THIS IS AN ARCHIVE FILE
Journalism experience will serve only to pen a well-written news letter; as for the attribution of the content herein, only observation and experience shall uphold the words crafted on this page. That preface tendered, I feel compelled to offer a few comments about the remarkable reliance upon landing pages to generate income for domainers.
It is unfortunate the trend toward the use of parking pages became so ingrained among the pundits of the industry as to propagate a segment of the domain world that would be doomed to failure. It created another bubble, and that bubble has burst. The dramatic decline in pay-per-click revenues during 2008 is all one needs to verify this.
There are new trends in the domain industry to support the notion that parking pages can lead only to long-term failure, among them is Rick Latona’s aeiou.com purveying the “mini site”. These are far superior to landing pages because they provide some measure of relevant content that actually caters to end users; and when the traffic arriving at a domain actually moves around the site, there is a greater likelihood an advertiser with a related product or service will recognize traffic for itself.
Parking pages do not offer this potential. When a user arrives at a page with a series of links, the chances are that user will leave. Once they leave, it is going to be very difficult to get them to return, if they ever return. John Reese made this observation during the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. West 2007 show in Las Vegas. His exact words were, “you’ve lost them forever.”
The only time a parking or landing page with all links — or a page replete with them — seems to work is with adult-oriented sites. These users are not necessarily the sophisticated, quality traffic an advertiser is seeking. As Rick Schwartz has written time and again, if you drive 10,000 users and only generate one sale, what quality of traffic are you attracting? Conversely, if you only generate 1,000 users, but you generate 100 sales, there is a good chance your domain is presenting content a cash customer will want to view and utilize.
There are no absolute detractions for any facet of the domain industry, and landing pages certainly have one redeeming quality. If they are properly crafted, then at the very least search engines will begin to index the pages and the keywords thereon. However, placing relevant content on the domain is critical to driving long-term, quality traffic that leads to revenue.
A parking page, in the long term, is an artificial instrument, and the sales of domains that have been little more than parking pages can only serve to enhance the value of a domain for the short term. The assiduous attention granted landing pages by those hoping to increase the value of their domain portfolios has undermined the longer-term prospects of businesses and individuals who, willing to work for their payout, have found a way to associate some type of business or service to a domain name.
The idea a user will click through a series of pages containing links and little else is almost laughable; the fallacious reasoning behind this is there is no real work required to make big money. But air does not generate income; the basics of economics tell us the production of products begins with the land. It does not start with the landing page. Only ideas are air, and unless they are put to use, toiling in the field, there will be no crop of revenue.
I may be new to the world of the domain industry, but I have been in media and content development for over 20 years*, and if you run a talk show on the radio for an hour and only repeat the same material, you lose ratings. Lower ratings mean fewer advertisers, and fewer advertisers results in one having to lower the cost of the run-of-schedule to attract willing risk-takers.
The sophisticated user, the one with the real potential to buy, is not interested in a landing page. Such content is a waste of their time. The long-term consequence of the reliance of parking pages is failure.