GoDaddy Prepares to Go Public - A Lot More Than a One-Trick Pony
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Domain name registration is only one of many services GoDaddy provides to its customers. For instance, it also sells Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates. Indeed, it secured nearly 3000 new sites with its certificates in April alone. SSL certifications enable encryption of online transactions and communications. They permit users to protect customer information and build trust. And they're almost essential to anyone setting up an online business.
Not all SSL certificates are the same, though, and GoDaddy has attempted to distinguish itself here. According to Bob Parsons, "GoDaddy's secure certificates offer the ingredients our customers want. They are affordable, easy to use and they come with unparalleled 24/7 support."
GoDaddy also seems to be involved in a very active aftermarket domain name market, enabling users to buy and sell domain names from each other on an auction-based part of GoDaddy's website. And GoDaddy provides a number of tools helpful to people setting up their domains for the first time. In addition to the aforementioned SSL certificates, GoDaddy offers website creation tools, personalized email with spam and anti-phishing filters, and e-commerce tools, among others. GoDaddy also offers blogging tools, as you would expect, given the popularity of blogging that I mentioned earlier in this article.
In addition to being the world's largest domain name registrar, GoDaddy just recently became the world's largest web hosting provider, surpassing 1&1 Internet. And of course, GoDaddy offers reseller web hosting plans, for as little as $99 per year (and at the time of this writing, the basic reseller plan came with a bonus $100 Google AdWords credit).
GoDaddy also allows buyers of domain names to "park" them. This is another potential revenue stream. Many domain parking companies place Google or Yahoo ads on parked domains. For helping to set this up, the domain parking company usually gets part of the fee when a searcher clicks on an ad on the parked domain. Estimates of the percentage of parked domains range between 30 and 70 percent of all registered domains.
Ben Edelman, a Harvard economics doctoral candidate who studies the domain business, expressed his distaste for this particular income stream in an interview with Forbes. "I think it is a little sleazy that this is where a lot of the money in this industry is. But there's always the risk that one day the pay-per-click engines like Google will get fed up of being in the business of supporting these parked pages, and they could simply flip the switch and cut off revenue to these currently profitable domains."
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