For the first quarter, paid search engine FindWhat.com, which focuses on generating search results for smaller portals and engines, reported net income of $2 million, a 23% increase over the previous quarter, on revenues that rose 9% to $8.7 million from $8 million in the previous quarter.
Driving the growth was an increase in paid click-throughs, which rose 10% to 50.8 million for the quarter from 46.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2001. Average revenue per click-through on FindWhat.com’s search engine was $0.17, steady with the previous quarter’s average and up 70% from $0.10 a year ago. For the quarter, the number of active advertiser accounts was 16,500, up 8% from 15,300 active accounts in the previous quarter and up 119% from the 7.500 active advertiser accounts in Q1 2001.
“We continue to prove that there are millions of Internet searches performed every day at sites outside the top-tier portals and search engines, and that our advertisers continue to benefit from the click-through by users of more targeted, smaller sites,” says Phillip Thune, COO and CFO. “We believe there is continued opportunity to grow our distribution network outside the top sites.”
FindWhat.com has approximately 160 partners for which it powers the search function, such as CNET`s Search.com, NBCi, Dogpile, and others. Some view FindWhat as a better opportunity than larger search engines because FindWhat may pay them a greater portion of the click-through revenue, Pisaris-Henderson says. Search engines share the revenue from click-through with the distribution partners. Many of those partners are small partners to the big search engines such as Overture Inc. but are big partners to FindWhat, he adds. To keep those customers happy, Findwhat will sometimes go higher on the revenue share, he says.
Smaller sites are effective for search results as consumers who are searching from a highly niched site are more likely to be immediate buyers than those searching from more general sites, Pisaris-Henderson says. "Nasdaq.com, one of our distribution partners, doesn`t get that much traffic, but there`s a really good chance that a visitor initiating a search on Nasdaq.com is extremely interested in buying financial services," he says.