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Analyst downgrades Verisign due to Google's domain moves

Will Google's anti-arbitrage activities result in fewer domain registrations?



8:19 pm on Mar 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Not sure whether to post this here or in the AdSense forum

Article [blogs.barrons.com]

A Credit Suisse financial analyst is lowering his estimates for Verisign in part because he thinks Google's moves to clean its AdSense network of domain arbitrageurs will hurt domain sales.

Anyone here have thoughts on this?


[edited by: encyclo at 10:14 am (utc) on Mar. 25, 2008]
[edit reason] fixed side-scroll [/edit]


9:10 pm on Mar 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Most of these companies never actually register the bulk of the names, they just keep them for five days and then hand them in for refund whereupon they're transparently taken up by another company for another 5 days, ad nauseum. We're talking of millions of domains and this must be costing Verisign a packet so they may be happy if the abuse comes to an end. This practice is filling the Internet with junk and if Google do indeed put a dent in it then full marks to them.


2:46 am on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Superclown2 - while I would agree that the bulk of 'sipped' domains never are 'drunk' by the sipper, I've got to believe that, on the balance, AdSense domain arbitrage has been good for Verisign. Wouldn't you agree?


1:29 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Hi Shorebreak
They only make money on what they get paid for. I've watched a number of domains recently that have been tasted by certain big companies and every five days they've had a new 'owner' so I assume that so far Verisign has received zilch for them. With several million kited domains changing hands every five days the costs to Verisign of servicing all this dead weight must be heavy. A lot of these domains are good names that many of us would love to buy and actually pay for but we don't get a chance to.


4:48 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If AdSense is 15-20% of Google's revenue, that means there are domains that are sticking long-term, and sipping is not just a freeloading phenomenon. In its "Domain Name Industry Brief" Verisign said the PPC marketplace, including Google AdSense contributed to the 5.1 million new domain names registered in the third quarter of 2004 - the highest in internet history at the time:

"The PPC advertising market is driving domain name registration growth
as registrants register domain names that contain meaningful terms or
attract traffic. These registrants generate revenue by enhancing resale value of the domain name or by placing PPC advertisements on a parked page. The company that serves the advertisements shares revenue with the domain name registrant according to a negotiated split."

"The Google AdSense program and other programs like that, that's
spurring on the increased, rapid purchase of domain names in the U.S.," said Raynor Dahlquist, VeriSign name services group acting vice

So I'm still back to my original question: does G's crackdown on AdSense arbitrageurs hurt VRSN? I've got to think that if AdSense growth (much of which was arbitrage) has *helped* Verisign - something Verisign execs themselves claim - then it stands to reason that G's clampdown is gonna hurt Verisign.

Any other opinions?


11:03 pm on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

My opinion is that it a poorly written article that confuses link farms with parking pages and arbitrage with tasting and then goes on to a conclusion that has nothing to do with either.

"...after all that analysis, Winslow’s estimate change is based not on slowing domain-name growth, but rather on the rate at which VeriSign is getting rid of some other parts of its business"


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