For most web entrepreneurs, internet marketers, and anyone that has built websites or online businesses you have experience with domain names. Talk to a lot of internet professionals about domain names and you hear this a lot, “I have tons of domain names I am not doing anything with!”
Something a lot of people do with those extra domain names is something known as domain parking. However, domain parking is not a good business model if you want to make money online or if you are planning to build a legitimate business or website on a domain name.
For those that are reading this that are not aware of what domain parking is, I guess I should explain. Domain parking is when someone “parks” a domain name by putting ads on it instead of a website with content. The ads are generally served based on what the domain name's category is or if it is some random odd word or combination or words or numbers it will just show ads. You make money on parking a domain when a visitor to your “website” clicks on one of the ads. The revenue is split with a domain parking company and you get a portion of that money.
1. Google does not Like Domain Parking
Google does not like parked domains as they do not provide value or content that a user would find useful. As a web user why would you want to see ads instead of good content about the subject you are searching for? Therefore parked domains do not get indexed by Google. This Google Webmaster Video from Matt Cutts illustrates why domain parking is not a good plan for someone who wants to build a website or business on a domain.
Parking domains and the domain parking industry rely heavily on the fact that someone will type-in that specific domain. Since Google won't index parked domains to be in included in the Google search index, it is hard to generate traffic and revenue from parking.
The domain parking model is great for a domainer (a person who buys, sells, or parks domains) that was lucky enough to buy “Computers.com” or some premium generic domain back in the day. The majority of domains most people buy might only receive a small number of type-ins and let's be serious, most people are not going to be clicking on those ads. Users will be navigating… away!
3. Revenue Sucks
If you talk to most domainers nowadays they will tell you that parking revenue generated from the few site visitors that dare click on parked domain ads has gone waaay done over the past couple years. Most of the time even if you are earning revenue on a good parked domain, if you make $10 bucks from parking your domain name to pay the yearly registration fee, consider yourself very lucky my friend.
By the way, personally I have never clicked on a parked domain ad and never intend to. (Unless it is by accident.)
The days of great domain parking revenue are slowly slipping away.
4. Google It
Internet users are getting smarter and smarter these days. While a lot of people still don't use bookmarks (why people, why?) and will in fact type-in domains they know and trust, they are not typing in generic domains as much as you would think.
Most people use Google to find what they are looking for and if you go back to my reason #1, you understand why the domain parking model doesn't work so well. If you are not going to show-up in a Google search or other search engines it is very hard to make money on a parked domain.
Most people “Google it” nowadays.
5. It's Not Interesting
If you are around a group of your friends and you tell them about domain parking, even if you are making a lot of money, are they really going to be interested? They might ask questions about it and be curios for a little while because you are making money on the internet and let's be honest who doesn't love that?
Killer web content or a web business you are trying to launch it's going to catch someone's attention a lot more. Wouldn't you rather appear to be a slick entrepreneur than a guy praying for users to unintentionally type-in your parked domain?
Building a legitimate business on a domain will always be better than hoping for traffic on a non-existent site. Event the big domainers out there have good web businesses built on domains they own.
That's my opinion but I am sure some domainers would disagree.
Domain Parking… Sucks!
If you have spare domains I recommend you try parking them for a few months and you can see what I am talking about. Some domain parking companies you might want to look into are ParkingCrew, VooDoo, Bodis, RookMedia, and InternetTraffic. There are a lot of other ones too but I am pretty sure you will come away disappointed even if you have generated some revenue, like I have.
If you have a lot of domains that you are not doing anything or that are being parked, I would recommend you take a hard look at your domain portfolio. Consider what you do and don't have time to develop. Think of what you future plans are and what you what sites you would build under certain domains. If some don't fit try to find a buyer and get a reasonable price for the domain. If you do want to do something with a particular domain name make sure to do what Matt Cutts suggests and put a paragraph or two up on the site so that you will get indexed.
What do you think of my list of 5 Reasons Why Domain Parking SUCKS? If you like or don't like my list or have something to say, leave a comment below. Tell me I am a#@hole or say I give great advice. Let's hear it!
Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!