I Give Up, Google Wins

By | October 23, 2012

For years I have been trying various ways to make money from my thousands of domain names. I sell a few each month, but much of that money goes towards covering the annual renewal fees (I pay around $9 per domain). It used to be that I could just park my names with a domain parking company and sit back and collect the income. But then suddenly the whole domain parking industry went downhill and my revenue from it decreased by around 90%.

Because of that I decided to setup minisites on my 4000 domains in the hope that they would get listed in the search engines and get a lot more traffic than when they were parked. At least this way there was no limit to the amount of money I could make, unlike parking which even in good times never had the potential to go up much. I tried a few different custom made systems, all of which provided my domains with lots of unique content (Google loves unique content, hates copied content) such as articles, games, and stories, but Google never showed my sites much love. Traffic did go up some, but the income from the ads (ad networks and affiliate/lead programs) on the sites still was never as high as what I made from domain parking.

So after reading many articles about how great Frank Schilling’s new internettraffic.com service was, I decided to give it a try. Internettraffic.com offers a combination of domain parking and domain brokerage. It has only been 2 weeks so far, but my results have been great. I will make around $2500 this month from domain parking, as compared to around $500/month from when I was using minisites on the domains. I have not had any domain sales yet, but I have had some lowball offers. Their domain sales system is very advanced, although it is unclear if that will result in any more sales than I used to get myself.

The only thing I worry about is that soon my traffic will probably go down, because the parked pages are eventually going to get less traffic from Google than my minisite pages. I have no idea what the income will be once that happens, but I am pretty sure it will be at least the $500 I was making before, and it is much easier not to have to deal with running my 4000 minisites, so my plan is to keep my domains parked for the foreseeable future.

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23 thoughts on “I Give Up, Google Wins

  1. Martin

    $9 times 4000 sites is $36,000 a year.

    AT BEST,…you are making $2500 a month [ $30,000 a year].

    Seems like you need to get rid of some domains.

    Don’t see a biz model here.

    1. admin Post author

      For the past 10 years I have been selling $200,000+ a year worth of domains, so that is the business model. But, if I keep selling all my best domains, then eventually I won’t have any left and my sales will be a lot less. So, that is the problem.

  2. rob sequin

    Very honest post. Thanks for that.

    I think you are doing the best for monetization at this time.

    I have not heard anything good about any other systems or business models except for Chicago.com selling email addresses and subdomains but of course you need the right domain for that strategy.

    1. admin Post author

      Yes, I read the Chicago.com article and thought it was very interesting.

  3. Howard

    That’s how we do with XX,XXX amount of names within portfolio. Combination of parking, sales, and development. It used to be that majority of our income came from parking, today it’s from one of our developed properties. Sales were very slow last 24 months however, last week we sold one domain for 200K. One deal can make a whole lotta difference.

    H.

    1. admin Post author

      Yes, a few times a year I get big domain sales, and that usually makes up for everything.

  4. Dominio

    Why did your earnings collapse 90% before? I heard folks talk about 40% to 60%, but not that high.

    It does “sound” like you could cut some of the trash domains and improve your reg fee bill.

    1. admin Post author

      The earnings drop was a combination of lower domain parking company payouts, and changes in Google algorithms that ranked parked pages lower than the they used to. It also may be that my domains get a lot less typeins now than they used to because people are more sophisticated and don’t just type in a domain when they are searching, they use Google instead. They might type a domain when they know what they want, but my domains are almost never what they really want, so that does not help me any.

  5. Anticareer.com

    Not sure how you can mass develop 4,000 sites in one shot with unique content and make all the sites unique. Nowadays Google is looking for quality in sites. So if your sites all use the same template that’s a big footprint. If you have 5 articles per site that is 2009 and won’t work today to get ranked highly.
    And if your content is not high enough quality that people are going to naturally link to it, then unless you’re doing SEO for 4,000 sites how are you gaining a backlink profile?

    The idea of developing them all is a good idea, but to do it right would be a very large upfront cost (over $100k). In the end though you may be reaping many more rewards, so the question is can you take the up front risk for the potential long term reward.

    Look at EPIK, I never see sites using their platform rank well because these minisite platforms just don’t work in today’s Google.

    1. admin Post author

      I paid for 14,000 unique articles, plus other unqiue content, and then setup a system to distribute that content on the 4000 domains. Some sites had 100 articles, some 1 or 2.
      I did not do any SEO for any of the site, so I had no backlinks.

  6. Steve

    I stopped parking to avoid any trademark ads and potential udrp’s from the ads. I have since forwarded all my names to my main site. It has at least provided decent traffic stats and info on the domains that are bringing the traffic to the main site. It has also generated more inquiries.
    I don’t actively sell the names and usually wait for a request. I will be more proactive in the new year reaching out to more end users. Service, product names seem to generate real value/leads for the owner when developed into a real website.
    I will also be ending my adwords campaign to stop sending money to a company that de-lists generic sites with decent products listed on them. Why gargoogle doesn’t crap all over amazon or any of the big retailers for re-selling other peoples/companies products is a double standard that will hopefully bit them in the $ss.
    The sites Epik/smartname and a few others put up a very functional sites that provide what the customers are looking for. For g to de-list them was a big mistake. They are losing the traffic that naturally comes to these sites.
    imo

    1. admin Post author

      I had tried several thousand domains with Smartname but they hardly made any money, even though Smartname did a good job with putting content on the sites.

  7. Poor Uncle

    Hi there- please take a look at domainsherpa video of a couple weeks ago. The person on the video described how he made money with mini sites with adsense, and flipping websites. He had a whole system setup to employ virtual workers to build his websites, write articles, perform seo, built backlinks, reseach niche market.

    Very interest strategy and clever use of software.

  8. Michael

    Thanks for your very candid post.
    It made me explore your site a little bit and I laughed out loud when I saw the domain boneofthemonth on your domain list. Anyway, I’m very curious how you set the prices for the domains. It seems very random.
    I’ve been a passive investor in domain names and your ambitious list of projects really got my juices flowing.
    thanks again.
    Mike

    1. admin Post author

      I don’t have any good system for setting domain prices. I use estibot.com as a guide, and I read the weekly domain sales reports at dnjournal.com to get an idea of what domains sell for.

  9. John B

    Is Google not a monopoly, and if not, should its organic search be regulated?

    Google’s behavior can put thousands or people out of work on at the flip of a switch, destroy or create entire industries or create artificial barriers to market entry… all to its benefit.

    I would say it has done all three of these things. Like railroads of the past century, it abdicates its private perogatives when it becomes capable of becoming a threat to the economy at large. I think it has become such a threat.

    Perhaps we are concerning ourselves with the wrong things. We cannot through our own reasonalbe efforts survive on such a slanted playing field, perhaps we should push for regulation.

  10. Solitaire

    That’s a honest article…

    But I personally believe that making small sites and promote them correctly will increase your earnings long-term…

  11. pw

    Do you consider yourself a Web Spammer? If not, what is the difference? I am happy google found a way of filtering the web spam you are offering. Great News!

    1. admin Post author

      All of the articles on my sites are unique content specifically related to that domain. I also had custom made video games and other custom made unique content for the sites. So, it was not search engine spam. It was not top quality content, but not spam.

  12. AustraliaHouses

    I’ve tried a few parking companies over the years and found PARKLOGIC to be the best.

  13. Michael

    Maybe that is what people are doing, just typing in everything into Google now. I typed in one of your domains xskateboards.com and your site is number one for that search. The site looks good and simple to understand maybe the content on the mini site just wasn’t what people were searching for or it distracted them away from just clicking on an ad. I then clicked on Cheap Skateboards Decks and the first ad that popped up was a skateboard company that sold skateboard stuff, if it was cheap I don’t know lol. I would say the site is useful now because it’s directing people to what they are looking for.

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