Ron Jackson's SmartName Experiment
Ron Jackson of DNJournal recently reported on an experiment with some keyword .us domains that he moved from traditional parking pages to SmartName shops, monetized by Shopping.com. Ron used some great one and two word product name domains that are not likely to naturally get type-in traffic - names like IceMachines.us, Fins.us, SwimmingPools.us, and PictureFrames.us. (I wish I had more domains like these.) On his site he lists 10 domains that earned less than 50 cents over the previous 12 months. These domains earned over $180 on SmartName in 4 months.
He earned additional money from AdSense on these domains, since allows you to put your own AdSense ads on your domains. You can read more details by scrolling down The Lowdown on his site. SmartName creates actual shops for your domains and fills them with products. Search engines treat these domains just like other ships on the Internet and you can get an SEO boost.
If you have product-related keyword domains, even if they are not dotcom, consider SmartName - and be sure to use their "shops" option.
Several people reported receiving an email from Sedo in August stating that their "primary advertising provider" (Google) was planning to require that all domains be parked via DNS/nameserver changes rather than domain forwarding. (Many of the blog posts about this are really just people ripping off DomainNameWire's story on this issue.) I've searched my email several times and I don't see where I received this particular email from Sedo, but according to DomainNameWire the email stated:
Based on current discussions it is possible that our ad provider will cease its provision of advertising to URL-parked pages and in consequence only support DNS parked domains.
This step is considered by the online advertising provider in response to advertiser feedback and would affect all URL-parking customers at all parking companies worldwide that share this advertising provider. This change could happen in the near future (potentially as early as the fourth quarter of 2010) and we wanted you to have this information in advance to take into account for your internal planning.
DomainSponsor's parent company Oversee.net continues to offer versions of DOMAINfest in different cities. From October 1-3 the event will be in Prague. Meanwhile registration has opened for DOMAINfest Global February 1-4 2011 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows on the Pacific Ocean at of Santa Monica, California. Register this month to save $200-$400 off later prices.
* Early Bird Discounted Rate: $995 through 30-Sep-10
* Discounted Rate: $1,195 from 1-Oct through 31-Dec-10
* Standard Conference Rate: $1,295 from 1-Jan through 30-Jan-11
* Late Registration Rate: $1,395 from 31-Jan through 3-Feb-1
DOMAINfest is generally regarded as the best of the current domain conferences. These rates are $100 more than last year, but still worth it. I attended in 2009 and was blown away by the content and by the entertainment. If you are sure you'll attend you should sign up this month.
How can you prove your traffic stats are legitimate to a potential domain buyer? Andrew Allemann's new DNWStats service will log into your parking stats and retrieve the data. It will then publish a certificate certifying the traffic. The service currently works with DomainSponsor, NameDrive, Parked, Sedo (but not SedoPro), and Skenzo.
DNWStats is free-of-charge. At some point the service will offer premium services, and they reserve the right to charge for the service in the future. The only down side I can see is that you enter your parking company credentials in the site. They claim not to store the information, and I certainly trust Andrew in this; but it's always risky entering logins into other accounts.
That said, the service provided by DNWStats is an important one. This is the first cross-platform service to verify stats and provide the information (with your permission) to potential buyers. You have control over whether a certificate is private or public. Try it with a few of your domains and see how easy it is to create a certificate.