November 2008- Issue #40
Parking Rules, Other Options Emerge Slowly
Domain parking continues to lead the way as the primary way to monetize domain names. It's easy to park domains, and difficult to develop them. EvoLanding appeared to be one of the more promising "instant development" services, but a long-term test of their services found some nice looking sites and essentially no income. Other domain owners have reported similarly dismal results with EvoLanding. Other stories in this issue include Woz keynoting the JanuaryDOMAINfest and NameDrive's November bonus.
Yahoo/Google deal Falling Apart?
Reuters (along with other sources) has reported that Google may decide to cancel its proposed partnership with Yahoo rather than accept government-imposed antitrust restrictions. Reuters quotes sources as saying "Are they more serious about walking away? Yes. Have they decided? I'm not sure. Yahoo wants the deal, and they're willing to have Google sign anything at the Justice Department to have them do it."
We may see an announcement any day on this. While this is undoubtedly bad news for Yahoo, it may not be bad news for domainers - at least in the short run. For now it means that there are still two major players funding most of the landing pages created by domain parking companies.
NameDrive Holiday Bonus
NameDrive has announced a new holiday promotion that should improve your domain parking returns in the short run. If you like to move domains around to chase bargains, then it may be worth spending November with NameDrive Here are the details:
Anybody earning more than $20 with NameDrive in November gets an extra 10% parking payout as a bonus. The minimum bonus will be $10.
Anybody who increases their NameDrive revenue in November compared to October will get a massive 20% bonus on the earnings increase.
Any new clients who join NameDrive in November will get a 20% bonus on their account's earnings.
All you have to do is sign up for the bonus program and earn at least $20 in November.
The bonus will be paid on December 15th, just in time for your last-minute holiday shopping spree.
DomainSponsor sends Sales Inquiries to Moniker
Earlier this monthDomainSponsor changed how they deal with someone who is interested in buying one of your parked domains. Instead of forwarding the inquiry to you, they forward it to Moniker. Here's how they describe the process in announcement dated 10/02:
"Beginning today, any user who clicks the Domain For Sale link on a DomainSponsor domain will be redirected to the Moniker Domain Bid form. Moniker will review the request and contact you with additional information. We believe this new process will greatly reduce unwanted spam from your domains and will help us increase the value of the requests you do receive."
They have a point. People click on inquiry links for all sorts of reasons. I expect that this also means that Moniker will take a broker`s cut for being the middle-man, however. Giving Moniker a cut provides an incentive for them to negotiate for a higher price. You may actually do better under this system, or you may do worse.
Why not give domain owners a choice? Let us click a box to tell you whether we want Moniker to handle inquires, or whether we want to handle them ourselves.
Woz to Headline DOMAINfest Global
DomainSponsor, the domain monetization division of Oversee.net, announcedin Octoberthat Steve Wozniak will be the keynote speaker at the third annual DOMAINfest Global event scheduled for January 28-30, 2009 in Hollywood, California. Their press release describes Woz as "the Apple Computer, Inc. co-founder and Silicon Valley icon is one of the most influential and colorful innovators in technology history, and is credited with helping shape the personal computer industry with his Apple designs."
This should be a fascinating event for those in the domain industry. Woz is also one of the founders of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which "confronts cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today."
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EvoLanding fails to bring Income
Like other domainers, I had high hopes for EvoLanding. In most cases their sites looked really great. I parked around 70 domains with them some months back and I was pleased with the content-rich sites that they created. Their business model seems to be automated content creation that includes media such as video. They urged me to keep my domains there so that they would gradually build traffic and income. It never happened.
I'm not alone in this. Christine posted on NamePros to share a similar experience. She reported:
"I had just under 100 domains at EVOlanding from April to September 2008. I finally moved them back to a reliable parking company. I had high hopes for EVOlanding, but it was a huge let-down. Their support was okay for the first week or so, then it was like they just forget about me and my domains. I had a couple of very premium domains, which they "developed" first. But the rest of the domains got the basic, automated setup treatment and never showed any sign of being "upgraded" each time they supposedly improved their program." "Generally, I have to say that their support sucks, they won't "develop" your domains unless you hound them, and - perhaps most important - the revenues generated from their "mini-sites" is absolutely pathetic. I have a highly searched entertainment keyword domain that gets type-in traffic and over all these months it has generated less than $20. When it was at a regular parking company, it was pulling in more than $150 each month."
"This domain used to be on the first page of Google search results, but having been with EVOlanding, now it doesn't show up at all. Also, the domains have not picked up any PR and very few, if any, back links, and the sites do not get indexed. You will be far better off by either parking your domains with a company that has a longer reputation or by developing them into mini-sites yourself."
I also found their support to be very erratic. For some reason they always wanted to talk with me on the phone. This itself is unusual for an Internet company. Then they never called back at the time that they said that they would. When I did speak with them they did not seem business-like.
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