5 Reasons Why Domain Parking SUCKS

domain names

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.

2. Type-Ins?

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!

Omron HJ-112 Pedometer Review

omron hj-112 pedometer

It's no secret, you already have broken your New Year's resolution and losing that 20 pounds seems like it is not going to happen now. Right? The solution to keep that New Year's Resolution weight loss goal is simple though, an Omron HJ-112 Pedometer.

Most people, especially in today's stagnate office world, don't realize how little we actually move around during the day. Do you know how many steps you take everyday? Do you think you get in 10,000 steps? In case you didn't know that is the recommend amount of walking for an average healthy person.

When I originally got my Omron HJ-112 Pedometer as gift, I was pleased with the gift. (Unlike how some people would be.) I thought I would come somewhat close to that 10,000 step (3-4 mile) recommend minimum. Wrong, very wrong! Do you know how many steps I was taking everyday? I was walking about 3000-5000 steps a day, which is less than half the amount of walking I should have been doing. The most embarrassing part about it is that I have two dogs, Cody and Sierra, and I have to take walks with them everyday. (They are singing dogs in case you didn't know.)

A pedometer can really put things into perspective for you and make it so that you want to start moving around to reach that 10,000 step goal. Now that I have the Omron HJ-112 Pedometer strapped to me at all times, I sometimes walk when I would have driven, and walk around a little more just to walk. Sounds kind of crazy, but a pedometer makes you want to walk more. As I am writing this review I have over 15,000 steps on my Omron HJ-112 pedometer, which isn't bad at all. (I did take the pedometer running with me today, but in my opinion that still counts.)

The Omron HJ-112 Pedometer has a 7-day backlog, which makes it easy to track your progress. One feature that some might like, or not, is the fact that Omron automatically resets at midnight. This can be annoying are still up past midnight and want to keep tracking your progress. It also tracks aerobic steps which I assumes means running, miles, and calories burned if you want to know those numbers as well.

There have been a few times I have wondered how accurate the Omron is as some days I believed I have done quite a lot of walking, but don't feel the step counts reflected that. Something to keep in mind is the Omron Pedometer must be kept in a vertical position to track your steps. If it is too much on a horizontal axis it won't record steps. I usually try to keep the pedometer in my pocket upright at all times though so I don't know why this would be happening.

Setting up the Omron HJ-112 Pedometer is a bit tricky. I recommend reading the instructions carefully before you try to set the pedometer up. This way you won't get confused. I would also suggest not using the crappy “mini-screwdriver” that comes with it. I used a small screwdriver set we already had. Also it is helpful to have another person or friend help you calculate your stride length. You can try to do it on your own by using a cup or other object to mark of where you started your stride, but it's a bit difficult. I also recommend measuring a few times to make sure your stride length is accurate.

This video should help you setup the Omron HJ-112 Pedometer

Sometimes it is difficult to remember to put the Omron Pedometer on, and you do not get steps recorded.

If you want to keep your weight lose goals without killing yourself or going on a crazy diet, I would highly recommended buying the Omron HJ-112 Pedometer. Having the Omron pedometer has helped me get a lot more walking in everyday than I would have. My whole family now has Omron Pedometers and we are all getting more walking in. Even if I can't meet the 10,000 goal, I still try to make sure I get somewhat close to that number like 8,000 or so.

5 Reasons Why People LOVE Downton Abbey

 downton abbey season 3
Downton Abbey

This is sort of hard for me to admit (since I am straight guy) but  I like watching the wildly popular TV show Downton Abbey.  For those that don't know Downton Abbey is British TV show that airs on PBS and is written and created by Julian Fellowes.  The show revolves around a British great house and estate, Downton Abbey, and the family and servants that live in it.

The show has been ratings gold for PBS and there has been a lot of talk about why the show is so popular.  There are a lot of reasons why the show is excellent.  It includes a great group of actors including  Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, and others.   As well the writing by Julian Fellowes seems to be quite well researched and well done.

While I am not a psychology expert or TV junkie, this is my list of 5 Reasons Why People LOVE Downton Abbey:

1. Not Working Appeals to Us

One of the reasons Downton Abbey appeals to people is that the show revolves around British Lords and great estates.  These British families were so rich and well-off that they didn't have to work at all.  They inherited money and land which made them fabulously wealthy for generations.  Being known as a “Gentleman” basically meant you didn't work.  Working was seen as something only lower and middle class people did.  In the show this is reflected in many smart quips and lines.  Essentially the servants do most of the work running and maintaining the house while Lord Grantham and the Crawley family don't do much.  This lifestyle quit appeals to men and I assume women too.  Imagine not having to clean your house? Cook dinner? Wash dishes? That would be totally awesome and isn't something that American are use to seeing much.

2. The House

HighClere Castle, where Downton Abbey is filmed, is an amazing and impressive house and estate.  No matter what people say, everyone has thought or dreamed about what it would be like to live in a big and beautiful house.

3. Soap Opera

The best way to describe Downton Abbey is sort of like a soap opera, without the bad writing and bad actors.  Some of the plots and stories are a bit annoying but you watch, enjoy the show, and have fun anyway.

4. Time Capsule

Considering how advanced society and technology is in 2013 it is fun for people to get a glimpse into a different time period.   In the Downton Abbey Season 1 they installed electricity in the house as a ‘new thing' and later thee house had phones installed.  Seeing what technology was cutting edge back in the day is fun for a generation that is plugged in so much.  You always wonder, “How did people live without the internet ”  Hey, know you know.

5. Everyone Else is Watching

Basically everyone you know is watching and talking about the show.  So you got to keep up with pop culture, watch the show too, and say you like it.

highclere castle
Highclere Castle aka Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey is now in Season 3 and takes place after World War 1.  Here is the description for Season 3 from the PBS website.

Downton Abbey has weathered the war, and the prospect of an impending wedding for Mary and Matthew brings great anticipation, as well as Cora’s mother from America, Martha Levinson. New World and Old World are about to clash as Martha tests tradition at Downton, and the patience of the formidable Lady Violet.

Aside from the sparks upstairs, a very real crisis threatens the foundation and future of Downton. Great houses have been crippled psychologically and financially in the wake of World War I, and Downton may not be exempt. In response, Robert clings decisively to his duty to maintain the home at all costs. But in this changing landscape, nothing is assured, and even the Crawleys may be faced with a new battle to safeguard their beloved Downton.

You can catch the show on PBS on Sunday nights at 9PM.  Next week is the last Downton Abbey episode for Season 3.

What do you think of my list? Do you agree or disagree?  Do you love or hate Downton Abbey?  Leave a comment below and let me know!

The Power of Habit Review

the power of habit

Charles Duhigg's “The Power of Habit” is a fascinating book about the sometimes interesting, strange, and damaging habits of people. Have you ever wondered why Celine Dion is so popular and you hear her song everywhere? (Even though you probably hate her!) What makes Alcoholics Anonymous such a successful program for millions of people with drinking problems? How Target is such a profitable company? Why Michael Phelps wins so much? Why Rick Warren's church is so big? Why is Febreeze popular? Why people love Starbucks and what justifies them charging so much for coffee?

All these questions and more are explained by Duhigg, a reporter for the New York Times, in ‘The Power of Habit.'

Essentially habits can be explained by daily cues, routines, and rewards we may or may not know exist. Habits help companies like Target determine what women shoppers are pregnant. Songs get popular because people like hearing familiar songs (habits) sandwiched between songs they already know. Habits give Paul O'Neil the power to turn Alcoa around and make the Tampa Bay Bucanners go from a terrible football team to being Super Bowl contenders.

In one chapter of the book Charles Duhigg explains how Starbucks can turn mediocre employees into integral parts of the coffee company by applying habits and the LATTE method: Listen to the customer, Acknowledge their complaint, Take Action by Solving the problem, Explain why the problem occurred. Starbucks uses so that employees have a clear habit when dealing with unhappy customers.

Michael Phelps, the Olympic swimmer, has specific sets of habit he does before a race. He eats the same meal, does the exact same swim warm-up, and listens to music the same way. This helps Michael Phelps have what is known as ‘small wins' throughout his day to make it seem like he has already won. Bob Bowman, his coach, instilled these habits so that he would be able to win consistently.

Febreeze, the air freshener that can get smells out of anything, was supposed to a big hit for Proctor & Gamble. However, when it initially launched Febreeze was a marketing flop. The marketers and researchers assumed that the fact that it got the smell out of anything would sell Febreeze, but they were wrong. They realized they needed to create Febreeze into a habit for people to use by encouraging them to use after they were finished cleaning and not before.

Another interesting part of the book was about Keystone Habits. These Keystone Habits can make all the difference in companies and this was demonstrated in the chapter about Paul O'Neil and Alcoa. O'Neil didn't worry about the bottomline but changing the companies focus on safety. When O'Neil created a better and safer working environment, employees trusted him, word traveled faster up the chain of command, and the company become more profitable due to better efficiency and less material loss.

One part of the book I found a bit scary but fascinating was how a Target researcher was able to figure out when women customers are pregnant based on shopping habits and patterns of what they are buying. Target tracks customers with a seemingly with accuracy and precision that edge on the side of Big Brother using emails, browser cookies, coupons, store cards, and more. Target utilizes all this information to automatically send pregnant customers specific coupons for baby products they know a pregnant women would be interested in buying.

Since I don't have kids I wasn't aware that the babies are a very profitable industry for a companies like Target. (On average people spend $6,000+ on baby gear and products.) The thinking for companies like Target is you can get parents shopping at Target for a baby or babies, they will certainly be buying other products there, creating profitable shopping habits.

The book offers even more examples, stories, and insights. After reading ‘The Power of Habit' you come away with a more keen sense of your daily habits and routines.

One question people wonder while reading ‘The Power of Habit' is, “How can I change my bad habits?” Not surprisingly at the end of the book Charles Duhigg uses his own example of eating a cookie everyday around the same time. He identified the routine, experimented with rewards, isolated the cue, and had a plan to stop his cooking eating. This made him (and it seems his wife) happy since he was able to change this habit by simply replacing it with what he knew the reward he needed was, which was interacting and talking with fellow reporters and journalists.

“Replacing bad habits with good habits is the only way to make a change. What drives people is a cue, routine, and emotional reward that one receives from a specific habit.” says Duhigg in The Power of Habit.

While the end of ‘The Power of Habit' does give clues on what you can to change bad habits, don't expect to find any ways to truly turn your life around if you searching for self-help or are experiencing serious problems (drinking, gambling, etc.) that are having a negative affect on your life.

Duhigg weaves a book that will leave you thinking long after you put it down. Many parts of the book are quite entertaining. However, some parts of ‘The Power of Habit' didn't need to be in there. For instance he included a portion of the book about Rosa Park, while interesting, I didn't think added much value to the book. Also Alcoa and Starbucks are not just successful from habits but a company culture.

While the ‘The Power of Habit‘ had it's shortcomings it is definitely worth a read for those interested in learning more about what makes people do certain things, habits.

Visit Charles Duhigg's website to learn more about him and The Power of Habit.

Like this review? Think someone might find it insightful? Please share it if that it the case and leave a comment below if you read the book.  I love hearing other people's opinions about books.