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12|28|2014 02:10 pm EDT

TrafficZ Shutting down operations on Dec 31st, 2014

by Frank Michlick in Categories: PPC industry

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According to an email sent out by TrafficZ, it will cease it operations after Dec 31st, 2014, which is a relatively short notice. We’ve reached out for confirmation to Thought Convergence and also asked them if there’s any other properties/divisions that are still active besides DomainTools.

As you no doubt have heard by now, we recently announced the sales of our Aftermarket domain marketplace and our Agreed online escrow platform. In parallel with those sales, we will be discontinuing the TrafficZ domain parking and monetization service as of December 31, 2014.

In order to facilitate a smooth and seamless transition for you, our valued clients, we recommend that you explore alternative monetization providers and options for your domain assets. Many of our friends in the industry provide excellent domain management and monetization solutions, so we’re confident that you’ll find a suitable partner in no time.

Regardless of what you decide, though, please make sure to update your nameservers by 12:00 AM PST on next Wednesday, December 31, 2014, after which time we will no longer be serving ads from our upstream providers.

On behalf of the entire TrafficZ team, we’d like to thank you for your loyalty and support over the years (since 2002!!). And, as always, we wish you luck and continued success in all of your future endeavors.

Cheers, and Happy Holidays,
Ammar Kubba & Kevin Vo

02|22|2012 03:36 pm EDT

Google Kills Hosted AdSense for Domains on Undeveloped Sites

by Adam Strong in Categories: PPC industry

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Google sent out a message today to publishers using Adsense for Domains.  After nearly 4 years of running the program, the company has decided to discontinue their hosted Adsense for Domains on undeveloped domain names.  The company is recommending migrating your domain names to a parking company.

Domainers relished the release of the Adsense for Domains program as a possible way to “cut out the middle man” and bypass the parking companies, but most domainers who spoke with DNN have found that the program provided no additional benefits.

One part of the announcement that seems puzzling, Google claims that the “benefits to our partner network” don’t make sense to continue, yet Google recommends switching to parking domains through a parking company that uses a Google feed.  Google is in essence including the middle-man in this scenario. The parking companies may be adding the benefit of aggregation, optimization and fraud screening that Google does not handle, but it would seem that this skill-set is in Google’s “wheelhouse” . After 4 years they could have easily handled these tasks if not great improved upon the optimization and screening already being done by smaller players.

See the full message from Google after the jump.

(more…)

08|17|2011 04:34 am EDT

Yahoo! Introduces PPC Limits for Parked Domains on Five TLDs [updated]

by Frank Michlick in Categories: PPC industry

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According to an email sent by domain parking company TrafficZ last night, Yahoo! has introduced a daily revenue cap for parked domains in the .biz, .co, .info, .tv and .us TLDs. If a domain exceeds the revenue cap, no more paid Yahoo! ads will be displayed on the domain for another three days.

Unfortunately the announcement does not reveal the revenue cap, which could potentially be determined on a per domain basis. I would expect the parking companies that are on a Yahoo! feed to either a) implement a backup feed for those TLDs or b) ensure that a backup feed is used once Yahoo! ceases to deliver ads for those domains.

[Update]: We now have a confirmation from Parked.com & WhyPark.com that this restriction was also imposed on their Yahoo! feed. Craig Rowe told DNN via email: “Yes, this is affecting our Yahoo feed as well, and all Yahoo domain match feeds.  In our case, when the capping kicks in, we backfill the domain with ads from second-tier feeds.  So, it’s not that a domain will make no money, but rather it’ll earn less from those ads.

[Update2]: TrafficZ sent another update on Aug 17, offering “TrafficZ clients with exceptional .INFO, .US, .TV, .BIZ and/or .CO domains” to submit those domains to their account team for further review. The email goes on to say that “where appropriate, TrafficZ will work with Yahoo! to have revenue cap limits raised or removed from qualified domains, regardless of TLD“.

See the full note mailed by TrafficZ after the jump.

(more…)

05|17|2011 03:47 am EDT

Frank Schilling Switches To Google Feed, Begins Offering Parking Services (InternetTraffic.com)

by Frank Michlick in Categories: News

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The domain industry sees many changes. With the downturn of PPC revenue, many of the old-school domainers started to respond more actively to sales inquiries in order to make up for the loss. While it appears that PPC income is not yet on the rebound, many domain investors have been looking to development and other methods of generating additional revenue. Especially with domains that were using a Yahoo! PPC feed the change has been very noticeable.

Driven by the pinch of lower PPC revenues on a Yahoo!/Bing feed, it appears Frank Schilling’s NAMedia has recently switched to a Google feed. The company has also removed their social application originally launched as Note.com, then rebranded as Chatr and now finally Postboard. Via Email Schilling told DNN:

“In the early days of the oil-boom you could literally drill a hole in the ground with a hand-drill and strike a small gusher of oil. Then as the shallow oil ran out.. the hand-drill guys invested in bigger rigs and more sophisticated machinery. Today you have elaborate rigs manned by the hand drillers grandchildren, striking huge oilfields, miles below the sea floor. Many of the people behind the drilling equipment quite literally learned on the job. There is no university for this. The domain traffic business is very much like that. The last ten years have seen an evolution where things have gotten much more sophisticated. A few of the larger operators have embraced technology and grown to deal with the changed landscape in paid search. Google has become a critical partner in the evolution of type-in traffic monetization. The level of technical efficacy required to play there is higher though.

I remain hopeful that Yahoo will turn its third party marketplace around so it remains attractive to domain traffic, but that job is really Microsoft’s responsibility now, and it remains to be seen whether Microsoft cares enough to solidify third party publisher payouts and to fairly value domain name type-in traffic against other forms of traffic in the channel such as Error Search and Keyword Marketplace Arbitrage.”

Aside from switching parking feed providers NAMedia is also allowing others to use this new feed. Schilling created a site at InternetTraffic.com inviting people to apply for a “A no-frills domain monetization platform, for experienced type-in traffic operators.” and promising that “You will make significantly more money here“. According to WannaDevelop’s Mike Cohen, the service is being tested by the likes of Rick Schwartz, Chad Wright, Garry Chernoff, Alex Lerman. [Update] According to our friends at HosterStats, there are currently over 14,000 domains pointing to the service’s nameservers.

“I’m looking for high quality type-in traffic partners to grow a long-term and stable traffic co-operative. I’m in a great position to do this, having a unique structure with a very large tranche of owned and operated traffic. I don’t need (or want) to create a huge profit center for myself on the back of my fellow domainers traffic. This is about trying to reward those who innovate by returning the bulk of the revenue to them, so they can do what they do best.. Everyone who has joined to date, is pleasantly surprised when they see what their traffic is really capable of.”

05|16|2011 12:37 pm EDT

Google Experiments with highlighting the Advertisers Domain Name

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Up to the Minute

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After years of efforts by Google to de-emphasize the importance of domain names (i.e. by combining the search and URL bar in Google Chrome), the company is apparently now experimenting with highlighting the domain name for paid search results, as reported by Search Engine Land who got the tip from a reader.

The domain name of the advertiser is displayed behind the ad headline, separated by a “|” and written in all lower case.

[Update]: This is now an official feature on “select ads”, as per a post on Google’s Inside Adwords blog. No details have been published as to how eligible ads are selected. Lisa Shieh from the Inside AdWords crew writes:

In an AdWords ad, the display URL may be last, but it’s certainly not least. In fact, the display URL can be an important deciding factor in whether a user clicks on your ad.

04|11|2011 05:56 pm EDT

Google Ordered to Disclose “Parked Domains” Metrics

by Frank Michlick in Categories: PPC industry

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According to MediaPost a judge has ordered Google to disclose financial metrics stemming from their Domain Parking and Error Pages programs within Google Adsense. The lawsuit that was started by advertising clients in 2008 and a recent pledge by Google to dismiss the suit before it goes to trial was rejected.

The marketers alleged that such pages are low-quality and yield fewer purchases or other conversions than ads that appear on Google’s search results pages. The marketers also said they believed that clicks on ads on parked domains “were unlikely to lead to desirable business outcomes, and that placement on such pages could damage their brands.”

Google rejects those claims and said that advertising on parked domains “perform as well as or better than ads on Search and Display Network sites.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Harold Lloyd in San Jose, California ruled that Google also has to disclose how clicks are discounted on which sites based on the “smart pricing discount”.

[via MediaPost]

 

06|24|2010 02:24 am EDT

Trellian Launches Direct Navigation Ad Network

by Frank Michlick in Categories: News

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The Australian based company Trellian has just sent an email to its registered users announcing the launch of the “Trellian AdNetwork“, which allows the purchase of direct navigation domain traffic. The traffic originates from the domains parked on the Above.com Domain Parking Manager. According to the note the network reaches over 200 million unique visitors a month via over 1.2 million domains and redirects users to the domains to the advertisers in the network. The bid prices in the network are on a per unique visitor basis.

Advertisers will place a bid based on keywords or a list of categories and define their daily budget. The top bidder for the keyword receives the majority of the traffic, Bidders 2-5 will receive a percentage of the available traffic. Any bidder ranked sixth or lower will not receive any traffic. During the open beta only a small percentage of the available traffic will be made available to bid on.  Any of the traffic will only be sent to the advertisers if they pay a higher price than the domains earns from the other parking providers.

See the email after the jump. (more…)

09|22|2009 04:26 pm EDT

Recent Opinion on Google Case May Help Domain Owners

by Paul Keating in Categories: Legal Issues

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In June of last year, Google and Louis Vuitton were engaged in battle before the Cour de Cassation (France). The French court requested the opinion of the European Court o justice (ECJ) on three matters. Today, the European Advocate General issued an opinion advising the ECJ regarding its anticipated ruling. The AG opinion available here (Opinion) included the following:

“The selection by an economic operator, by means of an agreement on paid internet referencing, of a keyword which will trigger, in the event of a request using that word, the display of a link proposing connection to a site operated by that economic operator for the purposes of offering for sale goods or services, and which reproduces or imitates a trade mark registered by a third party and covering identical or similar goods, without the authorisation of the proprietor of that trade mark, does not constitute in itself an infringement of the exclusive right guaranteed to the latter under [the Directive]”

“Article 5(1)(a) and (b) of Directive 89/104 and Article 9(1)(a) and (b) of Council Regulation … 40/94 … must be interpreted as meaning that a trade mark proprietor may not prevent the provider of a paid referencing service from making available to advertisers keywords which reproduce or imitate registered trade marks or from arranging under the referencing agreement for advertising links to sites to be created and favourably displayed, on the basis of those keywords.”

“In the event that the trade marks have a reputation, the trade mark proprietor may not oppose such use under [the Directive].”

“The provider of the paid referencing service [Google] cannot be regarded as providing an information society service consisting in the storage of information provided by the recipient of the service within the meaning of Article 14 of Directive 2000/31/… in particular electronic commerce, in the internal market (‘Directive on electronic commerce’)”

What could this mean for Domainers? As we know, domain names in PPC serve as keywords for PPC results. While some PPC providers allow owners to categorize domains or add additional keywords, Google and Yahoo require that the added words bear a contextual meaning to the actual domain name. In essence, domain names used in PPC serve the same function as Google’s keywords as used in advertising. LouisVuitton.com is thus served up as “louis + vuitton”. The PPC advertisement links appear because advertisers who have paid Google/Yahoo to have their advertisements appear on pages in the domain channel when such keywords are used in a search.

We must of course wait for the official decision of the ECJ but it is nice to see when people “get it”, particularly when they are in such authoritative positions.

So, one may ask….. How is the PPC system any different from what the European Attorney General sees as infringing activities? In a real sense of course there is no real difference other than one keyword is purchased from a list and the other is in the form of a registered domain name (and of course you are you and Google is king).

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the various sectors of the Internet. Of course, UDRPs and the like are based on a different standard. However, even the panel decisions remain subject to court decisions. Now if only we could convince domainers to pursue legitimate claims in court, we might have something that would benefit everyone.


©Paul R. Keating, Barcelona 2009. Mr. Keating has been an attorney since 1983. He escaped the good life in San Francisco and now lives and works in Barcelona Spain. He specializes in domain name related matters including ownership structures, taxation, transactions and domain dispute resolution. Paul@law.es.

05|15|2009 03:40 am EDT

Strata Services Buys Domain Portfolio and Monetization Company

by Chad Kettner in Categories: PPC industry

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Strata Services, a leading domain management and optimization organization, has purchased PPX for an undisclosed sum. PPX is a domain development and monetization company that has recently developed a technology platform which allows its partners to access premium cost-per-action (CPA) advertisements in combination with other forms of monetization on the same platform.

“The PPX acquisition is fantastic for current and future Strata Services clients,” said Sam Dennis, the Founder and CEO of PPX, who will remain with PPX and continue developing the technology. “Backed by the financial strength of the Strata Services Group, PPX technology will grow rapidly and become a major player in the domain monetization space. Our media buying division will also benefit tremendously from the new potential traffic sources and partnerships exposed to us through Strata Services. I am extremely excited and confident with the future of PPX.”

Aside from the new cost-per-action revenue alternatives, Strata Services clients will also receive automated implementation of CPA templates in high margin verticals, the ability to generate revenue from both CPA and PPC sources from the same domain, free website development for high volume generic domains, and a significant increase in domain revenue and resale value.

[via PPX]

04|13|2009 05:46 pm EDT

Study Shows Generic Domains Improve PPC Campaign Results

by Chad Kettner in Categories: PPC industry

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Many internet marketers have speculated that generic domains are favorable for pay-per-click marketing because of their increased relevancy, however one domain name reseller has decided to prove it. MemorableDomains.co.uk, a seller of high quality generic domain names, has released a study comparing three identical PPC ads featuring different domain names — one generic name with an exact match to the product, one alternative generic, and one non-generic — to measure which style of domain name attracts the most clicks. (more…)