2014 - The Year Ahead

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DomainFest 2014 Announced

DomainFest 2014 Announced

For the 9th year DomainFest is returning to its roots by being held in Hollywood on the 31st March until the 2nd April at the Loews Hotel. This is great news for the industry and for Oversee.Net. For some strange reason a number of people in the industry have been voicing whether DomainFest would actually go ahead and some even suggested that it was the beginning of the end for Domain Sponsor! Those individuals must feel pretty silly now.

I have always liked going straight to the source and at no time during the last several months have I been told by anyone from Oversee that DomainFest was not going to happen. In fact, it has always been an emphatic YES! The challenge was to finalise the date and the great line-up of speakers and activities. So for all of the naysayers out there.....take some advice, if you have a question then go and ask the source.

I remember attending and speaking at the very first DomainFest and it was an incredible event that galvanised not only the domaining community but those outside of it. Oversee has consistently tried to bring new entrants into the domain industry by educating the wider media about the importance of domains to business. Whether it has been by personally inviting potential investors or having keynote A-list celebrities such as Kim Kardashian. The ultimate goal has always been so that domainers can realise greater returns on their assets through additional investment being poured into domains......I'm sure that Oversee wouldn’t mind helping in this process :-)

The innovative mindset is reflected in the conference agenda with three major streams of sessions with a focus on gTLDs, Domain monetisation and mobile traffic. There is also three sessions on domains as a business.

Although the sessions have always been outstanding I’ve found that it’s the people that conferences like DomainFest and TRAFFIC attract that make them special. They are gathering places for domainers to swap ideas, learn and most importantly do business.I think that going back to Hollywood is returning to the roots of what made DomainFest a great conference.

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Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

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What's RPM?

What's RPM?

Many people have said to me that the only thing that matters is revenue.....sure, revenue may be important but it's definitely not a measure of success. So the question has to be asked....what is a good measure of success?

Let's imagine that you have a domain that is doing 100 uniques per day and $100. You move the domain to another parking provider and find that the revenue drops to $75. What is the normal reaction? Move it back! Quick! I'm losing $25 per day! That actually may be the wrong answer.

Let's imagine that on the day the domain received $75 it only received 50 unique visitors. That would mean that the new parking provider is performing brilliantly compared to the first one. The way most people compare the results is via the "tried and tested" formula of:   revenue  /   views   *   1000   or in other words RPM.

This sounds wonderful until you realise that the definition of views is different at every parking provider. There are no standards at all. So it we go back to our example, the second parking company may have actually received the same amount of traffic as the first but just reported less because they have more aggressive filtering on the traffic. This would then mean that parking company one would once again potentially be the winner.

Confused? It gets worse. There are over seven different revenue numbers that can be used each month for every domain name for your RPM equation. A couple of them are, "The estimated revenue number" or "The number confirmed two days later". To get an accurate picture of what is really happening you need to get both the revenue and the traffic numbers right or you get the wrong answer and sub-optimally optimse the domain traffic.....which is a fancy way of you saying you will be losing money.

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Tracking the Data

Tracking the Data

So what does it mean to properly manage your domain assets? Some people believe that as long as you're earning PPC revenue, renewing domains and getting sales then all the bases are covered. These are important things to consider but let's unpack things a little.

Traffic revenue is money generated from the people that are going to your domains and clicking on advertising. There's a few things here that needs to be nailed down on a daily basis:

1. Aare the nameservers pointing correctly? These are often changed at renewal time by registrars.....especially if you are slightly past the renewal date.
2. Do you need to set cNames for routing traffic? cNames are used to route traffic to Google parking companies if you have a traffic routing system.
3. Are the domains in your parking account? Conflict resolution is a huge issue for parking companies and domains can often be inadvertently removed from your account if someone else believes that the domain is owned by them.
4. Keywords - are they the best ones and do they need to be updated?
5. Are there any other optimisation levers that you can use to extract more value from the traffic?
6. Is there are way to aggregate your traffic with others to get a better deal?

So this is just a few of the things that you need to consider to manage your traffic domains.....now let's look at sales......

1. Have you responded to all the sales offers? Most offers are SPAM so you need to spend some time wade your way through the good and the bad.
2. You've had a successful sale, now there is the whole Escrow and transfer process. Sounds easy but you need to remember to do it.
3. How do you work out the sales price for you domains? Is there an automated system or should you use your experience?

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