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February 14, 2013

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Death of Parking Pronouncements Premature? Oversee Says PPC Earnings Are Improving

Oversee.net CEO Debra Domeyer
welcoming guests to the 2013 
Webfest Global
conference last week.

A week ago today Oversee.net CEO Debra Domeyer hosted an 8am press breakfast before the final day of the 2013 Webfest Global conference got underway at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, California (Webfest is produced by Oversee's DomainSponsor.com unit). I was planning to share some of Ms. Domeyer's comments in our upcoming conference review Cover Story, but since the press breakfast wasn't an event for show registrants, I decided it made more sense to tell you what Debra had to say now in a stand alone article of its own. 

One of the many interesting points Ms. Domeyer made was that the company saw good year over year growth in domain monetization with the average PPC revenue in 4Q-2012 coming in a little better than the same quarter a year earlier. In a time when the "parking is dead" mantra is frequently repeated, that was bit of unexpected news. Lest you think the reported increase is company hype, I can tell you that the next day, a close friend who operates a popular monetization service that divides traffic across multiple parking platforms, told me he was seeing a significant increase in DomainSponsor's performance.  

Ms. Domeyer, who comes from a technical background (she was Oversee's Chief Technical Officer before becoming CEO), attributed the gains to better optimization including increasingly important mobile friendly technology. Ms. Domeyer said their mobile monetization returns were up 18-20%. She added that the company continually runs 13 different tests with changes dictated by those tests  bringing as much as an 8% rise in income. Debra also noted that the highest revenue per click came from tablet computers, followed by desktops, with phones third. 

In addition to monetizing domains owned by others, Oversee holds a large portfolio of their own and they both sell names and develop them with many already hosting profitable online businesses. She said most of their sales come from direct end user inquiries with a few 

others handled by the two or three brokers Oversee works with. Ms. Domeyer said even though the company has dropped many under performing domains from its portfolio, overall income from that portfolio was higher, thanks to "buying smarter."

Ms. Domeyer also commented on the Webfest Global conference that just completed its 7th annual run. Prior to this year it was known as DOMAINfest Global, but Debra said the name change was needed to mirror a paradigm shift in the industry that she believes makes it incumbent upon domain owners to be aware of constant changes in the web, social and mobile landscape that are affecting their livelihood.

Regarding her controversial choice of celebrity/entrepreneur Kim Kardashian as this year's Webfest keynote speaker, Ms. Domeyer, who describes herself as a risk taker, said she thought it was time to shake things up. As a woman who, as an expert surfer, has been dropped from a helicopter onto towering waves, Debra is certainly no stranger to taking chances. The Kardashian bet appeared to pay off with a standing room only crowd on hand to hear Kardashian deliver some useful

advice on how to start an online business (she credited her blog as the spark that got her started) and use social media to build a brand - in her case, one that is now known around the world. But that's another story - one I'll have more specifics on in our upcoming conference Cover Story.

(Posted February 14, 2013)

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