April 2010 - Issue #57

 
 Rick Schwartz Puts Domain Portfolio up for Auction
 
Domain King Rick Schwartz announced today that he is selling all of his domains at a Moniker domain auction to be held at the upcoming T.R.A.F.F.I.C. South Beach Conference.  According to Schwartz:
 
 "Greetings!
 
I've decided to take a break from domaining and spend more time with Howard and my family.  This is an historic year as Howard and I step back and take a break while Rick Latona runs 5 of the 6 TRAFFIC shows in 2010; the next being in Milan, Italy, in just 30 days!  I will be putting my entire domain portfolio up for auction at the MONSTER show we have planned for South Beach, the world's hottest spot hosting the world's hottest industry.  Plans are already under way and we look forward to showing you South Beach's hottest clubs with the hottest people anywhere. Even the weather will be hot! We will be pulling out all the stops on this show. This promises to be the finest, most elaborate event in the history of TRAFFIC. It will be a landmark auction and show, that will be talked about for years to come.  Howard and I decided that April 1 is the perfect date to announce such a stupendous auction event.
 
Have a GREAT April Fool's Day!"
 
 Yahoo Exits the "AdSense" Business
 
Yahoo announced on March 31st that it shutting down its Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN) effective April 30. According to a Yahoo bog post, the decision "does not affect large, direct publishers and partners, nor advertisers using Content Match."  They go on to state:
 
Earlier today, Yahoo! emailed a small group of publishers participating in the Yahoo! Publisher Network self-service beta program (also known as “YPNO” or “Yahoo Publisher Network Online”), to inform them that we have decided to close the program effective April 30, 2010. This only affects our self-service platform for small publishers who syndicate our Content Match (contextual) listings.

This decision does not affect nor impact our relationship with large direct publishers and partners in any way. As Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz has stated previously, our publisher (or affiliate) network is an important part of our business, and Yahoo! will continue to invest and innovate to ensure that our publishers realize the best value possible from our partnership.

Publishers participating in the self-service beta program displayed our advertisers’ Content Match ads (or text-based ads), but this made up only a small amount of total impression volume. Advertisers’ Content Match ads will continue to be displayed on our large, direct partners’ sites, as well as across relevant content on Yahoo! sites. Sponsored Search ads are not affected by this announcement at all.

Yahoo launched the program in 2005 as a competitor to Google’s Adsense program that lets small webmasters publisher syndicate pay-per-click ads on their web site. The service never developed good targeting technology, and early high payouts gradually declined. At one point YPN ads were working on domains that Google had shut-out of their AdSense program because of duplicate content.  An early incarnation of WhyPark was one example, and their eventual development of in-house ads kept some domain owners from having to resort to YPN ads.  
 
Yahoo-based parking companies, such as Parked, WhyPark, and SmartName, will continue to monetize through Yahoo for now.   As the Yahoo-Microsoft deal comes together we may see Microsoft contributing ad inventory to these services.
 
 ParkLogic - Domains as Investments

Michael Gilmore is serious about domain name investing.  You've probably seen his blog and heard him speak at domain conferences.  His vision for domain names involves treating them as objective investment vehicles - similar to stocks and bonds.  He has developed a platform at ParkLogic.com that allows owners of major domain portfolios to tightly analyze the performance of their domains and make solid financial decisions based on clearly presented charts and metrics.  

The platform also optimizes domain parking income by testing at different services and parking where it earns the most.  ParkLogic upgraded their platform before the recent DOMAINfest Global conference and the new platform is solid and scalable - running on SalesForce.com.  

ParkLogic claims to offer:

Credible, standardised metrics – a core foundationto revenue maximising decisions is transparent and meaningful performance data within and across monetisation options.

  • End-to-end metrics – in an industry with widely varying definitions, we provide standardised data and metrics from raw traffic data to ultimate revenue:
    • raw traffic data, Geo IP tracking, standard unique definition and traffic health for monetisation;
    • traffic acceptance and monetisation data by monetisation path.
  • Normalised data sets:
    • traffic data matched to monetisation data to provide true, end-to-end RPM and related metrics.
  • Consolidated reporting and payment aggregation

You can actually view how each domain looks when parked at 8 different parking companies - but you can't get stats that compare these companies one to another.  That's a conscious decision that Michael has made to keep all parties (including the parking companies) happy with the service.  There are opportunities to monetize with niche second tier monetization solutions that may actually pay more than Google or Yahoo in certain niches.  Almost all of these features can be set on auto-pilot or you can tweak to your heart's content.

Michael claims that over 400,000 domains use his service.  It is clearly targeted toward large domain owners - whose domains earn over $15,000 a month.  (Count me out.)  He does make exceptions.  There is no affiliate program and ParkLogic personally vets all applicants to assure that they are not sending fraudulent traffic.  

You pay Michael between 10 and 15% of your gross revenue for use of the platform, operational services, and analytics & reporting.  The platform has techniques to detect revenue leakage (from sources such as improperly set nameservers).  For an additional 5% you can have your entire portfolio professionally managed and optimized.  

You can request an account via email from a link on the site, or be recommended by a current user.  There is zero tolerance for fraud, and you should expect a phone call to chat and verify your information.

I know that a few of my readers have portfolios that qualify for ParkLogic.  Most of us probably don't.  If you are earning good income from your domain portfolio, but don't feel like you are really on top of the numbers, then you should consider ParkLogic. 

 
(In case you didn't guess, the first story is an April Fools story.)