Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) (http://www.networksolutions.com), formerly the exclusive registrar for Internet domain names, has launched a new U.S. business directory called dot.com directory (http://www.dotcomdirectory.com). The company augments the 1.8 million listings with data derived from arrangements with a number of other database providers, such as infoUSA, NewsReal, GTE Directories, LookSmart, and VeriSign. It also licenses the new directory to other portal services, such as Inktomi, GTE SuperPages, and InfoSpace. The business strategy behind the new free directory focuses on adding value to the domain names Network Solutions' previous monopoly gave it and thus encouraging new domain name seekers to still turn to it first.
NSI general manager Doug Wolford promoted the new dot.com directory as "a very inexpensive but very effective Yellow Pages ad." In return for participation in the upgraded NSI service, companies pay $119 for 2-year rights to a Web domain name and a directory listing, as well as a one-page Web site and other services. NSI plans to introduce e-mail and online fax reception options soon. Users who do not register their Web domain names through NSI can still gain entry into the directory by paying $70 for 2 years. Companies may also choose to have their information removed from the directory. NSI recommends companies review their listings and contribute updated information.
NSI has issued 5.3 million Web addresses in its history. Why does the dot.com directory contain only 1.3 million? According to NSI, this is because many listings fall outside North America, while others represent multiple entries for the same company. The dot.com directory focuses on the primary URL for North American companies.
When you use the dot.com directory service, you have several search options. You can enter the company name or business type as well as city and state/province. You can also enter the Web address directly to get the business information on the company. The first result screen shows the full company name and street address. From there you can choose to connect directly to the site, get more information, or see a map with directions to the facility. The second "more information" results screen adds the phone number and category of business. Options posted on the side of the screen then allow you to get the following: company overview, credit report (purchase involved), subsidiaries or divisions, company Web sites, company news and press releases, key executives, key competitors, annual financials, quarterly financials, stock quote, intraday graph, and price history graph. Not every listing will offer every option, and some expense may be involved. The map/directions result screen allows you to get written driving directions and to maneuver around a map using zoom controls.
A business partner program lets other businesses post dot.com directory banner links on their Web sites and reimburses affiliates for users who link through to the directory. Currently, NSI has some 15,000 business affiliates.