Why You See the Advertising You do

Are you being targeted?

Understanding how targeted advertising works is a critical part of how domain traffic is monetised. In this article I’m going to attempt to unpack online advertising and to help shed some light in what has changed over the years.

Escrow.com

Back in about 2002, when I first started investing in domains, I made sure that every one of my domains had an appropriate keyword attached to it. I had an underlying assumption that keywords influenced the advertising results and ultimately user behaviour via the click-through-rate (CTR). This approach seemed quite logical and I spent hours researching each domain and setting an appropriate keyword.

I remember attending a conference and hypothesized with the Google domain team that just because you owned pizza.com doesn’t mean the advertising should be about pizzas. I suggested that with an appropriate amount of research I discovered the advertising should be about raising a loan to start a pizza shop.

This was a hypothetical situation (I didn’t own pizza.com) but it did illustrate the importance of researching domains. What I didn’t realise at the time was that I was actually crossing the boundary between context sensitive advertising (ie. domain content) and psychographic targeting (ie. the user).

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Wolftalker
Thanks M.
14 May 2019
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Saturday Musings – There’s No Such Thing as Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech sounds wonderful but many of us need to have a reality check and realise that it has never existed, it doesn’t exist and will never exist into the future. At this point you may be getting a little miffed with me for such an audacious claim, after all, “Who has the right to tell you what you can say?” Well…..me actually….to be fair, not just me but us.

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As soon as we decide to become a part of a society, we give up many of our rights and the first of these is our “freedom of speech”. Social norms will either chastise you until you submit to good and proper conduct or in the more extreme examples the law will come to bear to assist you in modifying your behaviour.

That being said, I’m actually a strong advocate that society needs to become more tolerant to those people that say completely outlandish things. By tolerance, I don’t mean accept what they are saying but rather allowing them to say it.

For instance, I’m completely against neo-Nazi fascism but I will defend their right to express their views as long as it is in a non-violent manner. Why is this? Every time I hear a neo-Nazi in the news express their outrageous views it reinforces my own perspective to distance myself from their propaganda.

Likewise, I respect a person’s right to express their views on matters such as sexuality. Just because I defend their right to share their opinion does not necessarily mean I agree with their position.

I see there are three problems that have emerged around “freedom of speech”:
1.    Censorship
2.    Lack of considered debate
3.    Who decides what is acceptable?

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vanclute
Ahhh but there *is* such a thing as "freedom of speech". It's just that most people don't understand what it actually means. All... Read More
04 May 2019
mgilmour
Yes, you are right in saying that freedom of speech is freedom from prosecution.....but this has now changed. The patriot act (and... Read More
04 May 2019
mgilmour
Great truths in what you say Rob....many thanks for your contribution.
04 May 2019
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Why Plans are Vital to Your Success

Today my wife has a big smile on her face because we're having our old kitchen ripped out and a new kitchen installed. Needless to say, the house is a bit of a disaster but the contractors that are doing the whole process know exactly what to do and in what order.

Escrow.com

Having a plans is often viewed as unnecessary or something you put in the bottom of the drawer, but nothing could be further from the truth. I know that I feel a lot more comfortable knowing that the stone bench top is being put in after our new cupboards are in place.

If you can’t articulate what you’re trying to achieve in your own business in a structured plan, then it’s likely you won’t become a success. Many people have great ideas but very few have the ability to write them down and even fewer people can execute them.

About ten years ago, I was traveling on one of my around the world trips and dropped into Fort Lauderdale to catch-up with some friends. While I was there, I met with a couple of people that were looking to get some investment dollars into what I thought would be a potentially great business.

I asked them for their business plan and was met by a blank stare. I then asked for a forward projecting cashflow and the response was the same. In a bit of frustration I then asked to see their past financials and likewise these weren’t available…..oh dear.

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Listening to Credible Speakers

I recently conducted an in-depth analysis of a statistically sound sample of a several hundred thousand domains. There was nothing special or selective about the sample and yet the results showed that contrary to many peoples believe, domain monetisation is alive and well.

Escrow.com

I attend a lot of conferences around the world and I must admit that I get a little flummoxed when I hear over and over again claims that domain monetisation is dead. The reason for this is that my company, ParkLogic, sees the actual data from right across the industry and from our perspective nothing could be further from the truth.

When I say we see data for the industry I really mean that. Any domain traffic on the ParkLogic platform is evaluated every hundred milliseconds to see which company will pay the most for it. There’s no guessing or “gut instinct” involved, it’s all about the numbers.

I have two questions to ask the monetisation naysayers:

  1. Do you have a statistically sound sample of domains that allows you to speak with any authority?
  2. What have you done differently with your domains in the last 6 months?

The first questions strikes at the heart of credibility. If you don’t personally have the data or access to the data, then on what basis are you making claims that can potentially be damaging to the industry.

A few year ago, I was publicly ridiculed in a domain forum by an individual and told in no uncertain terms that I know nothing about domain monetisation. I took the condemnation on the chin and in a private message I asked my accuser how much revenue per month they were doing. The answer was $5.

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Wolftalker
Wise words M.
26 April 2019
fmichlick
Can't wait for you to present and share some data again. It would be especially interesting to see what type of domain inventory... Read More
27 April 2019
mgilmour
Hi John, All good questions. I've been publishing data on this blog for over 10 years and will continue to do so into the future. ... Read More
01 May 2019
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Saturday Musings – What's Easter All About?

Long time ago (about 40 years) in a country far, far away (ie. Canada) I woke up on the Sunday after Good Friday to an Easter Egg hunt. With the recent release of the latest Star Wars trailer I really couldn’t resist writing the previous sentence…..for me, as a child, Easter was all about chocolate eggs and rabbits.

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While at a Good Friday church service yesterday I received a skype message from a client in another nation and I was reminded that not everyone celebrates Easter or even knows why it exists. Easter is a Christian celebration and it does not trace its roots back to Cadbury and Hershey but rather to a man named Jesus.

My father is a church minister and he explained to me how Christianity is summarised at Easter time. Rather than humanity reaching upwards to God by trying to be “good”, God reached down to man by sending us his only son, Jesus. Easter is about remembering how Jesus willing laid his life down for all of humanity and that he became the sacrificial bridge between a loving father in heaven and us all.

I thought this was a pretty good explanation (thanks Dad!) as at its heart Easter is about an incredible act of selfless love.

I’m always amazed at the courage of veterans in the armed forces who lay down their life for others, or police officers and emergency workers that run into harms way (and sometimes sadly die) to save a complete stranger. These individuals express the highest form of love that is the heart of Easter. In fact, the Bible says, “Greater love has no man when he lays his life down for another.” (Michael’s paraphrase).

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mgilmour
Robin, Great to hear from you and I wish you a happy Easter as well. It's so sad that such good people have been lost in their sel... Read More
23 April 2019
Rawgi
I would agree that the giving of one's self to save others is a given, not a choice. the thinking would be, what am i, but one.... Read More
24 April 2019
mgilmour
Couldn't agree with you more.
26 April 2019
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