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SnapNames Adds Services to Meet Intensified Domain Demand.

Improved Search and Alert Tools Make it Faster and Easier to Build Investment-Quality Domain Name Portfolios

PORTLAND, Ore. -- SnapNames[R], the largest seller of expired and deleting domain names, has launched new tools to help domain portfolio buyers more quickly identify and buy the investment-quality domain names available exclusively on its platform.

The company, which auctions thousands of domain names per day, said the new tools help customers filter and search names more effectively. Enhancements include the ability to search:

* By dollar range, to help identify a price band that best matches purchasing strategy

* By auction start- and end- times, in order to time bids accordingly

* By pre-order availability, identifying upcoming auctions of high-value names

* By names in live auctions that can be joined immediately

Additionally, customers can now subscribe to regular email alerts, customized by relevant search criteria, to make sure they never miss the opportunity to bid on a valuable name. SnapNames has also made an integrated shopping cart visible in search results, making it easier to accumulate and track domains prior to ordering.

Domains are investment assets

In the past two years, domains have become increasingly recognized as investment assets, earning the attention of institutional buyers and others in the public markets. "The market has grown beyond its core of domain professionals. Now, mainstream investors and corporate marketers are also seeing the financial opportunity available through domain portfolios," said Kerry Kelley, SnapNames' Vice President of Marketing. "As more business shifts online, increasing profits are available through pay-per-click and direct-sale advertising, as well as via long-term capital appreciation. This is a vital and growing marketplace."

Total demand for domain names continues to grow. According to VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN), domain name registrations now number more than 105 million, having grown 27% year over year. Of those, approximately 25% expire and become available to new buyers each year, making up the core of SnapNames' market.

Online advertising fueling name value

Concurrent with the increase in total registrations, demand and prices continue to rise in the domain name aftermarket. Being integral to the navigation system of the Internet, domain names that are constructed from intuitive words or typical search phrases are highly prized by advertisers and investors alike. These include:

* Domains made up of search-friendly keywords and those used by the growing number of "direct navigation" customers who type domain names directly into their browsers to search for relevant content. For example, vegasrealestate.com sold for more than $53,000 through SnapNames.

* Domains with brand value - short, brand-able, memorable, easy-to-type phrases. The domain a1.com sold for $260,250 at a SnapNames auction.

* Expired domains with existing traffic and/or name recognition. A recent example, unclesam.com sold in a SnapNames auction for $185,000.

Domain buyers collect portfolios of such intuitive names to display relevant advertising directly on web pages, collecting revenue from advertising syndicates such as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) as end-users "click through" as they refine their searches.

Purchase prices and overall demand are directly linked to the rise in corporate spending on online advertising and search engine marketing. The online advertising market is expected to top $5.2 billion this year; according to ThinkEquity Partners, in its September, 2006 Advertising Industry Report. Direct navigation search is a $600M advertising business growing at a 35% annual rate, and is expected to generate $1 billion in advertising revenue to domain name owners in 2007.

Corporate marketers are just beginning to realize the advertising potential of descriptive domain names, and the implications to traffic generation and potential savings on keyword buys. These new buyers are expected to fuel the next wave of growth, further enhancing returns for those active in the market today.

Providing investors an edge

The world's top twenty registrars control a significant majority of the domain names that are sought by professional buyers. SnapNames continues to add members of this elite group to its Priority Partner program which now includes Network Solutions, Dotster, Register.com, DotRegistrar, DomainPeople, Moniker, DirectNIC and others. These partners offer their expired domains through SnapNames' auctions before they are available anywhere else in the public market. Sales prices are set efficiently through active customer bidding, and the constant stream of fresh inventory gives domain buyers the best chance at discovering unrecognized value.

"Investors must carefully consider the dynamics of the sales platform, as well as the motivation of the seller," said Kelley. "Other sites claim huge inventories, but their names are generally overpriced because the seller is typically more interested in parking than selling. And because these sites don't control the domain directly, it may take days to weeks to gain control of a domain name. At SnapNames, like-minded buyers, not the seller, determine the price. And control over the domain name is generally delivered within minutes of an auction close. For buyers seeking to build a liquid, viable domain portfolio, there really is no other choice."

About SnapNames

Founded in 2000, SnapNames operates the largest auction of expired and deleting domain names. Partnering with the world's largest and best-known registrars and service providers, SnapNames uses its innovative, patent-pending technology to give its customers exclusive first access to the world's largest inventory of high-traffic, brand-able and investment-grade domain names every day.

SnapNames is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. For more information, visit www.snapnames.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 9, 2006
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