July 2006                    DNJournal.com               The Domain Industry News Magazine

The DN Journal Newsletter is sponsored by DomainSponsor.com, The Leader in Domain Traffic Monetization.

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Flood of Advertisers Wash Away Summer PPC Doldrums

PPC (pay per click) revenues traditionally take a dive in summer months when people are off on vacation or simply taking advantage of the longer days to spend some time in the sun rather than at the keyboard. I was fully prepared for the usual big fall off in June, so it was an exceptionally pleasant surprise when my PPC earnings not only did not fall - but soared to an all time high. Several other people told me they had the same experience (and the stories came from people at a variety of different PPC companies, so the phenomenon was apparently widespread). 

In my case earnings jumped 20% over May revenues and were 12% higher than my previous best month in 2006 (which was March). So what's going on here? It seems that advertisers just can't get enough of the web. As they continue to leave old line media for the internet, advertising agencies are rapidly revising their web spending forecasts dramatically upward. 

Last week, Universal McCann said it now expects internet ad spending to jump 25% this year and that doesn't even count the gigantic search advertising category. In the company's last projection in December they predicted only a 10% increase for this year. When you factor in search advertising the stats are even more impressive. Google's ad revenue jumped 84% in the first quarter of 2006 compared to the same quarter in 2005 and Yahoo! had a 35% increase in the same period. This has helped propel PPC revenue higher for domain owners who are sitting in an enviable position indeed.

Advertisers aren't flocking to the web just because it is the trendy thing to do. They are pouring on line because they are seeing a spectacular return on their investment. Performics, a division of DoubleClick.com has issued an interesting report on Search Trends for the 1st Quarter of 2006. The report shows that web search advertisers are getting a better return on their investment than ever before. Total search ad spending soared over 37% from the same quarter in 2005 while the advertiser's sales rocketed by 72%! The report also showed that web surfers are searching on a wider variety of keywords with the number of keywords receiving at least one monthly click or conversion shooting up 36% in the past year. 

The amazing thing is that the migration to the web is just beginning. Internet ad spending is still just a fraction of the money spent in old media like newspapers, radio and TV, but the world is obviously changing at breakneck speed. Domain owners have reason to be happy but there is a culprit is lurking in the shadows that some think could kill the goose that is laying the golden eggs. That is click fraud. Domain monetization companies have been warning about it for a long time now and the extent of the problem is now being recognized by advertisers, the people footing those PPC bills that have kept domain investors smiling.

According to a new report from market research firm Outsell Inc., detailed in the San Francisco Chronicle, Internet advertisers lost $800 million last year to phony clicks on Google, Yahoo!, MSN and other sites. Advertisers complain that search engines aren't doing enough to combat the problem and the study says that 27% of advertisers have either reduced or stopped buying PPC ads all together. Outsell says that 14.6% percent of all clicks are bogus, and that 75% of advertisers have been victims of click fraud at least once. The unhappy campers are still outnumbered in the rush to the web, but there is no understating the potential for disaster if the click fraud problem isn't brought under control.

(Editor's Note: The Outsell survey was based on 407 online advertisers spending from $1,000 to $10 million annually).

Leading Brands Turn to Creative Domain Marketing to Reach Consumers

In an interesting trend
that Rob Sequin has been tracking at his SearchDomainsForSale.com site, some very well know companies, including American Express, Anheuser Busch and Bank of America have been using domains that make no reference to their brand names to connect with Internet users. Sequin calls the practice "creative domain marketing"

Examples include Audi using NeverFollow.com, BellSouth using FastAccess.com and Boeing using NewAirplane.com. "This method gives ad agencies and brands the ability to monitor traffic to the non-branded web site, allowing them to better track their campaigns. Also, developers and marketing agencies do not need access to the corporate or main brand site for development and statistics," Sequin said.  


Last time we looked, Sequin had documented 68 such campaigns. Here are the first 20 from his list (you can see the complete compilation at his site):

  1. ABC ABetterCommunity.com
  2. American Express - MyLifeMyCard.com
  3. American Lung Association - AsthmaControl.com
  4. Anheuser-Busch DesignatedDriver.com
  5. AOL - TotalTalk.com
  6. Aubuchon Hardware - HardwareStore.com
  7. Audi - NeverFollow.com
  8. Banana Republic - FindTheArtInTheEveryday.com
  9. Bank Of America Loans.com
  10. BellSouth FastAccess.com
  11. Best Buy - CEOOO.com
  12. Boeing - NewAirplane.com    
  13. Bowflex - BuyTC.com
  14. Burger King - SubservientChicken.com
  15. Busch Gardens HeroSalute.com
  16. Campbell's Soup - MySoup.com
  17. Carnation Instant Breakfast - GreatMorningGiveaway.com and MyMorningFuel.com
  18. Chevron - WillYouJoinUs.com
  19. Coffee Mate/Nestle - TheCowsAreComing.com    
  20. Comcast CultureFool.com

With such major companies joining the chase for generic words and terms, another log has been added to the fire that is fueling a domain boom that has continually gaining steam for more than two years now.

July Cover Story Coming This Weekend

Nathan Sassover

Our July Cover Story will be out this weekend and our subject is a perfect example of the remarkable vision shown by early domain investors. Unless you have been living in a cave, you know that Internet video has become all the rage this year. If YouTube.com isn't making headlines, TV network deals to make their shows available for download online is. Way back in the mid 1990's Nathan Sassover saw all of this coming so he started registering domains for a web-based global TV network. 

Sassover's company, WorldNetCast.com, went through some lean times waiting for broadband and the rest of the world to catch up, but now he is reaping the rewards for his foresight. WorldNetCast operates dozens of geographically targeted local video sites like NewYorkCityTV.com, SouthernCaliforniaTV.com and OregonTV.com

They have also broadened their scope with a search brand, YellowPagesTV.com, that will be featured across their network. WorldNetCast has already attracted advertisers like American Express, the U.S. Postal Service and Holiday Inn. 

In our story, we'll tell you where this web video pioneer came from and how he developed a working global video network on the domain name foundation he laid years ago. In the course of doing this article, we learned that Sassover has a personal background that has much in common with that of Ari Goldberger, the attorney/entrepreneur, who was the subject of our June Cover Story

Like Goldberger, Sassover's parents were survivors of the Holocaust. Nathan's parents each lost both of their parents as well as 13 brothers and sisters between their two families. Sassover's parents came to America in 1949 and settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where they, and Nathan, became naturalized U.S. citizens. It's another compelling story of how someone can start with nothing and go on to build something special. We'll of course send you an email when the new story has been posted.


Domain Fest Coming to Barcelona, Spain 

I'm sure just about all of our readers
are familiar with the big domain conferences staged by the folks who run the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. shows and the Domain Roundtable Conference. Europeans, who haven't been able to make it to one of those mega events in the U.S., will be happy to know that DomainSponsor.com and EuroDNS.com are teaming up to bring a domain confab to your neck of the woods - Barcelona, Spain to be exact. The event will be held at the spectacular Hotel Arts - Ritz Carlton and there will be NO registration fee! The sponsors are covering the cost for most of the meals, cocktail receptions and entertainment so attendees will only need to handle their own hotel and travel expenses. 
map of spain

Organizers say the primary focus of the conference will be on creating new business opportunities and sharing industry-related ideas. You are invited to RSVP at www.domainermeeting.eu. For more information you can send an email to rsvp@domainsponsor.com.

The DN Journal Newsletter is supported by Afternic.com, where you can get the name you want and discover the value of the domains you have!

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Ron Jackson

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