Why Zero Click Matters

I received an email the other day inviting me to spend some time on a panel at a conference discussing the impact that Zero Click has had on the domain monetisation industry. It should be said that I like data…..touchy feely stuff is all well and good but getting a return from your domain investments is all about getting dirty in the numbers.

Escrow.com

First of all….what is zero-click? Zero-click advertising networks bid in real-time to get access to traffic. In the case of ParkLogic, there may be a dozen or more companies bidding for each piece of traffic every hundred milliseconds or so. The winning bid must outbid every other bidder AND also the best traditional parking solution to receive the traffic. This is all good news for domain investors.

So after receiving the email about the conference I decided to do a dumpster dive into the data and out popped the following chart about the impact Zero Click advertising networks have had on domain monetisation. The data goes from 1 November 2017 to 25 July 2018. I should say that we deal with many traditional parking solutions and zero-click companies and the numbers are aggregate of all of these.

Zero click

 
The chart comprises of three lines with two trend lines on the orange and grey series. The orange line represents the percentage of revenue that is now going to zero click companies and uses the right-hand axis. The trend is clear….it’s headed upwards.

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Wolftalker
..as always.
01 August 2018
mgilmour
I agree that there has definitely been problems of this nature in the past. We have seen that many of the zero-click networks have... Read More
03 August 2018
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Getting Into the Numbers...

I had a discussion with a domain investor today that went like this….."Michael, ParkLogic isn’t performing for my portfolio so I’m going to stop the test.” I replied, “Let’s take a look at the numbers and understand what they are saying.”

Escrow.com

We have a standard report that compares a baseline for domain names versus the most recent data. It only took a few minutes to identify the problem….it just so happened that out of over one hundred domains there were five that were pulling down the results for the portfolio.

Without the five domains there was an overall 63% performance increase. Our recommendation was to move the five domains that were pulling down the results and re-baseline them to see if it just so happens an advertising has gone missing during the USA summer period. If the domains popped back up then it was a great win for the client.

Getting into the numbers is key to assessing the performance of a domain portfolio and yet, so many domain investors don’t understand how to do this. The question that I constantly ask is “Why?”. Why are the domain not performing? Why are the domains performing? Why is company X winning the traffic? Why is the traffic going down? Why is the traffic going up? Why are/are not direct advertisers bidding on a domains traffic?

It’s asking the “Why” which leads to a fuller understanding of the overall portfolio performance. For example, without those five badly performing domains there was an overall revenue increase of 75% for domains that had at least 80% of the traffic compared to the baseline. Anyone would have to agree this was a great result!

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Domain Traffic Monetisation Continues to Grow

For those of you that listen to the naysayers and believe that monetising your domain traffic is dead then think again. The reason why domain traffic continues to be valuable is because advertisers want to reach potential customers.

Escrow.com

This demand for quality traffic has continued to increase while the volume of high value traffic has decreased as domains were dropped. Since the supply is diminishing and the demand increasing then the price paid for the traffic has gone UP over the last few years.

The question has to be asked, “If the price being paid by advertisers is going up then why are most domain investors experiencing a decline in their traffic based revenues?”

The answer is really simple. The advertising aggregators (of which Google is the largest) is taking a bigger slice of the pie. Ask yourself a really simple question, “How much of your earnings are exposed to Google?”

If the answer is “a lot” then don’t be surprised by the decline in your earnings. Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Are you doing the same thing as you’ve always done?

So how do you get an improvement in your results? I like to think about this in a similar manner to the gold rush. Many years ago, a farmer stubbed their toe on a rock, only to discover the rock was a nugget of gold. This was like the first domain investors monetising their domain traffic. It was an awesome time of easy money!

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mgilmour
That is true. What Google does have is a breadth of advertisers. I think this competitive advantage will be eroded over time but i... Read More
30 May 2018
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NamesCon 2017 - Not Long Too Go!

Vegas will come alive with NamesCon in just over a week! People will be flying from all over the world to get further educated about domains, conduct business and make new friends. I will be arriving on Friday 20th and I’m really looking forward to the swathe of meetings and sessions that I already have lined up.

Escrow.com

The first of my sessions is for registrars and registries and I will be sharing about some new technology that we’ve developed that will enable these two types of organisations earn additional revenue. It's going to a practical session that will unpack a number of great opportunities.

Date: Monday 23rd, 11am
Room: WP Engine Room

If you represent either a registrar or registry then it would be great to see you there as I’m sure it will well worth your time. If you have a clash in your schedule then please reach out to me either here or via the NamesCon app so we can meet one-on-one.

The second session I’m participating on is a panel that will be discussing “Monetisation”. There’s a number of other highly experienced individuals on the panel and I know that we will be all digging into how to get the most from your domain traffic.

Date: Wednesday 25th,12pm
Room: Uniregistry Keynote Hall

I should mention that I will also be accompanied by Laci Nagy from ParkLogic and I know that he’s really looking forward to catching up with clients and partners. Joe Politzer, who works with ParkLogic out of San Diego won’t be able to make it to NamesCon due to the recent birth of his daughter….congrats Joe!

I've been using the NamesCon app to reach out to a number of people and I must admit that it's a fantastic tool for coordinating meetings etc. If you haven't downloaded the app then please do so....it's really good! Click here to download the app.

My wife and two daughters will also be joining me at NamesCon. Sarah (my eldest daughter) will be attending many of the meetings and sessions with me as she is wanting to broaden her experience of the domain industry before her studies this year in social marketing. Please make her feel welcome as she soaks everything up in her effort to learn more about our industry.

So while I’m earning the money through the many business deals Roselyn and Elise will be out spending it up at the discount factory outlets……so if you ever want to do a deal with me then now will be the time. Somehow I’ve got to earn enough to pay for all their shopping! :-)

I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone at NamesCon and making a lot of new friends along the way.

See you there!

Greenberg & Lieberman

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Part 3 - The EPC Opportunity

The formula outlined in the previous two articles on EPC looks a little scary but whether we like it or not it is THE formula upon which a huge amount of the domain investor community swings. Understanding how it can impact your business actually isn’t rocket science but requires a little intuition. Here is the EPC formula in its entirety.

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EPC Forumla

 

The formula now incorporates the advertisement clicks and also the Monetisation company filter in the denominator. What it does clearly show is the closer you can get to an advertiser the higher the payouts.....no surprises there! The goal is to effectively eliminate many of the margins on the top line and potentially remove one of the multipliers in the denominator.

There are two problems with managing direct advertising relationships:

1.      There’s a large hidden downside cost associated with the relationship management.

2.      Most domain owners don’t have the scale to attract the interest of the serious advertisers.

The one great thing about domain parking is that it’s scalable without scaling the direct cost base associated with matching the advertisers. The question is whether there is enough free margin available to offset the costs.

The rise of zero-click solutions is an attempt at getting closer to the advertiser in a unique manner. For those of you that are unaware, zero-click is where domain traffic is routed directly through to an advertiser’s web page and does not require a click. Behind the scenes there is a real-time auction process to determine whether the zero-click advertiser will pay more than a parking solution for the traffic….if they do, then they get the traffic.

Many of the zero click companies have moved away from working directly with domain owners because the domain owners do not have enough traffic to warrant working with them. The cost of doing business is just too high…..therefore domain owners are faced with working with traffic aggregators.

What needs to be appreciated is that as soon as you add zero click to the mix then you are effectively introducing yet another EPC. Remember that EPC is a measurement across a period of time (typically 1 day) while zero-click is an offer at a point in time. In terms of the stock market, this is comparing an average price versus a spot price….the two don’t mix.

Let’s take a look at an example that will hopefully provide further insight into the challenges of zero-click. Remember the example of EPC we used in article two in this series? The EPC was made from six clicks each of $10, $10, $5, $5, $1 and $1. The final average EPC result for the day came to a value of $5.33. You don’t know the individual values that made up the $5.33 you ONLY know the $5.33.

Let’s imagine a zero-click solution offered $6 for the traffic? Since it’s more than $5.33 then it looks great! Wrong! Zero-click solutions are smart and only want the pristine traffic. They can often accept the traffic that you were previously getting paid $10 for and now pay you $6. Your average EPC for the day has now dropped to $4……which is lower than you received previously.

Correctly setting up a zero-click initially solution sounds trivial but it actually isn’t. There must be a dynamic swinging of the real-time auction process to ensure each piece of traffic receives its full value. This can get really complicated really quickly!

I hope this series of articles helps domain investors in their understanding of one of the very much taken for granted metrics that are bandied around. EPC isn’t as simple as can initially be thought about and yet coming to grips with its intricacies can pay significant dividends. If you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Greenberg and Lieberman

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vanclute
and this is why I work with ParkLogic.
25 November 2016
mgilmour
LOL and thank you for your kind comment. :-)
25 November 2016
vanclute
It was made with all sincerity! Trying to manage my own advertiser relationships was an area of absolute disaster for me as a tra... Read More
25 November 2016
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