Regionally Dominated Search Engine Gaining Speed
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[Vicenza, Italy] Geographical targeting and classification cataloging are the future of successful search engines according to the management of DominItaliani, one of the fastest growing Web engines in Europe.
"Today 80 percent of all Internet traffic is driven through search engines," explained Stefano Zanin, founder and CEO of DominiItaliani Srl. As more and more domains enter the global marketplace, searches through traditional engines will become less and less efficient. Already if one is looking for a general topic they may come up with as many as 100,000 listings through Yahoo, Excite, Alta Vista, or Lycos. This is an impossible figure to work with."
To resolve this problem Zanin, in 1999, came up with a business model for DominItaliani, a search engine that focused on regionalizing and categorizing domains. The concept was that most net users know the country in which they seek information. By going to a country-specific search engine, it would greatly narrow the results. To be more specific, however, one could further limit the return possibilities by targeting a Web sector within the country listing.
"Following an initial investment by a member of the Italian Business Angel Network, the site, with an initial focus on Italy, was launch in April," said Zanin. "Within six month we had registered over 100,000 national domains and categorized them into 600 sectors. Through viral marketing and a few media mentions - no paid advertising - we currently average 200,000 visitors to the site each month, 40 percent of which come from countries outside Italy."
"Recent studies suggest that more than 75 million domain names are expected to be registered by the end of 2002," explained Tom Barrett, CEO of NetNames.
Regionally focused search engines like DominItaliani and the U.K.-based Godado, launched in March, seek to benefit from the domain boom by providing more efficient Web tools. Additionally, they hope to profit from their focused architecture and software by offering targeted marketing services. The question is, will it work?
"If a user is looking for products or services, they are most likely looking for results close to their geographical location," according to Stephen Holmes, CEO, Mirago, an U.K. company that recently signed a #3.5 million deal for the search service of its 52 regional newspapers.
While the industry continues to look at more efficient methods to research the Internet, DominItalianis business continues to grow. In recent weeks they have launched the English version of their Web site at www.italiandomains.net and are now planning to expand their regionally-focused search engine to other countries in the near future.
"We have recently concluded a bank partnership," Stefano Zanin told Internet News. "This will provide us the support to meet our plans for global expansion and geographical-specific search engines such as USADomains."