GeoTrust Gold Partner

The latest and perhaps most aggressive move by any Certificate Authority was launched by GeoTrust last week. With the news that low-budget Internet service provider Go Daddy has put themselves up for auction, GeoTrust announced a plan to ‘rescue’ purchasers of select Go Daddy certificates by replacing the certificates that they purchased with GeoTrust certificates for free.

So…even if you just bought a Go Daddy standard or deluxe ssl certificate, GeoTrust will swap it out?…give you a new certificate? — even though the retail price of a Go Daddy certificate is fully 1/2 of the street price of an equivalent  GeoTrust product? Really? And this is free?

Yes. It’s free.

Wait…let’s go back a step or two. Is this really a ‘rescue’? Go Daddy’s being auctioned, not going bankrupt. The fate of Go Daddy as a company is really unknown at this time. It’s possible they could be bought up in one big piece (for a billion US dollars), or they could be purchased and their services sold off individually..and it could be that they won’t sell anytime soon.

This leads us to conclude that this is less a rescue, and more of an attempt to reclaim the market share that GeoTrust lost to Go Daddy over the last year or so.

It’s fair to say that GeoTrust certificates are already ultra-popular. Among those who recognize SSL brands, GeoTrust is generally more respected. While  the entire Go Daddy brand is built on ultra-low-cost products piled high and deep like wedding dresses at WalMart, GeoTrust has grown its market share with solid products at prices that are somewhere in the middle between  discount provider RapidSSL and the long-established VeriSign.  Admittedly, the Go Daddy product is technically nearly the same in functionality than the GeoTrust brand, but when you factor in consumer trust…the value of one certificate versus another becomes a real issue.  GeoTrust has been around far longer than Go Daddy and its brand is more familiar.  The GeoTrust certificate is a more costly certificate and is arguably more valuable in terms of trust, so, it could be said that swapping a Go Daddy  for a GeoTrust certificate is an ‘upgrade’.

What this all boils down to is that GeoTrust is taking advantage of a perceived market weakness on the part of Go Daddy and is aggressively grabbing up every bit of business they can.  GeoTrust is willing to pay for that new business by providing a lot of free certificates which they hope to convert to loyal new customers when renewal time comes around.

So, unbelievable as it might seem, if you’ve purchased a Go Daddy certificate (and perhaps did so because it was a lower cost alternative) you can make the change to GeoTrust for free.

They won’t be running this kind of promotion indefinitely.  Word on the street is that  they’ll probably run this promo for the rest of the year, but then all bets are off on what 2011 brings to the SSL market.


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