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09|12|2007 08:46 pm EDT

Domain Parking Shortcomings: Content

by Ahmed Farooq in Categories: Domain Development

It is with delight that I welcome a new author to Domain Name News: Ahmed F. Ahmed is an experienced developer, and his latest project, iBegin Source, offers reasonably priced local business data, which can help with domain development. [Frank Michlick]

It is both exciting and disheartening to read about parking development.

Exciting because it is good to see that domains are finally moving to the next stage. We’ve already proven enough times that domain parking works. Direction navigation exists. They are pre-qualified traffic. They click on ads. None of this can be disputed. It has been proven over and over.

Yet PPC was only a stop gap. The domain is a middleman – funneling traffic without laying claim to the traffic. How many people re-visit the domain? How many more would re-visit the domain if it was more than just a bunch of paid links? We’ve been hearing parking companies talking about ‘development’ since 2004 with nothing to show.

So it is good to see development coming along. Sure there is hype about web 2.0 and user-generated content, but that requires a large set of traffic. Use Digg as an example – less than 1% actually contribute stories to the website (which doesn’t factor how many of those are self-serving).

But it is disheartening to see startups doing the legwork. Why aren’t established companies like DomainSponsor or Fabulous looking into such automated processes? They claim that content websites bring revenue down. An obvious no-brainer in the short term. But what about long term growth? With content, there is a higher chance users come back. The site can gain links. At the least – offer us the option. People looking at the long term will be more than happy to give content a fair shake.

Want an example? Minnesota.com was supplemented with local data. The end result? Site traffic up 1000% in 17 weeks (and continuing to increase). Did revenue fall at first? Yes. Is it higher now? Absolutely. It is also gaining natural links, including a recent one from a TV station. The long term value proposition of the domain has increased – its brand name has been strengthened. Its revenue is up. It has links. Short term pain for long term gain.

There is a lot of data out there – both free and paid. And I don’t mean obvious sources like Wikipedia (which has been over-used). Project Gutenberg offers classic books for free. Perfect fit for literature/author domains. Geonames offers large amounts of local data for free. And those are only the free sources – there are a lot of paid sources that make a lot of sense for domains. In the post I mentioned in the beginning – the first comment is about developing local domains. There are tons of geodomains. Franky Schilling has mentioned local domains before. Frank M talked about Marchex utilizing local data on local domains, and even specifically mentioned where others could purchase local data. Heck SuperPages.com trumpeted their purchase of the LocalSearch.com domain. Why are parking companies just sitting around? Buying local business data may not make sense for one domain. But with tens of thousands (or even more) parked domains, it does make sense for parking companies.

That is just scraping the surface. What about weather? Recipes? Dictionaries? City data? All this data is free or can be had for cheap. It seems like the rich parking companies are happy to sit around while making money off of our domains.

Marchex is ahead of the curve. The startups are ahead of the curve. Even the Hot or Not guys knew it was time to start innovating instead of obsessing over the bottom line. Can the large parking companies wake up and start some of their content development? I don’t like leaving money on the table, and I assume you don’t either.

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9 Comments

[…] in better ways to monetize your domain portfolio’s traffic, Domain Name News has an extensive article on domain development today. The author, Ahmed F. from iBegin Source, points out that┬ádeveloping a […]

Ben Wilks

September 13, 2007 @ 6:19 pm EDT

Hi Ahmed, congrats on the appointment! I completely agree with you regarding development, but maybe that’s the seo in us. I think the main problem is the current parking companies have it soo easy, they don’t want to innovate because it takes time and money. I really don’t think they either understand, nor realise the implications of a quality developed domain. I have visited Fab and it’s clear they are all about following the easiest dollar. I think the seo/domainer types will have to evolve this on on their own, at the end of the day the money only flows to those that do the real work.

It’s a sad situation, but also a massive oppourtunity. I think the syergy between the domainers and seo’s out there will only move the development of parked domains forward. Personally I am doing just this, only I am about 5% in and have about 2 years to go. It will happen, just the long way around.

Nice post Ahmed, looking forward to more!!

– Ben

2w

September 14, 2007 @ 12:35 pm EDT

please consider starting up your own according your planning , ThANKye , 2w ,
ynot[why-not]

[…] by easydomains on September 17th, 2007 A good post spotted over at Domain Name News discussing the need to further develop content on parked domain name pages. I couldn’t agree […]

Craig Rowe

October 9, 2007 @ 5:46 pm EDT

WhyPark.com provides exactly this… a parking platform for quickly setting up a content site in minutes: full text, keyword specific content that is updated automatically. We hear the same results from our clients as you mentioned with Minnesota.com. Initial revenue decreases with a lower CTR, but then increases due to an increase in traffic.

Brisbane SEO consultant

June 22, 2008 @ 4:29 am EDT

It’s interesting the number of people who enter domain names into search engine search boxes rather than the navigation bar.

shopping

July 31, 2008 @ 1:50 pm EDT

Domain parking can be ethical or non-ethical, depending on who is actually doing it. I’ve realised this to be a truth. Many of those who argue that it’s a good idea are either good guys or bad guys, and the validity of the argument really lies in who is doing it not so much in what is being done (although, HOW it is being done is certainly dependent on who is doing it). Interesting post, though, there are many shortcomings.

fine art

October 15, 2008 @ 2:40 am EDT

Hi Ahmed!

I was looking around searching for domain hosting deals and I stumbled upon your post. For the past two years of working as an Affiliate Coordinator for a domain hosting site, I have not thought of this idea. My focus was on winning more and more affiliates without actually thinking what are other ways and possibilities that could have made them say NO or YES to any of my partnership offers.

And so I was thinking what parking development can provide to hosting merchants. What are the benefits and the negative impacts of this?

papia

November 10, 2008 @ 5:21 pm EDT

domain parking is a good way for someone to make some extra revenue, but there are many other ways to earn more. Especially when on has a domain with high pr.

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