In 2007 I Said Parking Was Dead, I Was Wrong…Until Now

When I started in the Domaining space back in 2007 everyone I spoke to was going through some serious pain, the way they had made money for the last 8-10 years was changing. The catchphrase for 2007/2008 was “Parking is Dead” and thus began the great monetization Gold Rush. Domain Monetization had meant parking for years, now it meant something different. Here’s the thing that I didn’t realize back in 2007 that many other people did, parking was not dead.

As I got more involved in the industry I started to meet more people who made a substantial amount of income from parking. By substantial I mean more than $10,000/month. While they may have made $20,000/month or $30,000/month before, they still made good money then. Still, they saw the writing on the wall and began looking at developed websites as a way to make money with a small segment of their domains. Some went big and tried to do it with hundreds or thousands of domains but quickly learned that the law of diminishing returns applied.

Still, let me say this again, plenty of people were making great money parking in 2007, 2008, 2009, all the way up until now. So what makes now so different? There was always one major threat to parking, like kryptonite for Superman, and that was the death of the address bar. You see in 2007 the address bar was still alive and kicking, however browsers like Chrome were but small fish in a very large pond. However that has all changed:

As you can see from the chart above back in 2007 Internet Explorer reined supreme followed by Firefox. Both of these browsers have address bars which means while people were typing in domains less and less, and payouts were declining, the underlying technology still supported entering addresses. Enter Chrome in 2008, the browser that did away with the address bar and pushed users to search on Google for everything. Now fast forward to 2012 and you can see that Internet Explorer and Firefox are declining in popularity as Chrome takes over and Safari makes a break for it.

Safari used to be just like Internet Explorer and Firefox, but that has now changed and like Chrome, Safari has done away with the address bar and replaced it with search. In 2007 PPC revenue declined but people still had easy ways to enter addresses into browser windows. Now in 2012 PPC revenue is lower than ever and people no longer have an easy way to enter addresses into browser windows. The writing has been on the wall but I was wrong in 2007 to think it would happen so quickly, these things take time, but now I can confidently say, the time has come.

I still think there is a place for parking, I just don’t think that using parking as a core revenue model makes sense any more. Parking is however a great way to get something on your domain that can let people know that it’s for sale, this I see as the main advantage of parking now. While there will definitely be a handful of Domainers this year and next, and maybe even the year after that make some money parking, the real value will come from increased offers that come from domains that are clearly for sale.

Of course that’s just my take on it, now is where you come in! What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!

(Chart Source)

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Ben Gib August 9, 2012, 10:46 am

    If you are wrong with predicting the end of the world, just change the date till later and predict it again. Seems like you don’t have a good domain portfolio with real traffic, don’t have to complain about it. I guess you never thought of the fact users are moving to mobile, mobile users directly navigate 37% more than PC users and click on paid listings 13.4% more……. Well in a few years you can predict domain parking is dead again, whilst its booming 🙂

  • Tony August 9, 2012, 11:19 am

    No, you’re still wrong. Maybe revisit this in another 5 years.

  • Michael August 9, 2012, 11:34 am

    You’re assuming that most/all direct navigation traffic lacks an extension. It isn’t that big of a deal.

  • Ben Gib August 9, 2012, 11:56 am

    Seems my prior comment won’t be approved as real facts are included that don’t agree with the article.

    “I guess you never thought of the fact users are moving to mobile, mobile users directly navigate 37% more than PC users and click on paid listings 13.4% more”

    One quote from my last post that is not being approved….

  • PPC King August 9, 2012, 12:58 pm

    C’mon now!!! Another the sky is falling post? 🙂 I could count a whole bunch of these going back to the 90’s.

    If someone wants to go to AOL.com, God forbid, with Chrome or Safari, even if they have voice activation, they will end up at AOL.com, will they not? Surfers will continue to be able to navigate with voice, typing, etc…. basically however they want, depending on the device and browser, but direct nav is still there. These new forms don’t take away direct navigation as far as I can tell. If you know something I don’t I would love to hear it.

    Direct navigation CAN be done with voice also. Who needs typing? Google is not THE destination every time for everyone. Sometimes people want to go to a site, not a search engine. If they wanted Google then direct navigation would not exist currently

    You say, “Now in 2012 PPC revenue is lower than ever ……..” Who told you that? PPC payouts are the highest than they have been since 2008, at least for me. I was told about a $300 + click the other day on a parking platform someone had.

    I predict you are 100% wrong on this one Morgan. However, I give you a lot of credit for having the fortitude for making such a bold prediction.

    Frank Schillinng recently went on the record in one post as saying that traffic is holding steady on Internet Traffic and is not declining, so any effects of any of this has not been seen to date.

    Actually, has anyone thought about the notion that Direct Navigation might just increase with voice activation searches? If I can go to ABC.com, ABC.net, and ABC.org, and ABC.tv, by using my voice to navigate quickly through them to find a worthy site, I may just do that.

    So far I have not seen or heard a compelling argument why direct navigation will be less.

  • Homero A. Gonzalez August 9, 2012, 1:36 pm

    Morgan: What do you mean Chrome does not have an address bar? It does. The omnibox as Google refers to it, can also be used as a search box and users have control
    which search engine provides the results. Google is the default search engine, as can be expected.

  • TorontoDomainer August 9, 2012, 2:05 pm

    Premium Domain Names in my opinion should never be parked! Risk factor that someone could use that against you in a domain name hijacking attempt is high! The point is your better off developing a 5 page website or so and optimize it with quality ppc ads.

    If you own Reg Fee domain names than you don’t even want to waste with parking your domain name. Your better off developing your own landing page and cutting out the middle man.

    Great Article!

  • Homero A. Gonzalez August 9, 2012, 2:06 pm

    Following up on my previous post, here’s the help page (google) that explains the
    omnibox aka, address bar; http://support.google.com/chrome/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=95440

    Cheers!,

  • SE August 9, 2012, 3:18 pm

    Who didn’t have a search bar for years before using chrome?

  • James August 9, 2012, 4:47 pm

    Parking is dead i had 3,000 domains and was doing great in 2007 to 2009 but mid 2010 Google give no respect to parked domains i found at that time Parked.com was the best i usto put unique content on each domain parked page. I usto earn between $30 to $50 a day most of that went on renewals and re-buying. However i glad parking died in 2010 because it give me a kick up the ass to either develop or let them expire because i could not afford the renewals. I started developing domain names and have never looked back right now im making more cash than ever this year and next year is going to be very exiting for me. Development and ranking in Google with quality domain names is the way forward domaining has even died, Last year i had over $100,000 in sales this year maybe $8000. I do not rely on domain sales now domaining as in buying and selling has finished for me i just buy top quality to develop and .com and .org are working out best.

  • @Domains August 9, 2012, 9:40 pm

    I use Chrome and it has an address bar.
    Don’t remember if it’s there by default when I downloaded it, or if I had to turn it on though.

    I think most people still like the option of the address bar for direct navigation.

  • Troy August 9, 2012, 11:19 pm

    Parking would have been pretty much dead 5 years ago if it wasn’t for all the click farms spreading links around the domains of members in the farm. I would bet for every legitimate click on a parked domain there is another fraudulent click. There is no future in domain parking. There is very little future in the domain industry as a whole. Domainers will need to either become real business men and build real businesses or they will need to call it a day and find another industry to play in.

  • Mike Grala - ADvermain August 10, 2012, 1:10 pm

    What Morgan means by there is no longer an address bar is that people no longer use the address bar as an “address bar” they use it as a “search bar” which is a reason for this article. Back when parking revenue was doing great if anyone was interested in something they would type in that keyword in the address bar and type .com at the end of the keyword(s) and would be directed to that parked domain/site as their search, less of that is happening now because of the ability of the “address/search bar” function. That eliminates alot of parking revenue. Everyone knows about Google now, why would someone type in for example “domainnames.com” when you can go to Google or use your address bar and search “domain names” and get millions of results from your perferred seac. I also think that a reason why parking search was so much higher before is because, The majority of people using the Internet had a lack of search engine knowledge so they use to just typed in whatever they were looking for then typed .com after the keyword(s). Now Google and other search engine’s increased in popularity significantly, also that ability to search in the address bar in your browser is by far this biggest one. Troy’s statement also has a big play as well. These are big reasons why parking revenue decreased.

    Also @Troy couldn’t agree with you more!

  • PPC King August 10, 2012, 2:08 pm

    Some of these comments like Troy’s and Toronto Domainer are like those you see from the misguided on NamePros who keep passing back and forth misinformation that becomes some kind of strange consensus of thought among the players there each parroting each other’s posts with no clue at all what’s going on.

    Do either of you have or have ever had significant parked portfolios in which to make these comments? I don’t think you do at all.

  • Mike August 11, 2012, 6:36 am

    Strong portfolio really helps you in parking. I see some of my domains doing well when others have no clicks and therefore not making any money. Question is will you by a $1k-$10k for a domain just for parking it. There is millions of domains out there but these low cost domains wont make money for you in parking. Ofcource there is always exceptions. Sure if u have plenty of cash and lots of premium domains, sure you will make money when parking them and sell them later…

  • PPC King August 12, 2012, 3:13 pm

    It’s silly to even have to respond to you guys saying parking is dead, but seriously, you have no idea what the heck you are talking about.

    You guys are in other professions because domain parking did not work out for you. Just because you failed at parking domains does not mean “parking is dead”.

    I can easily tell you don’t do this professionally and are talking about your failures. There are still domains you can buy for $20 that will make you hundreds per year in parking. I have countless examples just from this year’s domain mining I’ve done. I have bought many domains for $100 to $500 that will make $1000 or more. I’m sorry, but you guys just don’t get how to buy domains I guess.

    Seriously, don’t make these comments if you are not a domainer ; It’s totally ignorant to talk about your failures and push that as “how the industry is”, IMHO.

  • ParkedDomainer August 21, 2012, 2:08 am

    PPC King is there any way I can contact you? I need some help regarding parked domains…

  • RandyL November 28, 2012, 6:36 pm

    PPC King, what are your thoughts about buying premium domains in developing countries where there is less saturation? Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia?