Feeds

VeriSign: illiterate ramblings

Rough calcs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

VeriSign's [VRSN] controversial Site Finder service, launched last week, has helped VeriSign become one of the top ten websites in terms of user numbers. However, industry estimates of how much revenue it could generate from this service seem to be overly optimistic - unless VeriSign is planning to make some modifications.

Millions of Internet users are now redirected to VeriSign's Site Finder when they misspell a .com or .net domain when typing it into their web browser. The service is all about capturing error traffic and trying to turn it into revenue by diverting users to sponsored search engine listings.

So how much is the service worth to VeriSign? Estimates of $100-150 million have been circulating. But based on Site Finder as it stands today, it seems that pulling in that kind of revenue would be a tough, if achievable, task.

VeriSign is using Overture Services [OVER] as its search partner. VeriSign said that the Site Finder page has been visited 65 million times, and that the search panel page has been used 11 million times in the seven days since the system went live.

If VeriSign's sole source of revenue was its cut of paid clicks from Overture's sponsored listings, it would have to convert all 11 million searches into revenue events to even get close to $150 million a year.

Overture's average fee per click is $0.40, and its average payout to the affiliate, in this case VeriSign, is 64%, or $0.256 per click. So 11 million clicks a week would create revenue of just over $2.8 million a week, or $146.4 million a year. Overture's affiliates generally do not reveal how many search queries they convert into paid clicks, but it is not 100%.

Furthermore, it would be rather hard for VeriSign to grow Site Finder revenue in future - assuming of course the service is not forced off the air by a combination of legal action, government intervention, technical problems and sheer bad karma.

Barring a sudden outbreak of illiteracy among Internet users, the company would only be able to grow its user base in step with the overall growth of Internet population and usage. Given relatively fixed user numbers, showing investors pleasing growth would likely require squeezing more revenue from advertising. Given the high number of sponsored results already on the site, graphics or even pop-up ads would likely be the order of the day.

Source: Computerwire/Datamonitor

Related Research
Reuters Business Insight, "The Web Analytics Outlook"

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.