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.
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.
When I wrote my article about building a scalable domain development platform, I ended up outlining several key parts of an overall system. They were:
- A traffic quality system to protect advertisers from bad traffic.
- A content management system to make it easier to have an impact of results.
- Backend reporting at a domain level that incorporates both web and behaviour analytics.
- Management system for making decisions on content, deploying new instances etc.
In fact, below is a slide from a presentation that I conducted last week at apTLD (Asia Pacific Top Level Domains) that outlined what I'm talking about.
A couple of years ago I decided to stop talking about a platform that did all these things and start building it myself. It was a bigger journey than I could imagine and one that took me into the bowels of the Internet to discover the real difference between human and bot traffic.
If you're thinking this is an easy problem to solve or maybe you can use an external provider than think again. We test a bunch of these companies and they all got bots completely wrong.
The result is that I finally built it…..and it went live with some traffic last week. A good way to think about it is that it’s a platform that has a LOT of functionality that forms the skeleton about which we can then graft the muscles and organs onto. That being said, it’s coming together quite nicely.
You can see a sneak preview of an example page below. It looks like a real website, because it IS a real website. We are committed to continuing to build features into what we are now calling, ParkLogic Sites.
This will provide an interesting array of opportunities for domain owners that were previously unavailable with traditional monetisation. I think the most unique feature is the fact that we are already seeing people signing up and we know which domain directed them to sign-up. Potentially this means that domain owners could receive revenue from the life-time value of a sign-up.
Just think about this for a second. Most domains either have a consistent or declining revenue stream from their traffic. What I’m talking about flips this whole situation on its head. As more user’s sign-up from your domains, they will do more revenue based activities which means the revenue from a domain could potentially increase over time.
It’s all still early days yet but it won’t be long before we start consolidating the data into management reports that can flow back into the ParkLogic core systems. As you may have guessed, I’m pretty excited about this and look forward to continuing to develop a dream that began 8 years ago. Let me know if you are interested in getting a big of a tour.