August 2009 - Issue #49

The summer slowdown is certainly upon us. Domain parking income is down across the board. I've actually seen a small increase in income from DevHub, but they still don't match traditional domain parking at this point. Traffic is picking up a little there too.

Bye Bye Yahoo-based Domain Parking? Not so Fast.

Microsoft and Yahoo came to terms this week on a deal to share search and paid search technology. How will this affect domain parking and income? There are a lot of opinions out there.

Andrew Allemann thinks it is a good thing for domainers. His point-of-view is that an allied Microsoft-Yahoo will be a stronger competitor to Google. In an earlier article he expressed some misgivings, stating that "The scary thing is that parking companies that use a Yahoo feed will now have to negotiate with Microsoft. It means new relationships with a company that has a reputation for being tough negotiators."

I agree that this is a concern, but it is certainly in Microsoft's interest to compete strongly with Google. The last thing they need is for parking companies to abandon their feed in favor of Google's. The time frame looks this way: Organic search (the non-paid listings) are scheduled to be combined by Spring of 2010. Microsoft's new Bing! search engine will supply the results to Yahoo and Yahoo will be in charge of spiffing-up the interface and deciding how to present the results to users. Don't expect to just see a Bing! clone on Yahoo.

Paid Search is not expected to be combined until early 2011. Paid search consists of the "Sponsored Listings" that appear above and to the right of search results in many places. Paid search also powers domain parking companies. This schedule means that we will have plenty of time to digest these changes as they are rolled-out. After thinking this through I agree with Andrew that this is probably a good thing for domainers and for domain parking and monetization in particular - as long as Microsoft and Google don't make the next deal.

DomainFest Global moves to the Beach

The people at Oversee.net had a problem. They held the best domain conference to date in January this year, topped-off by a benefit at the Playboy Mansion, Over 600 attended, double the size of most recent domain conferences. What could they possibly do for an encore? A recent press release stated underscored the dilemma

Last year more than 600 people attended the conference, including domainers, service providers, bankers, lawyers, and advertising professionals from 26 countries. The show included two major parties: a private party in a reserved section of Universal Studios and a charity event at the Playboy Mansion.

They announced in July that DOMAINfest Global 2010 is moving to the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, California. The entire hotel will be taken over by domainers and other Internet-types.Be sure to save the dates January 26-28, 2010. Registration is scheduled to open August 15 at $895. The rate increases to $1,095 on October 1.

The 2010 conference will focus on the importance of domain names in online marketing, with additional focus on how to use domain names to get the most out of the pending economic recovery.

DOMAINfest is organized by Oversee.net, parent company of DomainSponsor. There are also unconfirmed rumors that Oversee is also planning an East coast conference later in 2010. I've read Rick Schwartz's response that his conferences are the only unbiased events, and I've even heard that they have improved.

Still the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conferences seem to be about making money for Rick and Howard. Rick Latona has infused some new blood into the franchise and apparently pressured them to drop the adolescent "invitation only" rule. That said, DomainFest Global earlier this year is the best domain conference I've ever attended. I believe that Oversee.net President Jeff Kupietzky sees these conferences as a way to give back to the domain industry, as well as a way to improve the reputation of Oversee. It's working. Santa Monica will bring the conference closer to the ocean.Look for big things at this conference. If you can afford to attend only one conference next year it should be DomainFest Global.

SEO and Internet Marketing News

Andy Jenkins has left Stompernet. He recently announced that he will not be at the Live 8 event in Atlanta. Co-founder Brad Fallon is planning a bit announcement on September 9th. Look for the price to drop, or at least the introduction of tiered pricing. Stompernet is one of the world's most expensive membership sites. For around $800 a month you get access to a huge library of SEO and marketing videos and you get to attend live events 2-3 times a year.

These events have been closed to the public until recently - but an upcoming even in Atlanta is open to the public and widely marketed. You can pay $1500 to attend the three day event or pay half price if you subscribe to the Net Effect journal. Why open this up? Undoubtedly membership is dropping. I was a member for over a year, when I could justify the expense. I learned a lot about SEO and marketing, but when the economy went south I could no longer justify the expense. (I will be attending Live 8, thanks to Jerry West.) It will be interesting to watch things develop over the next couple of months.

Recommended Domain Parking Services
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Active Audience Yes $50 for checks, $10 for PayPal $100 for wire Check, PayPal, Wire transfer Large or high traffic portfolios. (See GoldKey for small portfolios) Nice Landing Pages, but few 1-click landers. Image editing available. Yahoo-based
DomainSponsor Yes $25 Check, PayPal
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GoldKey Yes $50 for checks, $10 for PayPal $100 for wire Check, PayPal, Wire transfer Small Portfolios accepted Nice Landing Pages, but few 1-click landers. Image editing available. Yahoo-based.
NameDrive Yes varies Paypal, Wire, Webmoney 1 Multiple optimization options, 1-click pages. Google-based.
Parked Yes $20 Paypal, Wire, Direct Deposit, Check 10 Get paid twice a month, strong anti-click fraud. Yahoo and Ask.com feeds.
Sedo Yes $20 Paypal, ACH, Check (US and Canada), Wire (over $20K) 1 Easily optimize to keywords, 1-click pages. Google-based.
SedoPro Yes $20 (see Sedo - above)
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SmartName Yes $50 for checks, $10 for PayPal $100 for wire Check, PayPal, Wire transfer Large or high traffic portfolios. E-commerce domains Quickly build full e-commerce sites. Nice Landing Pages, but few 1-click landers. Image editing available. Yahoo-based