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

Why domain traffic is so valuable

Getting to the real value in domain traffic.

Have you ever wondered why advertisers keep on paying for domain traffic year after year? Despite all the naysayers out there saying that domain traffic monetisation is dead it seems to keep on getting better….yes, you just heard me right.

Escrow.com

Domain monetisation isn’t just about views, clicks, RPM and the like. Domain monetisation is all about matching advertising to user intent and this is why it’s so valuable for advertisers. When a person goes to a domain name, they have an intent behind their query about what they are looking for and this is incredibly powerful. The user has already passed from wondering what to look for to seeking to find.

The great majority of people who are in a seeking to find mode are wanting to purchase when they find what they are looking for. The difference between looking up something on a search engine versus domain traffic is that a person looking up something on a search engine is seeking information while a person typing in a domain name is seeking to buy.

Many years ago, I read a report that Google produced outlining that domain traffic produced better results for advertisers compared to search traffic. It was at a time when Yahoo reigned supreme in the domain space but it wasn’t long before Google aggressively went after the domain industry as the traffic converted for advertisers.

Continue reading
0
  1563 Hits
  6 Comments
Recent Comments
joezepy
Hi Michael, Do you have any stats as to how much of Google's ad business comes from domains? Do you know where that might be acq... Read More
16 August 2019
mgilmour
There isn't any definitive data on this but my guess is that it's several billion dollars a year to Google.....of course, the indu... Read More
17 August 2019
mgilmour
Hi Todd, All good questions. I can only say that at ParkLogic we've been developing a platform over the last 2 years to do exactly... Read More
17 August 2019
1563 Hits
6 Comments

Epik escrow or Escrow.com?

When is an escrow service really Escrow?

I’ve been reading a thread on NamePros that got pretty heated when Jackson Elsegood from Escrow.com, Matt Barrie (Freelancer CEO – Escrow.com’s parent company) and Rob Monster from Epik became involved. I don’t normally like to get involved in these types of squabbles, but I thought for this one I’d make an exception.

I would like to first state a disclaimer, I use Epik as a registrar and have been very positive in posts about the services they provide. I also use Escrow.com and Escrow.com has been a long-time sponsor of Whizzbangsblog. Now for this blog post….

There is a BIG difference between saying you provide escrow services and being approved by a governmental authority to provide Escrow services. Why is this? The governmental body has the authority and mandate to audit a fully licensed escrow service to ensure they are not only behaving in a correct manner but have the resources to backup any problems. There are incredibly large penalties for companies that don’t abide by the rules.

Anyone can put a shingle out and claim to provide an escrow service….I could be wrong but I would think that it’s only a matter of time before the governmental authorities stop them from doing this. If the authorities don’t stop it then it makes a bit of a mockery of governmental oversight.

That being said, my understanding is that Escrow.com does have governmental approval while Epik is not approved by any governmental authority. Regardless of whether it makes sense for the government to be involved or not these seem to be the facts.

When Matt Barrie (Freelancer CEO) challenged Rob Monster (Epik) on the state of the cash in Epik’s balance sheet it was a very relevant question. The only thing that can back-up a failed Escrow transaction is cash….not lots of other assets as claimed by Rob. For a start, the other assets take time to sell and may not be enough to back up a failed transaction.

Continue reading
0
  845 Hits
  4 Comments
Recent Comments
mgilmour
I did read the entire NamePros thread and I think that Jackson asked a really important question that was in the interest of both ... Read More
30 July 2019
Epik
The entire thrust of this special edition article is that you apparently think domain marketplaces should be licensed. They are n... Read More
30 July 2019
mgilmour
A couple of points: 1. It's a blog and not a special edition article.....but that's a good idea for the future! 2. I don't belie... Read More
31 July 2019
845 Hits
4 Comments

What's Going On With Enom Pricing?

What's happened to Enom?

I’ve had a long-standing reseller account with Enom for many, many years and being a bit lazy I really haven’t checked the pricing for a while. I had the need to register a .com recently and as is my habit I found what I was after and went through to my shopping cart. Boy was I in for a surprise!

Escrow.com

I couldn’t believe it but Enom was trying to charge $13.50 for .com domain? Considering that I also use Epik for my personal domains I’m more familiar with paying $8.49. The difference doesn’t sound very much until you multiply it over a lot of domains…..suddenly that five star vacation is getting further away with every registration.

For those of you that are wondering why I didn’t just register the domain at Epik in the first place then you’d be asking a great question. Call it stupidity on my part and I mistake I don’t plan on making into the future.

When did all these pricing changes at Enom happen? I actually have no specific date but wouldn't be surprised if it related to being purchased by Tucows. There’s one thing for sure, the remainder of my domains at Enom will shortly be finding another home.

Continue reading
0
  827 Hits
  4 Comments
Recent Comments
mgilmour
Sometimes it's best just to go with the biggest....
26 June 2019
mgilmour
LOL!I must admit that I'm finally awake now. I've been seeing the problems in the "degraded" interface for quite some time now.... Read More
26 June 2019
827 Hits
4 Comments

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).

Continue reading
0
  1212 Hits
  1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Wolftalker
Thanks M.
14 May 2019
1212 Hits
1 Comment

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.

Continue reading
0
  1277 Hits
  3 Comments
Tags:
Recent Comments
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
1277 Hits
3 Comments