Eyeing Small Businesses, Yahoo Enters Domains Market

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Yahoo plans to announce today its entry into the domain registration market, adding to its small-business offerings.


Yahoo Domains will offer Web site registration for as little as $9.95 per year, hoping the low price lures small businesses from other registrars, such as Register.com and Network Solutions, which offer domain registration for $35 annually.


"We're a leader in hosting Web sites and e-commerce sites, and domains are an important on-ramp for these services," said Rich Riley, vice president and general manager of Yahoo Small Business.


Having an Internet address is fast becoming as necessary for a business as a phone number, Riley said. Yahoo Domains offers addresses with .com, .net and .biz suffixes.


Yahoo estimates that 10 million of the 23 million U.S. small businesses lack a Web presence.


Along with Yahoo Domains, Yahoo Small Business expanded its product suite to give its business customers increased e-mail capacities and Web storage. Businesses using Yahoo's $11.95 per month hosting product will receive 2,000 megabytes of disk space, 25 gigabytes of bandwidth, 2,000 megabytes of e-mail storage and 25 e-mail accounts.


Yahoo hopes to take advantage of the strong market for Web addresses. According to VeriSign, there were more than 4 million domain registrations in the first quarter. It estimates two-thirds of registrations were for businesses.


"We see it as a foundational component of an e-mail service or hosting service," Riley said.


Yahoo Small Business does not offer a marketing services bundle that pulls together products such as Overture's paid listings and inclusion products. Earlier this month, Overture launched Local Match, a local search product geared toward small businesses.


"You could see that making sense over time," Riley said of a marketing bundle.


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