Back in April, we reported that the controversial .XXX top-level domains (TLDs) had been added to the root nameservers, in preparation for what’s set to be a massive land-grab for adult-themed domain names. The first .XXX sites are expected to be launched on September 7th.

In preparation for D-Day (or XXX-Day), ICM Registry – the organization responsible for managing the .XXX domain name service – has entered into a multi-million dollar deal with content classification and certification specialist MetaCert, to label every website issued under .XXX.

The plan behind the partnership is to give Web users more information about the content of a website before they actually visit it. MetaCert will develop products for businesses to display information about areas such as how they scan for malware, how they treat consumers’ privacy, whether they offer free or paid-for content and more. This extra information will be displayed inside search results.

MetaCert’s ‘spidering’ technology crawls sites that contain sexually explicit content and then automatically labels them and other adult sites to which they link. MetaCert expects to label more than five million websites by the end of the year.

Surfers will see special annotations on any search results that link to sites that may contain “sexually explicit content” whether on .XXX domains or elsewhere. When enabled, the parental control will block access to every labeled adult site.

MetaCert .XXX websites to adopt content and safety warning system

This functionality is only available using browser plug-ins at the moment, and it’s currently available for FireFox, with Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera ‘coming soon’. MetaCert “expects the major browser manufacturers to adopt this parental control over time.”

With ICM expecting as many as 600,000 registrations in its first year, the deal will significantly boost MetaCert’s market share in the classification space.

JP Rangaswami, Chief Scientist at salesforce.com and Chairman at MetaCert, said:

“Consumers should be provided with tools that allow them to know more information about the content and its suitability before visiting a site. Every desktop computer, game console and mobile device with access to the web should provide consumers with more information about content.”

When new top-level domains begin to launch in 2013  it is expected that many more registries will begin to bundle additional products with domain names such as privacy seals and security certificates. Paul Walsh, founder and CEO of MetaCert, said:

“Search results are becoming less quality-focused. It’s getting more difficult to find what you’re looking for whilst excluding sites you’d rather not see. Our partnership with ICM showcases how our technology will provide a better experience for consumers and enable registrars to add value to the new domains.”