Domain parking is a way to both keep your domain name from being inactive—which is illegal—while you’re preparing to use it and/or a way to generate income from your parked domain name or your portfolio of names. Read on to find out more about a simple way to have your domain parking work for you while your attention is elsewhere.
Suppose you are a far-sighted planner who took the steps of buying domain names for future use. Since your use is slated for the future, and you can’t let the site sit untended, what do you do? One alternative is a practice called “domain parking.”
Domain parking can mean several things:
1. An inactive domain that, while it is waiting for future use, simply points at another, active domain
2. A domain that is reserved, but not yet being used and which may be left with a sign like “Under construction” on it to let people know of your future plans.
In both cases, the domain is providing a current service, even though you haven’t done much about it. Both of these uses may be referred to as non-monetized domain parking.
Domains Providing Passive Income
Another variation in domain parking, whether you are planning to develop a domain name in the future, resell it, or just keep it in your portfolio is parking the domain name and allowing relevant advertising to be placed on its page, attempting to monetize your investment. This is sometimes called domaineering.
Domains that once held websites and have expired are ones that are likely to have a lot of traffic before people figure out that the site is gone. Thus, these sites are prime candidates for this type of use, particularly when the name is generic.
When a visitor clicks on an advertisement, you get paid and the consumer gets more information about something he or she is interested in. Some owners do a small amount of development on a page, developing, in effect, a miniature website. In either case, after making the initial arrangements, you earn revenue without investing further time or money.
Because both you and the web host both earn money from domain parking, it is usually offered for free, requiring only that you have an account with the host.
If your seeking to “monetize” your parked domains, then choosing appropriate keywords for your domain name is essential. This is called “keyword optimization” and it insures that the domain name and the keywords that generate the advertising are in sync. Keywords have different values, called Earnings per Click (EPC). The income from your parked domains is a combination of the EPC of the keyword(s) and the click through rate (CTR), which means, how many visitors actually click on the links.
A domain that has “one-click” implementation automatically generates ads based on keywords related to the domain name, but there is also “two-click” implementation through which clicking on a keyword is necessary for the ads to be generated.
The idea behind parked sites generating income is that people who click on the advertising have reached the site in an honest search for the product and make their own choice to click on the advertising in search of what it offers. This traffic is also referred to as “type-in traffic.” This means that if your web host suspects that the clicks on the site are prompted by some other goal—for example, you asking your friends to click on the links on your page in order to help you out, people have bookmarked the site and click on it, or traffic comes in through a hyperlink from some other web page—they are likely to take action. Be sure to read your web host’s policy on traffic carefully in your user agreement.
Some people do not consider domaineering a legitimate business. Such people may find it annoying to reach what appears to be a website, only to find it full of advertising that it difficult to sort through and/or not of use to you. So if you make the choice to develop domain names in this way, be aware that it may have negative, as well as positive, consequences.