Spring 2012

 Spring 2012 – Issue #74
 Google Changes Again, Mis-classifies some Websites as “Parked”
Google reported that they made 53 changes to their search algorithm in the month of April.  There were two more “panda” updates, and a “penguin” update.  These updates appear to be directed at web spam.  Many of the “mini-sites” and content sites created by domainers and parking companies are considered “web spam” – so be prepared to see traffic drop to sites that rely partly on Google for traffic.  
A temporary problem also occurred in April as some sites were mis-classified as parked domains.  Google reportedly fixed this problem fairly quickly.  The explanation:

Our classifier for parked domains was reading from a couple files which mistakenly were empty. As a result, we classified some sites as parked when they weren’t.


I apologize for this; it looks like the issue is fixed now, and we’ll look into how to prevent this from happening again. (Matt Cutts as quoted by Danny Sullivan)

None of this is really good news for people looking for easy domain monetization solutions, but it is probably good news for people searching for meaningful sites using Google.  I don’t particularly want to land on a parked page when I am trying to get reliable information using a Google search.
 Marchex Kills its SiteBox Domain Parking

I think I was vaguely aware that Marchex had a domain parking service.  Apparently it was started in 2006 but has been languishing lately.  As of May 1 the doors will close.  If you have domains parked there you should move them ASAP.

Marchex made news back in 2004 when it went public as one of the first domain-based Internet companies.  The company made some historic domain name purchases, and Yahoo Finance describes them as a “digital call advertising and small business marketing company” and claims that their business earns money from

200,000 of its owned and operated Web sites, and other sources. The company also delivers pay-per-click advertisements to online users in response to their keyword search queries or on pages they visit on its distribution network of search engines, shopping engines, third party vertical and local Web sites, mobile distribution, and its proprietary Web site traffic sources.


 Sedo Survives DNS Attack

Domain owners using Sedo for parking probably saw a dip in their numbers back in March.  Sedo sent an March 16th referring to a “malicious D-DDOS attack” (distributed denial of service attack) that occurred the week before.  They have had some monetization problems since making changes to the site to prevent such attacks.  In their words:

Last Friday, we informed you of a malicious D-DOS attack resulting in a variety of technical consequences. Most of these issues were resolved within a few hours. However, based on your good feedback and internal analysis, it has become obvious that we have not been monetizing optimally since that day, therefore showing lower revenues in your account than were shown before March 9. This is mainly caused by the feed used for the related links.

Please be assured that we will be compensating you for the parking decrease, should you be affected by it. Details will follow as soon as possible.

 (I don’t seem to have received the first email that they refer to.)  Keep an eye on your Sedo earnings.  They are one of the services that has still paid reasonably well in this difficult climate – so we don’t recommend moving away from them at this time.

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