I don’t usually write headlines like this – however I see this as a great newspaper headline, if the news actually covered Domainers. I see a common problem that is plaguing the Domaining world – parking is dead. That’s right, I’m bold enough to say it – parking is dead. Yes – there are definitely plenty of Domainers out there with domains that get good type-in traffic, parking will still work for these domains. However we all know that search is winning, more and more people every day search on Google rather than typing their query directly into the URL bar.
This year and both TRAFFIC and DOMAINfest it was highlighted both on and off-stage, Domainers that once made a nice income off of parking are aggressively looking for better ways to monetize their domains. The problem is, they are used to doing nothing to monetize their domains – just change the name servers and – poof – in comes the revenue.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone who is parking domains is lazy, quite the opposite actually as Domainers work hard. However what I am saying is that the solution that’s been used for the last decade isn’t providing the kind of return it used to and Domainers are looking for a new solution. The biggest problem is that no automated solution works, or may ever work, if Google has it’s way.
When I started in the industry I didn’t have a single domain that had type-in traffic and to this day still less than 5% of my portfolio gets any reasonable amount of type-in traffic. I’ve had to do things the hard way, building content sites on my domains, targeting specific keywords, and picking ads that best fit the profile of my visitor. I then monitor my domains, try to better-understand where my visitors are coming from and tailor the content and ads to the user. It is by no means automated, it’s hard work, but it works!
Oftentimes at a conference I’ll find myself with a group of Domainers talking about what we each do. As we go around I’ll hear everyone complain that their domains aren’t making the kind of money they used to. I’ll then explain what I do and oftentimes the response is, “wow – that’s a lot of work!” It’s true, it is a lot of work and Domainers are still looking for the silver bullet, an automated solution that will let them rank well and generate good revenue.
There is nothing wrong with wanting this…however you have to understand that your dream may never come true. Google is working VERY hard to prevent sites created purely for monetization purposes from ranking well. Automated solutions can be easily spotted by Google and quickly become de-listed. You could wait five years for an automated solution to come-out or build 100-200 sites over the next five years while you’re waiting!
My point here is this:
We all agree that parking isn’t what it used to be. Whether you like it or not, type-in traffic is also declining and will continue to decline over the next five years. Google is working harder every day to keep sites developed purely for monetization out of their search engine. An automated solution most likely will never be able to replicate the kind of income parking has provided over the last decade – the good ol’ days are over!
I’m not trying to be over-dramatic here but I think we’re seeing a HUGE shift in the Domaining space. The concept of changing your name servers to turn your domains into passive income streams is over. Generating revenue with domains now is all about search, SEO, and good, targeted monetization options. The game is changing as we speak, are you playing by the old rules? If so you could be left in the dust waiting for the automated solution that may never come…
Just to clarify one more time – if you have domains with great type-in traffic parking can and will still make you money. However, if you are like most new domain investors – you don’t have domains with type-in traffic and thus for you parking will most likely yield a whopping $0/month in revenue 🙂