Pay-Per-Click Speculators Driving Domain Registrations

from the testing-out-traffic-potential dept

Rob writes in with a link about how domain name manager VeriSign says that pay-per-click speculators are registering domain names like crazy. Since there's a five day grace period in which you can apparently cancel a domain name registration, speculators are buying up hundreds of thousands of domains and immediately shoving contextual advertising on them to see if they can make any money at all. And, since registrations are so cheap, it doesn't need to be very much money at all to make a little profit. If the domain is no good, then they just kill the registration in five days. Of course, what's not explained at all in the article is (a) what content is being put on the page to generate the contextual ads and (b) how traffic is being driven to these sites in the first place. The reason that's left out, most likely, is because the answers are that the content is simply copied from elsewhere and the traffic is driven through spamming techniques. Either way, it's basically a lot of junk cluttering the internet (often leading to click fraud as well). If the various pay-per-click providers were better at preventing such sites from using their tools, it would probably help reduce all that clutter (but, it could hurt the domain registrar business).

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  • identicon
    Michael Ward, 21 Jul 2005 @ 11:38am

    Domain-click spam

    Why is there a five-day cooling off period for a registration?

    Doctor, it hurts when I hit myself like this.


    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Richard, 21 Jul 2005 @ 7:04pm

    No Subject Given

    You're wrong with your two guesses about content and how traffic is driven to the sites.

    The content will generally just be a page of links (I'm sure you've seen domain holder pages) the links might be influenced by the actual domain name (i.e. if it has flowers in the url then this will influence the links that come up. As more traffic flows and people use the search box the links change to reflect this (there is a google adsense for domain parking program).

    Secondly the traffic comes from existing links (just because the domain expired doesn't mean all the links to it have suddenly disappeared), and if it was a semi-popular site people typing in the domain name directly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 21 Jul 2005 @ 11:11pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      That assumes these are all expired domains... which isn't what they appear to be discussing. Yes, I'd grant you that may be the case on expired domains.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Edwin, 22 Jul 2005 @ 1:30am

        Re: No Subject Given

        They are after type-in traffic i.e. traffic that just "happens" because people type that domain into the browser address bar. Could be because it's a generic domain (any major one-word or two-word generic .com gets people typing it in to see what happens, and some 3+ word domains get some typeins too) or that it's a typo of an existing site ( parasiting on for example).

        For high-value keyphrases even 1 visitor per day is enough to make a domain name very profitable. For instance, with bids on poker traffic paying out over $10 a click, if you can find a clearly poker-related domain with 15 visitors a month, 1 of whom (on average) clicks an ad then you make $120 a year for a $7 registration... it's all a numbers game, pure and simple.

        Domains with residual links to them will require significantly more capital outlay than just the registration fees.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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