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The Lowdown

Dec. 15, 2008 Post

Here's the The Lowdown from DNJournal.com! Updated daily to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry!

Compiled by Ron Jackson
(DN Journal Editor/Publisher)
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For the domain parking companies there may be a silver lining in the dark cloud Google cast over their businesses last week when the search giant announced they were going into 

Is there a silver lining in the dark cloud 
Google cast over PPC conpanies last week?

direct competition with their own downstream PPC service providers. As I said here Friday the bottom line will be whether or not domain owners can make more money going direct with Google than they can with their current parking companies. It is still way too early to say for sure, but some of the early feedback indicates those looking for the pot at the end of the rainbow aren't going to find it in Google's expanded Adsense for domains program. 

On Saturday a DNForum.com member posted about his early results after moving some domains to Google, writing "Revenue so far is down by almost 35% for me. I'll assume its due to the fact that the change in name servers and records have yet to propagate through out the internet. However, if this continues, it's back to Parked.com for me. CTR (click through 

rate) also has a marginal decrease. The 200 channel limit is stupid if you have thousands of names. I already miss simple features like origin of traffic and searches, etc. not to mention vibrant templates. Sure, one click landers may even things out but I've yet to see any true benefits. I'll give it a few more days to see how it fares though."

Due to lack of transparency in the parking business (largely due to Google refusing to let their parking partners disclose more information) some believe their parking companies give them the short end of the stick. They may now learn that the PPC companies have been giving them a better deal than Google themselves is willing to give individual domain owners. If it becomes clear that is the case the parking companies are going to be big winners in their customer's eyes.

This is just the top of the first inning in what is shaping up to be a long ball game though. We have to wait and see how Google's plan unfolds. Will they roll out a better interface (drastically needed), attractive templates, comprehensive reporting systems, etc (things domain owners have become accustomed to with their current PPC providers)? Will they match or better the payments people can get through their current PPC providers in an effort to siphon off their business?

The other question to be answered is what was Google's ultimate motivation for going down this path? Several knowledgeable observers think the reason is not simply a money grab aimed at putting their partners out of business, but part of a previously announced desire to see the domain channel "cleaned up" (as well as to get their hands on valauable account level data that is currently held by the parking companies). Rick Schwartz writes about this in an interesting new post on his blog today. 

UK based blogger Julia MacKenzie, who has shown some great insight on Google related matters, does so again on her Is It Me or Is Everyone Else Stupid? blog where she wrote about the channel clean up theory Friday. For still another interesting angle, check out Andrew Allemann's post about early reaction from some of Google's parking company partners today at Domain Name Wire. It looks like Google watching is shaping up to be the most popular pastime in the domain industry in 2009.

On another front, Aftermarket.com has been chosen as the live auction provider for the Domainer Mardi Gras conference coming up in New Orleans Feb. 19-21, 2009. Those dates fall on the weekend of the world famous Mardi Gras celebration which will certainly give this event a spectacular backdrop. The show is being staged by Modern Domainer Magazine and Parked.com.The live auction will be held on Saturday, February 21 and bidders can participate in person or online. 

Modern Domainer Managing Editor Ezra James said, "Aftermarket.comís auction platform is a leader in the industry and we are thrilled to have them be a part of Domainer Mardi Gras." Ammar Kubba, the Chief Strategy Officer at Aftermarket.com's parent company, Thought Convergence, Inc., added "We are extremely honored to be part of and to provide premier auction services for Domainer Mardi Gras. It is our 

goal to offer risk management related domain names in the Domainer Mardi Gras auction. Given the revelry environment of Mardi Gras, we also welcome festive related domain names for submission to the auction.Ē 
(Posted Dec. 15, 2008)

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