New owner makes changes to Business.com
By Sean Callahan
Backed by private equity fund JMI Equity, Resource Nation acquired Business.com in February for an undisclosed sum. The deal was made three months after Dex One Corp. announced its plan to shut down Business.com, which used to be described as a business search engine.
Resource Nation CEO Ryan Peddycord saw an opportunity in Business.com. “Obviously, that's a good domain name there,” he said. “We saw a lot of value in the domain name and what we felt we could do with it.”
Indeed, Resource Nation saw enough value in the domain name that it has since changed its name to Business.com Media. But if the URL alone were a magic bullet, it's likely that Dex One would still own it.
So Peddycord has overhauled the site, which has more than 12,000 advertisers. He has cut Business.com pages to focus on delivering higher-quality information. Improved taxonomy and navigation have also served to cut the number Web pages on the site.
The fact that the website has 70% fewer total pages has contributed to a drop in traffic, as monthly unique visitors fell to 2.0 million in September from 3.3 million in January, according to Compete.com figures.
The introduction of Google's Panda algorithm, which the company rolled out in February, has contributed to the traffic decline as well, Peddycord said.
Peddycord and his team have also put a sharper focus on what, ultimately, Business.com is designed to do for its visitors. No longer is the site intended only to be a business search engine. “They were trying to be everything to everybody,” Peddycord said.
Instead, Business.com focuses on connecting buyers and marketers at every stage of the purchasing cycle. The site has more than 50,000 how-to guides, price comparison tools and white papers. Most activity from the purchaser side is from the finance, technology, human resources, sales and marketing, and software sectors.
Peddycord said Business.com's five advertising models reflect the various connections between buyers and marketers:
- Pay-per-click, which reaches buyers actively buying.
- Pay-per-lead, which provides contact information for comparing vendors.
- Pay-per-download, which delivers branded content to those doing preliminary research on potential purchases.
- Display advertising, which can also be distributed via Business.com's network, featuring sites such as Allbusiness.com, Entrepreneur.com, Hoovers.com and Inc.com and reaches about 60 million monthly uniques.
- Directory advertising, which enables advertisers prominent placement in the Business.com directory.
Peddycord said the process is moving in the right direction, as Business.com Media (including its previous incarnation as Resource Nation) posted its 15th consecutive quarter of revenue growth in the second quarter of this year.