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Go Daddy Devises “Pay for Placement” Idea for New gTLD Operators

Patent describes system where new top level domain operators can bid for preferred placement registrar sites.

Want to get your new top level domain name positioned well on GoDaddy?

Prepare to pay.

That’s the idea behind a pay-for-placement approach for TLD placement on registrar web sites that Go Daddy has devised.

Oh, and it has a patent on it.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued U.S. patent 7,890,602 (pdf) to Go Daddy today for “Tools enabling preferred domain positioning on a registration website”.

Think of it similar to Google Adwords. A registry wants .tld to show up high in search results on Go Daddy. So it bids for the placement on a cost-per-click, cost-per-impression, or other scheme.

Go Daddy would then take the bid amount and factor in the quality of the TLD to determine its actual placement, similar to how Google Adwords considers the quality of the ad or landing page for both total revenue and customer experience purposes.

Some of the factors that Go Daddy says it might use to consider the quality score include the TLD’s market share, renewal rates, customer service, pricing, whois type, user restrictions and uptime, among others.

The patent also describes similar embodiments that aren’t as granular, such as paying a flat monthly fee for placement.

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  1. Jacob

    Hi Kevin, this would be classified as marketing and so is factored in to some degree.

    Spend on a particular marketing line item would depend on cost/benefit based on demand/supply, as well as the availability of alternatives as a result of ICANN’s vertical integration decision. Impression is this shows a maturing market and is to be welcomed.

    Advice would be block off a big chunk of budget to develop channel partnerships and review the landscape post application and just pre-sunrise.

    This is also a bit of a nice problem. Most TLD applicants are now concerned with developing the most robust application possible.

    Some near-term factors to consider are ICANN delay, continued operations instrument, objections, community threshold, auction, and stress testing technical and business model scenarios based on DAG requirements.

    In other words, we have plenty of homework, but are thankful to groups like DNW and DI for keeping us in the loop on new developments in the field for tips like this. Keep it up!

    • Andrew Allemann

      I suspect Go Daddy takes the same factors into consideration now when choosing where to slot TLDs. They look at overall yield, including any payments/promotions from registries.

      This would just take it to another level, and a sophisticated implementation would be required if you have several hundred TLDs to slot.

  2. Michael Berkens

    I think we knew this was coming and of course this is one of the real challenges for new gTLD registries.

    Its going to cost plenty to get above the fold on the registrar with 50% of the retail market.

    That’s why I predicted long ago that Godaddy would be the company who will make the more money than anyone else in the new gTLD space

  3. jp

    Wow you canpatent just about anything these days. Why dont they just patent the idea of calling yourself a registrar and selling domain names to customers for a profit.

    Of courseregistrars are going to charge for position, why would that be free. I suppose some registrars may make position dynamic and position based on sales performance (that would be more patent worthy)

  4. Jacob

    @Andrew – Yep agree. Evolution of retail business one of the more fascinating aspects of this shift.

    It would have been interesting to see more current/granular analysis of preparations like this in the economic analyses. There’s definitely an economics PhD in here somewhere.

  5. Michele

    Interesting that they’d actually patent it.

    As a registrar I can see there being a lot of headaches for new TLD operators competing for shelf space. Most registrars don’t even carry the full range of existing gTLDs, so anyone thinking that we’re all going to carry just about every single new one that comes along is in for a very rude awakening.

  6. Jose

    I’m pretty sure that this is the system (or similar) they’ve already implemented for current TLDs. Pretty much based on volume and demand. It’s effective and it was a logical evolution for registrars, especially one with a majority market share.

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