[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
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.”
According to NetNames, there were over 30 million registered URLs in October
of this year, and the numbers are growing like wildfire.
“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
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.”