Lower than usual renewal rate blamed on search engine changes.
Verisign had its second best quarter ever for new domain name registrations last quarter, but its renewal rate was lower than usual.
The company cites two reasons. First, there were large promotions by domain registrars a year ago (apparently mostly from one large registrar) that led to an uptick in new registrations that came up for renewal last quarter.
Second, and more interesting, Verisign blames “search engine adjustments”.
…search engine adjustments made over the past several months affected the economics, which drove domain monetization rates in the first half of 2012. While monetization rates have increased for better performing sites, lower performing sites do not seem to be benefiting.
This is somewhat perplexing. The company clearly refers to domain name monetization in its call, but it seems that it’s talking more about auto generated or low quality web sites. Google did take efforts in recent months to kick parked domains out of its index. But the context of the call also seems to refer to web sites.
In other notable Verisign news, the company announced that it will start providing on its web site more frequent updates to the .net and .com domain name base.