Autumn 2012 - Issue 75
The domain parking bubble has certainly burst.  Along with this change has come a more sedate domain industry.  Remember when we had 2 magazines and 6 conferences a year?  Those days are over. As domain parking income stabilizes at a much lower level than in the past, it becomes more difficult to test the different parking services.  We are still seeing good results with some Google-based services, such as Sedo, DomainSponsor, and NameDrive.  We've also been using Above.com as one way to test the services.  You may want to try them too.
 
 
Above Domain Parking - Testing the Services

Above.com has continued to add both new features and new parking services to their basic platform.  They recently launched a "domain marketplace" putting them in competition with AfterNIC, Sedo, and GoDaddy. So far they don't have very many domains for sale, but it's a start.

Above.com is a Australian company that is part of Trellian.  Their core service is a parking management solution designed to "maximize your parking revenues and productivity when using multiple parking services." They accomplish this by rotating your traffic among several different parking companies.  Over time the companies that make you the most money get the most traffic - but they will still send a few people to other services from time-to-time in case things have changed.  One customer viewing your site may get sent to Sedo, for example, while the next customer gets sent to DomainSponsor.  You have to already have accounts at both companies, of course.  

According to Above.com their system offers the following advantages over moving domains around yourself: 
  • Running tests on new parking services, usually results in loss of revenues, as it takes time for parking services to learn and optimize their landing pages.
  • Some domains perform better, whereas others perform worse, if only you could move just the domains that would do better... but which ones are they?
  • Changing the DNS every time you wish to do a test can be time consuming and difficult, especially if you have domains with multiple registrars. Only to have to change it back a week later when the test is completed and the results are not better overall.
  • Making sense from the reporting that each parking company provides is a logistic nightmare. Do they even provide Real and Complete traffic statistics? Plus the more services you use the harder it is.
  • Making timely changes, when one parking service has issues, or a domain is blacklist, or stops paying is far too time consuming and not fast enough. Parking revenues are being wasted!
I'd have to say that I agree with most of these points.  As low as domain parking income is these days, it's nice to have a "set and forget" solution that does the work for you.
 
Oversee Improves Internet Security
 
Oversee.net announced in July that it has entered into an agreement betweenDomainSponsor and internet security company Team Cymru to help improve security on the internet.  It seems that DomainSponsor's large number of parked domains are being leveraged as a giant honeypot - potentially attracting malicious traffic. Team Cymru wil then analyze the traffic - incuding the malicious traffic.  According to Oversee.net:

Given the size and scope of Oversee’'s DomainSponsor traffic monetization network, it is in a uniquely advantageous position to help detect and identify potentially malicious communications to share via its relationship with Team Cymru to benefit the wider Internet Security Community.  As part of the Agreement, DomainSponsor will provide Team Cymru with information on suspected fraudulent traffic hitting its network.   After analyzing this real-time information, Team Cymru will then facilitate the communication of malicious activity to the Internet Security Community.  It is expected that this real-time “early warning system” created by Oversee and Team Cymru will help Internet Service Providers (ISPs), hosting companies and other entities take preventative steps to protect their networks from being adversely affected by malicious activity online.

Another key element of the agreement involves Team Cymru providing Oversee with tools and data that will help it take additional steps to identify and block malicious traffic on its network.
 
I'll continue to publish this newsletter when there is something to say, but you'll notice the frequency decreasing over time.