The future of domain parking?

By | May 21, 2007

In light of the latest shake up by Google concerning Adsense arbitrage and MFAs, many people have asked, is it possible Google will go after domain parking? Good question.

I think the news that Google is doing away with Adsense arbitrage and MFA sites is possibly the most significant piece of news I’ve heard to date on the Web this year. Which may lead to another question, will this affect the domain parking industry?

This may or may not affect another significant PPC revenue earning method on the Web, which is domain parking. Domain parking is putting up a domain which has no proper site onto a parking company’s servers and in return they will serve up a page with links on it using their own custom feed (which may be from any advertiser network, not just Google). The profits per click are then split among the publisher, ad network, and the domain owner.

The concern is due to the fact that most parked pages resemble MFAs in appearance.

Actually, all parked pages are just links and nothing more. But then again, the parking industry has been around for as long as Google. So will Google go as far as to forbid its feed from being distributed to parking networks? Or tell everyone that domain parking is no longer permitted? Here’s why I don’t think so, but then I could be wrong:

  • Google itself has its own parking program. This has been around for years. Have you come across sites that redirects from Oingo.com? Now Oingo.com itself redirects to Applied Semantics which is owned by Google. See the Google trademark? To me, this alone is proof enough that domain parking will not be going away (anytime soon) simply because Google themselves are practising it. The domain park is the most simple and basic PPC model ever invented, a Web address with advertizing on it; why do away with it? That does not make business sense.

Until the day Google decides parking does not meet its criteria for a good user experience, parking will likely continue to be around, maybe just not so profitable anymore. And that has been happening. By the way, this reduction in click revenue came about sometime last year, around mid 2006. Revenues took a plunge and never ever came back up. $0.01 clicks?

Smartpricing.

What we need remember is that, Google is a business (after all). Google’s domain parking makes them millions per month. The entry barrier alone requires a ton of traffic, something like 700,000 visitors a month (if I’m not mistaken). That is A LOT of traffic that would be required in order to be eligible. And probably only the few hundred people who were around when the Web was born, and who some say collectively control around 10 percent of Web traffic worldwide, would qualify.

So, any wonder why these domains have million dollar price tags? Will there always be a place for domain parking? At this moment, me thinks so. Further changes may come along which are not easy to predict.

In summary, it is not us to call the shots, its the big G.

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