Some Domainers are Just Dumb

Are you domaining with ancient or modern tools?

I was reading an article on TheDomains.com about domain traffic monetisation and the comment list ended up being filled with doom and gloom. I found the comments tended to spring from domainers harkening back to the “good old days” when raking in money from their traffic was easy. Many of them also showed a complete lack of understanding about how monetisation has moved on from the “good old days”.

Escrow.com

I will once again say upfront that I’m one of the founders of ParkLogic and we monetise domain traffic but in a very different manner from ANY other provider. We work with almost all of the traditional parking companies and many of the global advertising networks. This gives us a unique perspective on the industry, and I believe provides us with some authority to speak on the subject of monetisation.

I would first like to tackle the common misconception that parking providers are thieves. Contrary to popular belief, we find the parking providers are not fraudulent and stealing your money. They are often as in the dark as you are as to why a domain’s earnings have fallen apart or why a clawback was applied to your account. Google is pulling all of strings and they don’t share squat with their partners.

Before you go accusing your account manager of theft think twice. They are actually your best friend who represent you to their larger organisation. I’ve heard of some account managers being treated despicably and it’s about time some bad domainers act a little more professionally. Thank goodness most domain investors ARE professional in their approach.

That all being said, have some parking providers attempted nefarious behaviours in the past? Absolutely! In fact, on the whole these companies are no longer in business. They’ve either been caught out by their customers or partners for doing the wrong thing and have now been expunged from the industry. This means the companies that have survived are generally pretty good.

Now let me comment on the state of play of domain monetisation. Is it dead? Nope. Is it dead for some people? Yes. The major reason why domain investors believe that domain monetisation is dead is because they keep on doing the same thing they always have. Go figure?

Let’s think about this for a bit. Many domain investors complain about declining revenues and then do nothing about it. They may change parking providers but that’s just like changing which cabin you’re going to sleep in on the Titanic.

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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.

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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
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Part 2 – Traffic Test – Focusing on Performance

What determines good performance?

This is the second in the series on running a traffic test. The first may be viewed by clicking on the link below:

Part 1 – Traffic Test – Baseline Data

Escrow.com

One of the challenges of running a traffic test is to determine which metrics should be used for comparison purposes. I’ve had so many people tell me that all that matters is revenue…..I beg to disagree.

Although revenue is a very important metric it is not the only metric that should be paid attention to. For example, let’s imagine the baseline data for an education related domain is from May and the traffic test started mid-June.

Many education advertisers wind down during June and therefore the pay-out rates per click will typically be less for this type of traffic. In addition, depending upon the type of education domain the traffic is likely to be less as well.

What we need to do is to interpret what the data is telling us and not just look at it and say, “The revenue is down, I’m pulling the test.”

One of the challenges in running a traffic test is using views as a comparison metric. Because every provider counts views differently then using this metric can end up becoming quite subjective....that being said, sometimes it's all that is provided in the baseline data so it's better than nothing.

Many years ago, I was sitting in a meeting with a person that controlled a very large domain portfolio. They were running a traffic test with us and we were taking them through our typical analysis and discussing what was happening at the individual domain level. This surprised the prospective client as they said they’d never done that before.

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Part 1 - Traffic Test - Baseline Data

Running a Traffic Test

Getting your hands around the data is paramount when it comes to working with domain traffic monetisation. I’ve had a number of readers ask me to write further about how ParkLogic conducts a traffic test and whether it really is worth all the hassle.

Escrow.com

The first thing we ask for is baseline data from where the domains were previously being monetised. Some people get suspicious with asking for this information and take the approach that we should just perform as “good as we can” so I thought it would be good to unpack why we ask for this data.

There are three primary reasons:
1.    Focus
2.    Accountability
3.    Trust

By having data prior to starting the test helps us immediately focus immediately on where the effort will have the most impact. Without baseline data we end up spinning our wheels for the first part of the test and this is not worthwhile for either ourselves or the potential partner.

Accountability is crucial in any transparent relationship. We take managing domains very seriously and we believe we need to be held accountable against the baseline data at the very least. Let’s face it, the revenue from these domains goes to paying mortgages and putting food on the table for many domain investors.

The last reason is trust and, in many respects, this is the most important reason out of the three. ParkLogic has a stance that we do not have people who use our service, but partners and these relationships are built upon a solid foundation of mutual trust.

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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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Recent Comments
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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