating The 5,000 Most Frequently Used Domain Name Prefixes and Suffixes

Domain name prefixes and suffixes — the keywords you add before or after a term to generate the domain name — are at the core of Lean Domain Search. For example, when you search for cloud, Lean Domain Search pairs it with the suffix +hub to generate cloudhub, the prefix new+ to generate newcloud, and 1,998 other prefixes and suffixes to form all of the search results.

Coming up with the current list of 2,000 prefixes and suffixes was a mix of paying attention to website names as they hit the HackerNews front page and performing a quick analysis of the domain name zone file. The zone file, for those of you not familiar with it, is a huge text file distributed by Verisign that lists all of the registered domain names for a specific Top Level Domain (TLD), such as .com, .net, etc. The .com zone file, for example, contains around 100 million domain names. To the right is a a small section of it to give you some context.

The 2,000 prefixes and suffixes that are currently in use are not bad, but what I really wanted to know is what are the most popular prefixes and suffixes used by other websites?

With a complete list of the most popular prefixes and suffixes used in all domain names, I could compare it to the prefixes and suffixes currently in use at Lean Domain Search and identify ones that would improve the quality of the search results, which in turn makes it faster and easier for you to find a domain name.

Analyzing The .com Zone File

The most reliable way to algorithmically identify the prefix or suffix used in a domain name is to know the root word so that the script doesn’t have to parse the domain and figure it out. For example, you pick the word gitand then analyzing the zone file for all domain names that start or end with, and so on. Since we know that the root word is git, the script can easily identify that the prefixes are cloud+ and get+ and the suffixes are +hub and +simple.

To identify the the most frequently used prefixes and suffixes then is simply a matter of picking which terms to search for and tallying up the results. For the list of terms, I used the top 1,000 queries searched for on Lean Domain Search, which include most of the examples on the homepage: bostoncoffeeseo, etc.

And The Top Prefix and Suffix Are…

The top 1,000 queries resulted in 50,076,498 domain names containing 26,050,539 unique prefixes and suffixes (and yes, those 50M domain names represent about half of all registered .com domain names in existence).

The top prefix is my+, which was registered in 983 out of the 1000 domain names checked (, etc). The top suffix, +online, was registered in 974 out of the 1000 domain names checked (, etc). The 5000th most frequently used result, +vancouver, was registered in 395 out of the 1000 domain names checked. The only results I omitted were single letter prefixes and suffixes because they’re not something you would generally add to generate quality domain names.

From high tech to low tech, legitimate to scammy, the results offer an amazing insight into the state of the internet in 2012.

Most of the top results are already included in Lean Domain Search’s existing 2,000 prefixes and suffixes, but there’s also some that are very good that should be included but that currently are not (my+, for example). Over the next few weeks, I’ll work on incorporating the best of these into the search results.

One final note: with this list, I can now work backward and identify the most common subjects by domain count in use on the internet today — the coffeeboston, and seo in the examples above. 

The 5,000 Most Frequently Used Domain Name Prefixes and Suffixes

Without further ado, here are the final results.

For your convenience each result is linked to its Lean Domain Search result page, as these prefixes and suffixes can be used to find thousands of high quality available domain names.