September 2009 - Issue #50
 
In the 50 months since this newsletter began as Domain Parking News we have seen a number of changes in the domain industry.   Domain parking still exists, and many of us still rely on it for much of our income, but domainers are now more likely to also describe themselves as webmasters, website owners, domain developers, or even Internet marketers. 
 

Sedo Tweaks Its Parking Pages

In the beginning there was Sedo.  Okay, probably TrafficZ and Sedo.  The domain giant Sedo has made some changes to its domain parking platform that should result in more revenue for domain owners who park with their service. Some of these changes were already available to their invitation-only Sedo Pro service. The changes:

  • The ability to choose between one-click and two-click landing pages. Most domainers like the idea of one-click pages. These pages pay the first time someone clicks on a page. This is not always the best approach. 2-click pages work better when the keyword can attract people who are looking for more than one thing. Suppose you were parking a domain with a keyword "maps." Are people looking for paper maps? Mapping software? GPS? If you look at maps.com (not a parked page) you see that they immediately offer a choice among wall maps, travel maps, globes, and classroom products. A 2-click landing page works the same way. By forcing your visitors to click a second time you may get less paid clicks, but you will get higher-paying clicks. Most Yahoo-based parking pages already work this way.
  • Related Links Auto Optimization tool. Sedo is playing catch-up here. Other services, notably Domain Sponsor and the NameMedia services, have offered this for some time. Essentially this tracks what users click on and search for and uses this data to present these links more often in the future.
  • Content Matching/Filtering – Sedo has made improvements that will hopefully more relevant results. This will also prevent adult ads from showing up on non-adult domains. This causes problems at times, because relevant non-adult health-related content is sometimes inappropriately tagged as "adult".

All-in-all these are positive changes that should improve your income with Sedo.

Here's a strategy to take advantage of some of these changes:

Go to the Domain Parking page and sort your Sedo domains by uniques.  Look for domains with a lot of uniques (at the top of the list) but low "earnings."  Try a 2-click lander on some of these pages or tweak the keywords.  Changes don't always show up immediately, but they seem to show up more quickly for me than they did in the past.
 
No More Customized Landers at DomainSponsor
 
DomainSponsor announced at the beginning of August that they are phasing out custom-built landing pages.  Their system for customized landing pages never did work very well. 
 
According to DomainSponsor:
Over the next few weeks, customized landers will be gradually phased out. Domains using a customized lander in the single lander mode will see that customized lander automatically replaced with the new default lander Internet Circles. Domains using a customized lander in the auto-tester mix will see their customized lander automatically removed from the mix.

If desired, clients who have been using their own customized landers can visit the Lander Selection page at any time and select a specific lander to replace either the custom lander or the default lander that has automatically replaced it.

DomainSponsor offers a wide range of optimized lander designs, including landers specifically designed for popular verticals. As a sign of our commitment to continuous innovation, new optimized landers will be made available for review and selection from within the Lander Selection page each month.

As always, we look forward to continuing to work hard to maximize the monetization of your domains.
Wikipedia Domaining Article Returned (Briefly)
 
The definition of "domainer" on Wikipedia redirected to "cybersquatter" for a long time. In August an article showed-up for review and was immediately proposed for deletion. The article has since been replaced with a redirection to "domain name speculation."  The article was a little spammy in places. There was a link to PremiumDomains.biz that appeared to be self-serving (and may have been counter-prodictive).  Please consider editing and improving the "domain speculation" article, but please refrain from spammy links to your own sites if you do this.

Because the "domaining" article was deleted I am excerpting below much of the content that appeared on 8/10/09 at 8:30 pm:

Domaining is the practice of monetizing Internet domain names using a variety of methods and strategies. These approaches may include website development, minisite creation, affiliate marketing partnerships, domain forwarding services, domain name sales and leasing, the selling of direct sales lead via customer opt-in, the inclusion of paid business directory listings. A popular strategy to monetize domain name involves creation of websites displaying pay per click advertising. These practices often lead to domain name speculation, but the latter is also a preferred activity in itself for the majority of domaining practitioners.[citation needed] An individual who engages in domaining is referred to as a domainer.

The underlying opportunity for profiting from domaining lies in the limited supply of simple, memorable names within the most popular top-level domains (TLDs), most notably the TLD COM.[1] Major Internet service providers have been known to practice domaining by benefiting from mistyped domain names in web browsers, and redirecting the invalid domain names to advertising sites created for this purpose.[2]

DOMAINfest Global Opens Registration, Announces Skeleton Schedule

Oversee.net recently announced the schedule for the January 2009 DOMAINfest GLobal. Sort of. They did announce the structure of the conference, the beach location, and the title of some of the keynote presentations. These are:

Session 1 - PITCHfest: Vote for the Best

Session 2 - New gTLDs: Bonanza or Bust?

Session 3 - Turning Killer Domain Names Into Killer Websites

Session 4 - Topic and panelists to be announced soon

Session 5 - Domain Names: How Prime Internet Real Estate Builds SEO and SEM Success

Will there be a party at the Playboy Mansion again? That's not clear. There are two nights where "Buses Depart for a World Famous Los Angeles Landmark."  No speakers are announced. They have also dropped the "bootcamp" format where the first day catered to beginning domainers.

Registration is only $895 through September.  The reputation that they have gained for putting on a great show should be enough to get some early sign-ups.

Donny Simonton is On Strike at NamePros

According to a recent post, Donny Simonton of Parked and WhyPark is backing off from his participation in the popular NamePros Forum after being criticized by a moderator.  According to Donny:

Do to reasons beyond my control, I will not be responding to questions on namepros for the next few weeks/months. It was brought to my attention that my opinion was "pointless and a waste of time" by a moderator here. So I'm on strike.

If anybody wants any help from me, shoot me an email or talk to your account manager.

Apparently the original comment was made privately by a new moderator named Jason.  Ron James (RJ), the founder of NamePros has stepped in to inject some calm into the situation, but has received some criticism for creating a new thread that highlights Donny being on strike.  His influence does seem to be calming things down.

Donny has been the most active and "out there" representative of a domain parking company.  He responds quickly and honestly to questions and has inspired many newbies to improve their businesses.  Let's hope that this strike is over soon.