I Don’t Get It? Why Are Large Portfolio Owners Just Now Bitching About Parking Companies Screwing Us?

May 30 2011

I get it.  Parking companies have screwed domain owners for years.  Evidently we were all a bunch of sheep that had nowhere else to go and just took it on the chin for years.  It’s funny because I always thought it was better than nothing.  Nothing being what I was doing before I was able to park them. But the why did the large portfolio owners just sit there and not demand more info and higher share? Why did it take ten years for Frank Schilling to lead them to the promise land?  Why do I suddenly hear “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister as the background music on Rick Schwartz’s blog?

I admit it.  In my real business I would NEVER go into a relationship not knowing what my split was with my partner.  I get it in writing and in a contract.  I always wondered what my split was with parking companies but never pursued it because I had very limited options.  They gave me a source of revenue I couldn’t create on my own with little to no effort.  It was a few hundred dollars  a month while waiting to sell my domains.  Although it may sound like settling, in reality, I didn’t have enough domains to do much about it.  That’s my excuse. What are the excuses for the domain investors that owned thousand and thousands of domains generating thousand of dollars a week?  Why did they just stand there not knowing their split?  It was something I never understood.

And what exactly is “quality traffic”.  I keep hearing about this “quality traffic” only coming over to InternetTraffic.com (Google alert triggered for Frank Schilling, oops another).  What makes typo traffic better than link traffic? To me, both sources of traffic had no intention of going to the domain so it’s lesser quality.  No doubt there are some incredible names moving over.  Some of the best type in names on the planet.  But among the greats is a whole lot of names with little to no traffic and tons of typos.  Names that are absolutely not top quality traffic names. To quote Rick

“our traffic has been worth less all the time because the same people that pay you, bastardize the good traffic to blend in with the WORTHLESS SHIT they have been peddling for years”

While there are plenty of nice names,  let me list some of the names in the parking program and you tell me how many natural type-ins they get.

ffffffffffffffffffffffff.com

foreverymoveyoumake.com

iPowerbook.com

multiplesclerosisexercise.net

PurpleSupport.com

smoogie.com

xqqm.com

I realize that in a portfolio of 20,000 they aren’t going to be able to pick out all the low traffic names.  All I’m saying is that there are plenty of names moving over that are not good quality traffic and that the business model is more realistically based on quantity of traffic and “improved” quality rather than overall quality.  Improved because it is their own and we all know our own traffic is better than somebody else’s traffic.  My last point of issue is the extremely large amount of adult traffic.  I search through the lists each day, not because I really care what is moving to IT but because I enjoy seeing what types of names some of my favorite domain owners have in their portfolio.  I am surprised how many are big into adult names.  I have nothing against adult names. If that’s how they make money so be it.  What surprised me is that Google is going to feed all that adult traffic.  I had no idea Google had porn ads.  I have to admit I don’t visit too many porn sites (believe that if you will) but I have never seen a Google ad for another adult site.  Since that is not my area of expertise I may be a little uninformed on the Google/Adult ad relationship.

I hope that this article doesn’t come across too critical of IT.  I think what they are doing is great for them and great for the industry.  More competition is always a good thing. It probably is more aimed at the preaching of Rick Schwartz. Rick has earned every right he has.  He has backed up almost every word said.  Fortunately I have a blog that gives me a voice.  A voice to ask these question.  To comment when comments are closed. I love HEARING about what is being done but would much rather SEE the data.

Internet Traffic  is doing what they should have done 5 years ago yet I didn’t hear many stories of being screwed in the last 5 years. All I am saying is that I am smart enough to know that I was being screwed.  I just couldn’t do anything about it.  What were the large portfolio owner’s excuses?  I am guessing they were making so much money they felt unnecessary to ask for more. It was only when the money started drying up that they started to question.  It really doesn’t matter to me.  This isn’t a revolution. A revolution involves everyone against a common enemy.  Ninety nine percent of us are not being asked to join the parking program.  We’re are merely being told “ha ha,  the parking that you have use sucks.  We did something about it and it’s awesome but it’s only for us”   Individually I have no voice.  My domains don’t provide enough traffic. 1000 uniques a day is less than one domain in Frank’s portfolio. But if Rick want’s to give the parking company a big “Fuck You” don’t pretend like you’re doing us a favor in doing it.  If you want to do me a favor do this.

Make Internet Traffic’s numbers transparent.  You want transparency in the parking industry?  Lead the way. Show me what you are getting and how I’m being screwed.  Force parking companies to compete for my business the way casinos compete with slot machines.  Show the payout right at the front door.  I want to see “highest payouts in the industry” right next to a percentage. No more,  “I hear that InternetTraffic is 40% more than the rest”  Somebody be transparent and give some real numbers.  That’s right you can’t

The parking companies that work with Google are under very strict rules.  Google will not let you give any numbers out.  You can’t say what you made.  You can’t give out a percentage of revenue because then you would know what Google is paying out.  Google doesn’t want anyone comparing notes on revenue.  So while you will continue to hear about the great payouts I am pretty sure we will never know what those payouts are and the trend continues.  No transparency, more stories of how we’re getting screwed, and no way to force parking companies to get better other than to take their word for it and find out through trial and error.  That or deal direct with Google.  And they have.  What that means for the rest of us is to be seen.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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32 comments

  1. Mike

    I don’t understand this either Shane, you make an excellent point, these early guys generated tens of millions in sales, along with relationships, and web expertise, and they couldn’t put a parking platform together, instead paying 50%+ of their income to a 3rd party when they could have bought a parking provider, and tweaked it with their inside connections, and knowledge.

    Rick Schwartz puts on a nice act, but with all the money he throws around at traffic he could have put a nice parking provider together, all talk I guess…? with closed comments of couse 😉

  2. Mike

    Sedo has already reduced their RPM from what I am seeing against my domains, the average has dropped by about 30% in the ten days or so, right around the time Frank started… not sure if others are seeing this…

  3. Jim Bob

    I think it’s funny, you have people who are saying they aren’t going to take it anymore, but in many cases they have crappier traffic than 95% of the domainers. They have domains that get banned at Yahoo or Google and then just redirect the traffic to another domain. They are the reasons in some cases that other people get paid less, because they want to make as much money as possible.

    I don’t know of a single parking company that is screwing anybody, well maybe one. But overall, they provide a service that you wouldn’t have otherwise. What is that service worth is the question? That’s the question. What should cut should parking companies get?

    That would be a very good article with hundreds of comments.

  4. Tony

    As far as I know, the Big Boys have had their own parking feeds for years. Kevin Ham has his HitFarm. Frank has his own feed as well before InternetTraffic. Even MHB has his own deal for a while now.

    InternetTraffic is just Frank opening up his feed to some of the bigger small fish like Rick Schwartz who doesn’t have the portfolio to negotiate directly with G and Y. It is no game changer and just more hype as far as I’m concerned.

  5. RH

    The one point you make is really true. You are being told look we got a solution for us eagles but you pigeons will continue to get screwed.

  6. Gemini

    Domain King…..please!!

    More like constant attention seeking foul mouthed Drama Queen

  7. Mike

    One thhing you should consider is that the PPC company has your money on the hands, I mean it happened to me with a couple of “Big PPC Company”, I complained and all I was told is that I will loose my money earned the months before (some ppc company they pay after 45 days) and they can show you whatewer they want as explanation about traffic, never had 1 click non authorized but they will say the traffic it’s not good and when you has $ 50/100K monthly of PPC with theme and need money because of renewal or other things you just need to decide to remain screwed to don’t loose the money earned before or just start a suite from another side of the world knowing they can give any excuse they want to don’t pay you, this is not an example, it happened to me with 3 major PPC company and I had everything in writing.

  8. Joey Starkey

    Any time a company wants you to bring something to a business relationship but they don’t want to share what your split of the profits will be. Keep on walking. You are gonna get screwed.

  9. Don

    To many pay per transactions models coming out, or pay per sale. A completed sale or transaction in time will trump the ppc biz. In time it is fine but in maybe 3 years the ppt model is just going to crush weak traffic in my opinion.

    Don

  10. Mike

    Shane, with all do respect, where have you been? Us big domainers have been complaining for years. For five years, no. Five years ago parking payouts were great, but starting in early 2008 it all went downhill. You just are not talking to the right folks. We’ve been upset about it and vociferously complaining about it left and right and from the tops of the mountains. Not sure how you missed this! Seriously.

    Another thing you are overlooking is that we are not here to necessarily go into biz without knowing the percentages, details, etc…. but we have other business interests besides parking around domains. We sell them, we do redirects, leases, sites, etc…. so there are many businesses within the domain industry. We are just complaining about this one facet. Basically we are giving away gold for nickel in return.

    Okay, I’m sure you and many will say, why don’t you do something about it then. Here’s your answer : If we develop we take our focus off the other domain businesses like domain sales or buying/studying new domains. If we take our eye off the ball the other revenue streams suffer and development, as you know, is an all-consuming, time-eating task. You can put your time into development, but it will be at a great expense of buying more domains….that is if you want to do it right. Even if we go lead generation, which is not out of the question, it does still take time. So basically most of the big domainers by now have some side domain incomes which we will not compromise by taking the domains out of parking. Parking still pays, but we all know DAMN well there is a fortune left on the table. Whether it is Frank Schilling or some other company, someone will disintermediate this market now or eventually b/c there is Billions, with a B, in domain parking. Back in 2008 Microsoft pegged the domain market income as 2.8 Billion.

    Why did we not start a parking company five years ago? See above. We don’t want to run businesses b/c we are busy doing other things, however earnings have gone down SO drastically in the last year that it started to make sense to invest time in it, and Frank is probably best positioned to do it.

    Come to think of it a domainer or two did? Kevin Ham, Hitfarm.com . Matt Wegrzyn of Bodis.com, but neither of them ever had any impressive payouts compared to other parking companies. Frank’s new platform is the biggest thing I have ever seen happen in domain parking. I mean that. These are HUGE payouts compared to before.

    Adult domains? They pay little per click, but there is so much volume it can’t be ignored. I have plenty of domains that make bank, even with the down adult market that has collapsed the last few years.

    Quote: “What makes typo traffic better than link traffic? ” Well, really Frank is not looking for any link traffic. Expired traffic is not allowed. But to answer you question, typo traffic is often worse than link traffic b/c many of those that misspell are not very good spellers to begin with and sadly, many of them are poorer people. It can also be foreigners that either don’t have the money or won’t order b/c they are overseas. None of this is set in stone as there are many exceptions, but the correct spelling will convert to sales better than typos most of the time.

    Percentage payouts? You are right we can’t share numbers earnings ; I do know my percentage payout for each parking company besides Frank. However, it is a little silly b/c it still matters what they parking company’s rev share is with Google or Bing. Then you have “channels” for parking company and each parking company has many channels. If you have good traffic and are placed in a channel with bad traffic your earnings go down….so it’s complicated to say the least.

    Crap domains making it in? Yes…..I’ve seen it. I see much more good going in every day than bad though, don’t you think? Also, Frank is holding the data tight so the great performing keywords can’t be gamed, which he had already picked up on and has hopefully taken care of that by restricting daily stats on the domain level to once a month. That’s smart.

    Personally, I’m up 90% to 100%. Some others are reporting muc more…..like 200% increases. 🙂

    http://www.dnforum.com/f72/after-5-y…ad-456383.html

  11. Mike

    Two things:

    1. I made a mistake with the link

    http://www.dnforum.com/f72/after-5-years-i-finally-left-parked-com-thread-456383.html

    2. I did not mean to say that expired traffic is not allowed, but it is not desired as strictly the source. For example, JimsPlants.com would not be allowed ( I know some are still getting in but there are not supposed to. Maybe Frank will swing around and fix this when the dust settles), but VegetablePlants.com would be allowed if it had some expired traffic b/c it is a generic which will invariably have some direct navigation traffic. I think Frank just does not want pure-play expired traffic domains.

    Hope that cleared that up. 🙂

  12. Olney

    I’ll explain what happened in 2008. Google let Adwords advertisers opt out of Domain Parking when spending on the Content Network (Now Google Display Network). The timing is exactly the same.

    This was the biggest blow to domain parking, not the parking companies, not Google, but the advertisers & people like me who work at global ad agencies who started turning it off by default.

    Like this article begins about quality traffic, how does an owner of a parked domain know if his domain is bringing quality traffic to the advertiser? No one in parking has access to conversion data, just click data it’s completely different. I’d like to see more domain related parking articles talk about what the advertiser gets. If you can do this revenue will increase.

  13. Ben

    “What makes typo traffic better than link traffic?”

    5 years ago I would have agreed with you that link traffic and typo traffic were equal. But today there are so many people using automated tools to build hundreds of thousands of backlinks to domains for seo purposes. All these backlinks provide very little traffic but naturally attract tons of bots.

  14. Anunt

    If a parking company wants to pay you .0000001%, they can…it’s their parking company…you don’t have to use it if you dont like it…stop bitching and complaining…take your domains somewhere else!

    Rick Schwartz is the biggest soap opera drama queen…he takes small things and makes a big deal out of it by bitching about it over and over and over again…you all should know this about him by now!

    Shane is 100% correct…it’s really funny how Rick closed his comments…let’s get some transparency Rick…let the people comment about internet traffic numbers…numbers dont lie, people do…people like RICK, the biggest liars.

    And dont believe all the internet traffic hype about payouts increasing over 100%…its total bullshit…when you change to a new parking company, most parking companies always pay more at the beginning…then the payouts slowly decrease as time goes on…this is very common tactic with most parking companies trying to make you stay with them by paying out more at the beginning…that is exactly what is happening with internet traffic’s parking company.

    Shane…thanks for speaking up…and keeping your comments open to the public!

  15. RH

    Olney good point but you know that data is never coming. First off the whole notion of this non transparency is a joke. But people have accepted whatever Google tells them. Its a joke. Have a problem at Google ? Hardly ever gets answered. “Oh check our forums and someone will help” Tried but no one knew. Oh well.

    Shane you mentioned awhile back about a guy you knew who was a legitimate guy nothing shady,getting his adsense account closed. $10,000 in adsense and no reason why the account was closed. That’s a joke, should be against the law. The whole notion they can do whatever they like is insane. I support anyone that takes action against Google to make them more transparent. The notion it hurts their business model or intellectual property is a complete joke. Again IMO

  16. yaron

    agree with Tony !!!

    “As far as I know, the Big Boys have had their own parking feeds for years. Kevin Ham has his HitFarm. Frank has his own feed as well before InternetTraffic. Even MHB has his own deal for a while now.

    InternetTraffic is just Frank opening up his feed to some of the bigger small fish like Rick Schwartz who doesn’t have the portfolio to negotiate directly with G and Y. It is no game changer and just more hype as far as I’m concerned.”

  17. Samit Madan

    How exactly this ‘second coming’ is going to help us smaller domain investors? The answer is ‘not at all’.

    We’re still stuck with the current providers, or with google, not really known for their interest in sharing revenues either.

    And for anyone who thinks a per-sale model is better than a per-click model, think again, who says affiliate sales can and are tracked a 100%?

  18. Jason

    It took Frank 10 years to start his own parking company because it takes time to develop influence and trust in an industry. Over 10 years ago Frank and Kevin were discussing ways to make revenue with their small portfolios then.

    Parking wasn’t a concern. Now that Frank has gained the attention of big domain players, big parking companies are taking notice.

  19. Jason

    I can say that parking companies rip everyone off. An 80% revenue share on a good education .com at Go Daddy will only pay you 5% at another parking company. Essentially, a $20 ad click pays $1. Parking companies pay owners $.50 on $10 clicks.

    The GoDaddy program does pay out 80% revenue on their premium parking. However, they will make up excuses when a few domains are performing and note they are not natural trffic. If you lost your domains up for sale, you’ll get traffic that is not natural. Thus, you’ll likely get canceled.

    Parking companies make a ton off your education, auto INS and loan domains. They will pay you peanuts in return. If you want to test the different, compare the results between two domains with similar cpc on two different parking platforms. In my opinion, Sedo’s parking took a high share and left the peanut shells to me to scoup up.

    Parking companies are taking advantage. These was not a problem 5 years ago. When one is receiving penny clicks on dollar clicks, then there is a larger revenue pool for parking companies. A $5-10 education click may only net you $.50. If one monitors their traffic, they will realize the type of traffic that arrives and know that their parking revenue has little value.

  20. Jason

    I can say that parking companies rip everyone off. An 80% revenue share on a good education .com at Go Daddy will only pay you 5% at another parking company. Essentially, a $20 ad click pays $1. Parking companies pay owners $.50 on $10 clicks.
    The GoDaddy program does pay out 80% revenue on their premium parking. However, they will make up excuses when a few domains are performing and note the traffic is not natural. If you promote your domains to sell them, you’ll get traffic that is not natural. Thus, you’ll likely get canceled.

    Parking companies make a ton off your education, auto INS and loan domains. They will pay you peanuts in return. If you want to test the difference, compare the results between two domains with similar cpc on two different parking platforms. In my opinion, Sedo’s parking took a high share and left me with the peanut to scoup up.

    Parking companies are taking advantage. This was not a problem 5 years ago. When one is receiving penny clicks on dollar clicks, then there is a larger revenue pool going to parking companies. A $5-10 education click may only net you $.50. If one monitors their traffic, they will realize the type of traffic that arrives and know that their parking revenue has little value.

    Parking companies choose bad popular categories. It doessnt make sense to display ads that only pay less than a penny for a click. 3 ad clicks that total .02 is ridiculous. My domains have performed good on a domain platform with multiple revenue alternatives. In a strict parking company, you will get shafted. 

    You might not get even 1 click on a domain which generates 1500 unique per month. Nonetheless, the same domain on another platform will score dollar clicks. Even worse, parking companies expose domain owners to udrp issues stemming from irrelevant ad placement that conflicts with another trademark. 

    The iPowerBook.com will probably feature Apple ads. Apple seems to go after such domains to protect their brand. The parking companies have to manually adjust the popular categories to avoid third party conflict. I wouldn’t want to own the preceding domain.  

    Parking companies are taking advantage. They’re making a fortune off of various niche domains which many have no clue what they’re actually losing. They won’t question the revenue percentage. Of course, the parking company will claim they’re paying you out a high percentage. Google AdSense is fair because they share their revenue with program participants. You know that publishers are getting a good share.     

  21. Anders

    Hey Frank. You should tell Donkey Kong to STFU. He´s not helping. Big baby with issues. Why blog if you just want to gloat anyways?

  22. Mike

    @Olney……advertisers turning off domain parking in the advertising Content Network has been shown to be no more than about 2% at either Yahoo or Google, not sure how Bing treats it now though.

    2008 we had Ask.com kicked off as a syndication partner by Google that did a lot of the backfill advertising when Google had no ads, and literally at the end of Feb. 2008 everyone, and I do mean everyone, that used Google saw their revenues drop.

    2008 we also had the beginnings of the Great Recession, so that played into it also.

    Lastly, if you look at the TAC (Traffic Acquisition Costs) in Google’s quarterly reports you can see how they have lowered payouts slowly but steadily for the last few years. Even Adsense sucks now for websites…..just ask anyone.
    Google has clawed back both parking and developed site earnings.

    Advertisers opting out of parking pages has been a non-issue really. Google also has hidden the option to opt out also. Why? Because parking converts to sales at almost 3:1 over search engine search. This figure comes straight from Google. Google are being sued by advertisers right now that think they got duped into paying for crap traffic, but Google came back and said this is not true and in fact parked pages convert to sales at a higher rate. Google hid the button b/c parking is buoying the conversion rate that Google has overall. Remove parking and advertiser conversions will go down across the board at Google.

    Thanks for your kind words Shane! 🙂

    .

  23. Michael Cyger

    Hi Shane,

    I asked Frank on my video interview last Friday what “good traffic” was, what “bad traffic” was, and what the difference between the two was. I just didn’t understand what Rick Schwartz was referring to when he was posting his articles about how Frank’s service was better as a result of only taking the good traffic.

    In any case, Frank answers the question at length. He discusses direct navigation traffic, typo traffic, and trademark traffic. The full video interview will be live on DomainSherpa tomorrow morning.

    Best,
    Michael

  24. Denis Roussel

    This is what pisses me off …
    As a domain investor and entrepreneur that was a bit late into the game does this make us “non-type in” domains evil? I can see that domainers will be separated into 2 categories in the near future… the rich and the poor. It kind of feels like I’m back to junior high.

    That being said, for us “lower class domainers” we need to take charge of our ROI also, being that we do an honest living and I bet the “phantom” traffic that is being talked about is a very little percentage of the overall picture. It sucks that domainers are currently being categorized into 2 groups … but we all know that there is more to that. What happens to us small domainers in the end … we need to pay bills too. The problem IS NOT about high class and lower class domaining and feed providers need to realize that. There needs to be a better system to filter the crap and the good. I just feel like it’s a kick in the balls for us domainers that don’t have the substance in traffic as the big guys do. Does it mean that our traffic sucks … far from it … you don’t need “type-in” traffic to convert. Is anyone in agreement on this? Or am I just out to lunch?

    Here’s a though … being that we are part of the 99% of lower class of domainers, wouldn’t that give us enough voice to take charge of our own destiny and pave the way to what we want to accomplish? If the higher class wants to label us as losers with that kind of percentage … I dare them to try once we regroup 😉

    Maybe we should come up with our own monetization platform for non-type in traffic …

  25. IrishDomainer

    Excellent post Shane, you read my mind on a lot of the points!

    Michael: Loving the video interviews! Just saw the Pizzarias.com guys, very cool guys. Looking forward to the interview with Frank and others 😉

  26. theo

    Super post and super comments from the people here. Hats off !

    Thanks alot for sharing the insight. Really looking forward to Michael’s vid interview. Though i have a feeling where it willbe heading. It willbe an intresting watch about the mud and the oil 🙂

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