Domaining & Address Bar-Driven Traffic

Dec 5, 2006 • 12:53 pm | comments (2) by twitter | Filed Under Search Engine Strategies 2006 Chicago
 

This session is moderated by Andrew Goodman, who is the founder of Page Zero Media.

Andrew starts off the session and mentions that it doesn't appear to have pulled in a large audience compared to the other sessions, although it's still a very important subject. He introduces Monte from Moniker.com.

Monte introduces himself as founder and CEO of Moniker.com and mentions some of the big domain sales which they've escrowed and their status as an ICANN registrar. Domain Marketing is a $1 Billion market and contributes to 15% of Google Search revenue via domain advertising. 112 million domain names have now been registered, a 30% increase in the past year.

What makes a good domain name? - Natural Generic Brand - Easy to Remember - Clear, Concise and Descriptive - Commercially Oriented - Visually Pleasing - Existing Type-In Traffic - Backlinks, PageRank, Alexa Rank etc - Mistypes (generic vs brand)

Domains generate revenue through direct traffic to a relevant supplier, affiliate revenue, selling domain names and adding value to a domain name by building a site with content around it. According to WebSideStory, 70 percent of internet surfers guess a domain name of a brand (brand + .com) or a supplier (service/product + .com). Verisign indicates that approximately 10 percent (30,000 a week) of its new domain registrations will be used for PPC as either a parking page or part of a content site aimed at adding domain value. Domain Auction websites are becoming increasingly popular, Moniker's Live Domain Auction (TRAFFIC) topped $5.4 million in sales last year. You can acquire valuable domain names from expired/drop lists through services such as SnapNames, registering new generic terms before anyone else, buying from other people and adding value, or via domain auctions. Use trademark search before buying a domain name, consider having a valuation done, use a domain escrow service, financing is available on domain names (it counts as an asset), use a stealth acquisition service if you think that the current domain name owner may inflate the asking price because of who you are.

Jon Lisbin from PointIt Inc. is next to the stand. PointIt is a SEM agency and does not directly use domain parking. According to the Washington Post, 15% of web traffic is "Type In" traffic. Looking at a client of PointIt, domain parking traffic can be just as good on CPA as Google Search PPC, although some have proved 7 times worse then Google Search PPC traffic. Google no longer allows AdWords users to opt-out of Sedo Parking when using their partner network**. Reasons for poor CPA from domain parking includes Click Fraud, Cyber or Typo Squatters (Dotster is named in a Cybersquatting lawsuit by Neiman Marcus), Domain Kiting (abusing the 5 day refund period given by ICANN to keep domains off the market - only 8% of domains registered in May 2006 were paid for).

Andrew Beckman is up next from Search Ad Network, who plans to talk about how to analyse and increase performance when domain parking. For a Children's Education Portal, Google's AdSense partners are outperforming Google Search PPC with 14 percent conversion rates compared to 12 percent. Future of domain parking - the ability to find more relevant results through search/drill-down on the parked domain and adding content to the domain names. 2nd Tier search engines are buying domain names themselves to try and get traffic volume and quality traffic to compete with 1st tier providers (e.g. MIVA). Big brands are also acquiring domains, such as Barnes and Noble who bought Books.com (the keyword "books" got 2,458,019 searches in October).

Josh Meyers from Yahoo starts off by saying why the domain traffic industry exists and what Yahoo Publisher Network does in the vertical. Yahoo uses its partners such as eBay, HP and CNN to increase volume and the real estate which its advertisers can promote on. The old domain parking of the past was not keyword targeted and had poor conversion rates. Now these sites have keyword specific results, images related to the domain, tabbed navigation and a layout which makes it appear like a genuine information site to the user. One partner site "digitalcamerasdigest.com" uses Yahoo Shopping feeds to offer content which can gain traffic through means other than type-in. Yellow Pages has registered thousands of US ZIP Codes as .com domain names in order to gain visitors who type the ZIP into the address bar (Internet Explorer will look to see if the .com, .net and then .org are registered of a word and direct users to the site, if typed into the address bar without a real domain suffix). Yahoo Partner Network has seen a significant growth in Long Tail traffic from parking and micro-sites.

Hal from Google does not have a Powerpoint presentation. Google supports the use of domain parking as a way of harnessing type-in traffic, as it's still a way of users finding the information or product which they're looking for. The vertical no longer sees the more risky websites such as "Drive By Downloads" as there's more money in legitimate Made For AdSense style websites. Google takes Click Fraud very seriously and will take down any parking site which is proven to be using Click Fraud. **Hal says that there should not be a problem with excluding Sedo Parking (or any other site) from a PPC campaign as the AdWords interface allows advertisers to exclude any and every partner website. Google is working to further improve the quality of traffic sent to its advertisers (including from parked domains) but also help the legitimate domain parking providers.

Sorry that this coverage is quite short, the session had a lot of time at the end for Questions and Answers.

These posts may have spelling and grammar issues. These are session notes, written quickly and posted immediately after the session has been completed. Please excuse any grammar or spelling issues with session posts.

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Comments:

darren

12/05/2006 07:29 pm

quick correction on one of Josh Meyers' points: Marchex is the one that registered all the zip code domains. They are a very VERY aggressive domain shop

evilgreenmonkey

12/05/2006 11:05 pm

Thanks for the correction Darren, I did hear him say a name for the company, although thought that it was just Yellow Pages because of the microsites being branded as such. :o) Kudos to Daniel for getting through the SER spam filter with your self-promo, which is pointless due to the nofollow on comment links.

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