RealNames Raises Fees

RealNames Raises Fees

From The Search Engine Report
July 1, 1998

Centraal has raised the fee to register a name in its RealNames alternative addressing system from $40 to $100 per year, effective today.

The company says the move is being made to better reflect the value it feels the names are providing, especially in light of the traffic the names are now generating though its partnership with AltaVista.

To date, the system is resolving 3.5 million requests per week, with 95 percent of those coming from AltaVista and the remainder from browsers equipped with the RealNames plug in.

AltaVista lists a RealNames link at the top of its search results, for any search of three words or less. Clicking on the RealNames link takes a person directly to a site that has registered a particular name, or to the RealNames search engine, when a name has not been registered or is so generic that registration is not allowed.

At the moment, the split is even: about half clicking on the RealNames listings at AltaVista go directly to a site, while the other half gets to the search engine, according to Geni McPherson, Centraal's Vice President of Communications.

Among the most popular names being resolved from AltaVista are ford, quake, disney, sony playstation, yahoo, hotmail, windows, and leonardo, McPherson said.

Previously, there was an upper traffic limit of 10,000 resolutions per month, per name, though only about 20 percent of names were expected to approach this figure, Centraal estimates.

Those doing so should pay an additional fee for extra traffic, but the limit is being waived entirely for 1998, as a result of the higher fees. After 1998, Centraal will negotiate a flat rate with sites that experience exceptionally high usage.

McPherson said talks are continuing with both Netscape and Microsoft about integrating RealNames into future versions of their browsers, as well as with other search engines to supplement their listings.

"Being on AltaVista has made us very real to the marketplace," McPherson said. The recent Netscape Smart Browsing initiative has also helped, she says. "It's demonstrated to other players the way the market is going to develop."

RealNames Service

Real Name Tops At AltaVista
The Search Engine Report, June 3, 1998

Details on how the system works.