May 2008 - Name Monetizer #34
April found continued stagnation in domain parking. Yahoo actually announced early in the month that 3% of search queries on Yahoo’s site will show Google Adsense for Search ads instead of Yahoo’s own search ads. If Yahoo really exits the PPC ad business domainers would be stuck with Google as the only major source of PPC ads on their parked pages. How likely is this? Analysts are divided. There has been a lot of speculation that Yahoo is posturing with this move - hoping that Microsoft will notice them getting closer to Google. Others believe that a deal might really be made, noting that outsourcing search ads to Google would boost Yahoo's cash flow.
Yahoo's paid advertising service started as GoTo.com in 1998. IdeaLab was the parent company, and the GoTo service offered paid listings to advertisers - originally at the GoTo.com site. The service re-branded itself as Overture in 2001 and made deals with major search engines and portals such as Yahoo and MSN to include their paid listings. Yahoo bought Overture in 2003 for 1.7 billion dollars. Since that time the service has gradually been re-branded as Yahoo Search Marketing. The Ads that people purchase through Yahoo end up on your domains when you park with Yahoo-based services such as Parked
, Active Audience
, and GoldKey
announced a new customer support site in April. The site consolidates resources that were formerly scattered across the Sedo
site. They are also abandoning email support for a "trouble ticket" web-based approach through this new support center. While such a system usually does a better job of tracking customer service requests, it does not guarantee a faster response time. We are now asked to stop emailing
and to instead use this new site - Support.Sedo.com
The site looks nice. The opening page includes the stock attractive female wearing a telephone headset, but this woman has pleasant multi-racial features reminiscent of Tiger Woods or Solidad O'Brien. Clicking through to the site reveals a list of frequently-asked-questions front-and-center. Someone took some time on these. One good example:
What is "fake traffic" exactly?
Fake traffic" includes all visitors to a parked page that do not reach the page through natural traffic. Natural traffic is type-in traffic or organic search engine traffic.
Fake traffic includes any of the following:
• Traffic from a visitor exchange system
• Advertising the domain in forums or e-mails
• Encouraging friends or family to visit the page
• Linking the site to a link list
• Using Google AdWords™ or other similar programs
• Generating traffic from scripts, robots etc.
• Self-generated clicks and Traffic
Sedo goes on to say what they will do to you if you are caught sending them "fake traffic." I'll let you read that part yourself.
Sedo also announced that "Members can view answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs), submit ratings for answers to questions, and see the status of their queries under a special "My Stuff" folder. The online Customer Support Center will also store member’s personal history of submitted questions, so they are easily accessible if needed."
What is the future of domain parking?
I asked that and other questions to Matt Bentley of Sedo, Donny Simonton of Parked, Jeff Kupietzky of DomainSponsor, and Kevin Vo of TrafficZ earlier this year. I condensed their answers into a 12 minute video. You can hear and see their views about the future at: http://www.revver.com/video/830722/the-future-of-domain-parking/
Longer video interviews of domain parking leaders are now at ParkQuick.tv
One common theme is that more complex "parking pages" are likely to develop. WhyPark
continues to push the envelope here. Some counted them out recently, when Google stopped showing AdWords ads on many of their sites. WhyPark has responded with its own ad network, and recently announced that an "angel investor" has invested in their service to help them grow their technology and their offerings. We have also begun to look at EvoLanding
- a service that shows some potential. Domains at EvoLanding grow over time and begin to contain viral videos and other search-engine-friendly content. Their system is a little tricky to work with, though, and it takes time for traffic to build. They want to talk with you on the phone, and they don't answer their own phone - so there can be a lot of telephone tag involved. A spokesperson at EvoLanding stated that "we are not trying to be a parking alternative; great domains are just one piece of the overall vision which is to create a long term media network." I haven't decided whether creating a media network fits into my long term plans. Check out these examples of EvoLanding sites: TelephoneCenter.com
. If you apply,
to submit at least 75 domains to their service (because they require a minimum of 50 and they will not accept every domain).
TrafficZ beefs-up Security.
After a phishing attack several weeks ago, TrafficZ
emailed new passwords to members. They then required members to change passwords again - to a very strong password that is also difficult to remember. New challenge software asked people to "click on the picture of the cat" if they tried too many times to login with the wrong credentials. To their credit, TrafficZ also implemented "challenge" questions to use if you forget your password. In the past their service would sometimes not accept your password upon initial login, but then accept it at the next screen. This bug appears to be fixed too.
(parent company of DomainSponsor
) announced early in April that David Subar has been appointed Chief Technology Officer for the Company. The company announced that he will be responsible for "building and implementing technology that supports Oversee’s core activities in its Domain Services and Marketing Services divisions, while aligning the Company’s technology resources for further expansion." Before coming to Oversee Subar was CIO at Interthinx, a fraud detection and risk mitigation company serving the financial services industry. He has held numerous technology leadership positions in startups for venture capitalists and was CTO at PeopleLink, an IdeaLab company.
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I will send this newsletter out monthly or when there have been significant changes in the domain name monetization industry. An extra issue may be sent when there is a major change in a service that warrants your immediate attention. Back issues are available at NameMonetizer.com. For a variety of content related to domains and SEO check out DomainerSEO.com.
Leonard Holmes, Ph.D.
CEO, Healing Sites Network, LLC
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