Blogs about the domain industry and the various players and companies within it.

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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auDA is Creating Yet Another Mess

AUDA is creating yet another mess....

I just had a read of the changes that the Australian governing authority (AUDA) is looking to introduce to the .AU namespace. I must admit that I found myself quite perplexed that they have no idea what is going on in the domain space.

Escrow.com

The single biggest problem with AUDA is they are the police, judge, jury and executioner of the .AU namespace. What do I mean by this?

AUDA actively trawls the .AU namespace looking for domains that may fall foul of one of their policies. When they find one, they demand the registrant justify why they should keep the domain and if AUDA is not satisfied with the response they turn the domain off.

Let me share with you my experience with this process. A number of years ago I used to own around 2,000 .AU domains, I dropped the lot of them and would now encourage anyone that owns a .au domain to do the same.

Even though I owned generic domains (ie. no TM violations) AUDA in their infinite wisdom decided to take a domain off me because they had researched the fact that a New Zealand company with a similar name to my domain may want to come to Australia. Completely ridiculous.

The fact that the New Zealand company didn’t exist prior to me registering the domain is beside the point. After complaining (and the domain turned off) AUDA then threatened to investigate each and every one of my .AU domains by using Google (a dynamic search engine) as the arbitrator of whether I could keep my domains. Like I said, I dropped the lot and invested my money in other namespaces where I had security over my assets.

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mgilmour
I'm not sure why the registry feels the need to be policing the TLD....and in such an arbitrary manner. There is a great amount of... Read More
05 April 2019
Wolftalker
Right on Michael. Good piece
07 April 2019
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Making the BIG Money!

Is the world using the credit card too much?

I just read a newspaper article that suggested the “R” word is starting to be used in financial circles around the world. What’s the “R” word you may ask? Recession. If the world heads into a recession, then is this going to have a significant impact on domain investors earnings? You bet it will!

Escrow.com

I remember reading an article posted by an industry blogger (not me) just post the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 that outlined that it was great being a domain investor because we were immune to the global meltdown. I must admit that I scratched my head and posted my own article that rebuffed this position.

The domain industry IS part of the global business community and in fact, in many respects we underpin much of it. When businesses are suffering then guess what! They spend less on advertising which depresses earnings per click rates and spend less (or not at all) as much on acquiring domains as they protect their cash.

Just this past week the German 10-year bond rate went negative. What this means is that you have to pay the government to look after your money. This sounds crazy until you realise that the recent issue was oversubscribed by 2.6 times. This suggests there is a flight of cash away from riskier higher yield paying countries (eg. Italy and Greece) as investors are more concerned about keeping their money rather than receiving earnings.

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Japan and ICANN Kobe

Shinkansen (bullet train) at Tokyo station

I’ve been in Japan for the past eight days and it’s been a tiring and yet great time. I’m writing this blog in a few spare minutes between meetings while sitting at a table in the ICANN registration area. Please excuse me if there are any typos or grammatical errors.

Escrow.com

I was in Tokyo for the first four days of my journey to the land of the rising sun. I’ve visited Tokyo many times and find it’s one of the most vibrant cities in the world…..besides that, it’s just a lot of fun! After a lot of great meetings, I had a chance to get out and explore the city with a few other friends that happened to be in Tokyo at the time.

There’s nothing quite like trying to work out how to buy a ticket on a Shinkansen (bullet train) to sort you out….so our first stop was Shinjuku train station. Shinjuku is a MAJOR station where trying to find out how to get out of it is an amazing feat of intellectual prowess, let alone get some bullet train tickets. Think of it as a massive escape room where the signs are designed to confuse the heck out of you.

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Heading to ICANN Kobe

As is my custom, I’m writing to you from the Melbourne Qantas Club as I wait for my flight to Tokyo, Japan. Yes….you would also be right in saying, “Weren’t you just in New Zealand?”

Escrow.com

Sounds like a bit of jetsetting but it’s actually more of a tyranny of timing. Last week I was hiking through the pristine wilderness of the New Zealand south island. I must admit, that the experience has really changed me and caused me to fall in love with tramping around trails while looking at spectacular scenery.

I’m now headed to one of the biggest cities in the world…..so I wouldn’t be surprised if I go through a little culture shock. Not from the amazing Japanese people but being surrounded by buildings and concrete. In New Zealand I could gaze 20 plus kilometres into the distance while in Tokyo it’s going to be to the next office building.

So what draws me to Japan? I could say the food…..and the culture…..and the many things Japanese and they would all be correct. In reality I’m headed to ICANN.

If you’re attending ICANN in Kobe then please reach out to me. I’d love to catchup…..but right now I’ve got to go as my flight just got called!

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fmichlick
Are you coming to ICANN Montreal in November? Would be good to see you here. Just too bad it's that late in the year, it's going t... Read More
16 March 2019
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