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”.

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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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The Future of Domain Monetisation

The future is very, very close....

About 8 years ago I wrote an article outlining many of the aspects of domain traffic monetisation that really frustrated me and what needed to be done to overcome them. Don’t get me wrong, I love monetising domain traffic but in its current form it’s both a blessing and a curse.

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One of the really nice things about traditional parking is that it’s easy to implement. You set your nameservers, pray for a click and watch the money roll on it. This also makes domain parking incredibly scalable. You don’t have to worry about anything other than getting more domains and hoping Google doesn’t decide to exit the business.

As one of the founders of ParkLogic, we took this to the next level by putting a real-time auction system for each piece of traffic reaching a domain. The goal of this approach was to extract the maximum amount of value from the domain traffic and then compensate the domain owners accordingly. This worked and revenue increases of 80% not out of the realm of possibility.

Despite a great result I was still annoyed about the fact that traffic monetisation involved everyone hoping for clicks to generate revenue and then throwing the users away. It just seemed a silly business model that was leaving a lot of money on the table.

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Wolftalker
Sounds like a leap forward. Sign me up
13 September 2019
mgilmour
We have released ParkLogic Sites with some traffic from non-domainer sources and it's looking really good. I'll keep everyone post... Read More
15 September 2019
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Part 4 - Traffic Test - Show Me the Money!

Analytics can generate exceptional returns.

This is the third in the series on running a traffic test. The first three articles in the series can be viewed at:
Part 1 – Baseline Data

Part 2 – Focusing on Performance
Part 3 – Improving the Revenue

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In the previous three articles I’ve been taking readers through an actual traffic test that a real prospective client is doing with ParkLogic (I'm a co-founder). I have not doctored the numbers or done anything to make them look better. They’re the real deal.

The traffic test is now at the stage where we are looking at really putting the foot down to maximise the revenue. Overall, there has been a 36% uplift in revenue, which for most people this would be an outstanding result. Once you begin to dig into the numbers the results look even better.

The following chart compares the performance of the latest week’s data versus the baseline as a percentage for various traffic levels. For instance, for domains where we saw at least the same level of traffic as the baseline there was a 46% uplift in revenue, for domains with at least 80% of the traffic, an overall 43% uplift. This continues on until for all domains it’s just shy of 36%.

Results by traffic level

 All domains will have varying traffic levels over time and what this chart displays is the performance of the traffic test at the different traffic levels. Since domains with less traffic take longer to optimise then it also suggests that the low traffic domains still have potential upside that is yet unrealised.

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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.

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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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Why is Domain Traffic Still So Valuable?

Domain Traffic is like gold.

For many years people have been making proclamations that the domain monetisation industry is dead and yet….it’s still with us. There is a really simple reason why a number of individuals have been so successful in the domain monetisation industry. Domain traffic is valuable because it converts like no other source of traffic available to advertisers.

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Yes, it’s that simple. Quality direct navigation is like 24 caret gold for advertisers that care to investigate what traffic sources are actually generating their profits.

When you think about it, it’s pretty obvious. If a person goes to beds.com guess what? They want to buy a bed! This gold standard of traffic is what also contributes to driving up the price of high end premium domains.

Many years ago, I read a report released by Google that outlined how domain traffic converted better than search traffic. Not surprisingly, the report quickly vanished…. Everything comes back to advertisers…..and guess what, they want this traffic and they want it bad!

Given domain traffic is so valuable, why is it that many domain investors have been experiencing a decline in their traffic revenues? Once again the answer is simple…..if you depend 100% upon Google to provide you with your revenue then don’t be surprised if they reduce payouts.

I’ve seen domain investors get all upset about their revenue declining but do nothing about it. Go figure? The domain traffic IS valuable but someone else is just taking your lion’s share. What’s the point in getting angry with Google and then doing nothing?

The Google domain management team is doing EXACTLY what they should be doing….maximising Google’s profits. They are not interested in maximising your profits. In fact, if any of them weren’t putting Google first then they would be fired…..

So the question I would like to leave you with is also simple, “Given domain traffic is so valuable shouldn’t you take charge of your own profit line?”

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