October 2008 - Issue #39

How's the Financial Climate for Domains?
There has been some debate on how the current banking and financial crisis is affecting the domain industry.  Whether or not this specific crisis affects domains, the general economic slow-down is definitely having an effect.  While $3,000,000 did change hands in Moniker's T.R.A.F.F.I.C. New York live domain auctions, this is down from $10,000,000 in 2007.   Last month's newsletter provided information on similar deceases in parking income; and on Oversee.net's staff cuts.
Perhaps most telling is the fact that there will be only two T.R.A.F.F.I.C. shows in 2009.  T.R.A.F.F.I.C. had three shows in 2006 and in 2007. There were either three or four in 2008 (depending on whether you count T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Down Under).  If Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu are slowing down, then you can bet that the domain industry is slowing down.
How does this affect your domain strategy?  Undoubtedly some of us will let some domains expire because they are a bit harder to monetize.  This creates buying opportunities for others.  The burst of the dotcom bubble in 2000 created a similar buying opportunity for astute domain owners.  Keep your eyes open in the next few months, and you may find some real domain bargains.

[Email editions of this newsletter incorrectly stated that only $2,000,000 was made at the recent T.R.A.F.F.I.C Moniker domain auctions.  I apologize for this error.]

Parked Adds Countries
The domain parking service
Parked has announced that more countries are being added to their main Yahoo feed.  Donny Simonton would not share the exact countries, stating on a domain board  "I'm not allowed to announce the countries until the week before, but they are mainly in South America and South East Asia.."  Presumably these new countries will also be featured on other Yahoo-based domain parking services services such as ActiveAudience, GoldKey, and SmartName.

Parked continues to lead set the standard for customer support among domain parking companies.  Donny and his staff answer questions quickly and he maintains a personal presence on the domain forums.  They will usually create custom templates for your domain if one of their thousands of templates does now work for you.

 SmartName Headers and Footers Work Again
The header and footer functionality in Smart Name Shops is now working again.  SmartName is a very exclusive "domain parking" program from NameMedia that allows you to create ecommerce comparison shopping sites with a few clicks.  In the September newsletter I had mentioned that these shops were broken - that the header and footer text that you enter did not show up on the site.  

Smart Name Shops are a work in progress, and there are likely to be more bumps in the road.  The ability to add your own AdSense ads to your shops makes these especially interesting.  The rules for these shops are different than the rules for normal "domain parking."  You can send paid traffic to these sites, link to them from other sites, and otherwise treat them as developed sites. 

BotanicalPharmaceuticals.com is an example of a simple SmartName Shop.  The graphics at the bottom of the home page are a custom footer. 

WhyPark is Worth Another Look
WhyPark has improved their templates and AdSense ads seem to be working again on at least some sites.  AnxietyArticles.com is an example of one of their newer templates, without customization.  All I did was to add AdSense code for a small banner and a video ad.  WhyPark was one of the first networks to help you develop your domains into full-fledged sites.  Some of the sites have gotten search engine ranking, but Google's duplicate content penalty punished them for a while.   The site now has an integrated ad network in case AdSense ads are not working for you.

Name Monetizer Videos
Look for video versions of the newsletter every other month or so.  The first edition was published in mid-September and is available at several sites, including NameMonetizerYouTube and Blip.tv.  If one of these links is slow, try  another one, or one of these.  You can subscribe to the videos at YouTube to be informed when a new one is published.  The first video is fairly poor quality.  I just wanted to get it out there.  Look for better production values in future videos.

Did you notice the new layout?  The newsletter design is based on the new Name Montetizer website design.  Name Monetizer will continue to cover the domain parking companies that are reviewed at ParkQuick.com, but coverage of new monetization options is expanding.  Parking is not the only game in town, and more and more domain owners are looking to develop their domains.  Developing a domain into a full-blown high-quality website takes a lot of time and resources.  We hope to bring you short-cuts and reviews of services that claim to develop your domains quickly.
The new Name Monetizer site leads off with a blog that will update news stories more quickly than the email newsletter.   You can subscribe to the RSS feed through Feedburner to get these stories sooner - as they first appear.


Recommended Services - There were no changes in our recommendations this month.

I will send this newsletter out monthly or when there have been significant changes in the domain name monetization industry.  An extra issue may be sent when there is a major change in a service that warrants your immediate attention.  Back issues are available  at NameMonetizer.com.  Compare domain parking services at ParkQuick.com.  For a variety of content related to domains and SEO check out DomainerSEO.comYou can subscribe to the RSS feed through Feedburner to get these stories as they appear. 

Leonard Holmes, Ph.D.

CEO, Healing Sites Network, LLC

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link at the end of every issue