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

Part 4 - A History or RPM

And yet another RPM variation....

Please click on the below link to view the first three parts of A History of RPM:
Part 1 - A History of RPM
Part 2 - A History of RPM
Part 3 - A History of RPM

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Some people have mistakenly thought that if another player is involved in the chain (eg. someone like ParkLogic) then the margin that they take will consume any benefits. This couldn’t be further from the truth as companies such as my own play more than just a revenue increase, we also manage downside risk.

To understand this hidden benefit, we need to return to the RPM formula from Part 1 in this series. At ParkLogic we effectively have an RPM for every domain, at every monetisation company at every point in time. In fact, many years ago I coined the term normalised RPM (nRPM) as the unit of measurement for every monetisation source.

This means we actually know who is paying the most for any domain at any point in time. We then route the traffic to those destinations so that ParkLogic customers achieve a greater yield for their traffic.

As a by-product of this process we also manage downside risk. For example, if a domain is being paid an nRPM of $10 at one provider and $9 at another we would rightly route the traffic to the $10 provider. Suddenly the $10 provider loses a key advertiser and is now paying $2. If you were leaving the traffic at a single provider, then you would get the $2 but with ParkLogic the traffic will automatically flow to the $9 provider. This dramatically smooths out these types of market disruptions and reduces the risk for the domain investor.

Now here’s the problem with all of this history and discussions about RPM. When you deal with direct advertising networks, they have another type of RPM altogether….and it’s a difficult one to crack and it highlights the difference between a spot price and an average price.

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Part 3 - A History of RPM

Two titans inadvertently impacting each other.

Please click on the below link to view the first two parts of A History of RPM:
Part 1 - A History of RPM
Part 2 - A History of RPM

The volume of domains being dropped was so high that Verisign found it was being buffeted by the Google margin grab. During this time, you could track the impact a one cent PPC drop would have on Verisign’s revenue line.

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I remember conducting an analysis that concluded it would be financially viable for Verisign to underpin the entire domain investment industry so domains weren’t dropped. From memory it showed that every domain dropped cost Verisign $73 of market capitalisation. By underpinning the PPC payouts by diverting marketing dollars directly into the monetisation companies Verisign could halt the tsunami of drops from marginally profitable domains.

Several years after the GFC Google had reached rock bottom with the margin grab. I can only surmise that if they kept on increasing their margin then the partner network would essentially collapse. This would not be a good thing to happen right in the middle of rumblings about monopolistic behaviour at the legislative levels.

What we shouldn't miss in this whole saga is that Google's behaviour has been completely economically rational. They have the interests of shareholders to consider and not the domain industry. Those domain investors that moaned about what Google was doing needed to make changes to their businesses and do something different.

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Part 2 - A History of RPM

This is the second in the series on "The History of RPM" and refers to the forumula discussed in Part 1.

RPM formula

Please click on the below link to view Part 1 of a History of RPM:
Part 1 - A History of RPM

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A number of years ago, one domain parking company (Domain Sponsor) controlled a HUGE volume of traffic and ruled the industry. Using their market power, they began to dictate terms to Google. Although I wasn’t privy to internal discussions, I could view Google’s response from an external perspective.

Since a contract was in place Mg was VERY HIGH and Google was bound to pay a bonus for what they previously thought would be impossible high traffic levels. This created a virtuous spiral for Domain Sponsor. As payments increased, they sucked in more traffic, climbed the tiers and they then increased payments further etc…..well, you get the idea.

What did Google do? They shattered the market by issuing a whole lot of new contracts (eg. Parking Crew, Internet Traffic, Voodoo etc) and wrote contracts that provided sunrise clauses to new players, so the traffic was sucked out of Domain Sponsor and the tail was no longer wagging the dog. They then rewrote the contracts with shorter terms and different values for Mg.

For those of you that are familiar with Domain Sponsor you will also know that it no longer exists. This could be blamed on a whole variety of reasons from bad management and VC driven outcomes through to Google but the fact remains that the once king of the domain industry was dethroned and ground into the dust.

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Recent Comments
Wolftalker
23 September 2019
mgilmour
Thanks for that! I try to be as interesting as possible by providing a different perspective on what is often treated as the munda... Read More
23 September 2019
Guest — boboli
Thank you for the tutorial and history. Is there anything good about Google, dominant a player as they are, having such control o... Read More
24 September 2019
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Part 1 - A History of RPM

Getting a fuller understanding of RPM

In this series of articles, I plan on sharing my insights into RPM and how this metric has impacted all our lives in the domain industry over the last decade. I hope you enjoy the articles as much as I have writing them.

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For those of you that are unaware, RPM means Revenue Per Thousand Visitors. I find that very few people understand how this universally accepted measurement term is calculated and how it can vary from one provider to another. During the following articles I will be referring to how RPM has shaped the history of the domain industry….

Most people would be aware of the formula for a domain’s RPM looks like the one below:

Simplistic RPM formula

This looks simple enough until you begin to dig into it. The reality is that a sustainable market RPM formula it looks something more akin to the following:

Extended RPM Formula

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joezeppy
Hi Mike, You're a show off but I mean this in the most positive way. I love this stuff. LOL
24 September 2019
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apTLD Here I Come!

Leaving on a jet plane...

Once again, I find myself sitting in the Qantas Club waiting for my international flight connection to head to Singapore and apTLD. The first thing that many of you will be asking is what the heck is apTLD? apTLD stands for Asia Pacific Top Level Domains.

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I’ve been asked to speak at apTLD and to fly the domain investor flag to the ccTLD registries that will be present. Many of these registries don’t even know that domain investing exists so it should be an interesting education for both them and me.

I must admit that since it’s a short, day flight (only 8 hours), I’m looking forward to getting some work done, have a rest and generally let the world go by. The magic of noise cancelling headphones will block out the planes engines as well as the tap, tap, tap of my fingers on the keyboard.

This is the first trip for me after the northern hemisphere hiatus and I’m really looking forward to catching up with old friends and having a chat about business. I’ve always found that during July and August it’s a great time to do some development work rather than chase people who would much rather being enjoying the sunshine.

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