VeriSign: Record Domain Name Registrations Driven by PPC Ads

Jeff Berg
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Domain name registrations had the highest quarterly growth ever during third quarter 2004, with 5.1 million new domain names being registered primarily due to pay-per-click advertising, according to Internet infrastructure giant VeriSign, Inc.’s quarterly domain name industry brief, released on Wednesday.

Total domain name registrations also reached a record high of 66.3 million domains, with an average of 1.2 million new registrations every month, according to the report. Current rates indicate a 33 percent increase of the same quarter last year.

Referencing a Jupiter Research report that suggests the PPC advertising market will grown from roughly $2.6 billion in 2004 to $5.5 billion in 2009, VeriSign attributes the ever-increasing growth of new domain registrations to an increase in contextual advertising.

“The PPC advertising market is driving domain name registration growth as registrants register domain names that contain meaningful terms or attract traffic,” said VeriSign. “The average amount paid per click is currently between $.29 and $.35. Some keywords are more valuable than others with the term hosting getting $13 per click and the term home equity loan getting almost $15 per click.”

“It’s proven to be quite valuable for advertising purposes,” VeriSign senior marketing manager Jill McNabb told InternetNews.com. “Either advertisers will be placed on such a site or they will come up high in the search results because of the [domain] name.”

The report also indicated that the .com top-level domain currently represents 47 percent of total domain name registrations, followed by country code TLDs at 37 percent, .net at 8 percent and all other generic TLDs at 9 percent.

The domain name renewal rate also stayed at its record high of 72 percent over the past quarter, with renewal rate of previously renewed websites topping 80 percent.