This article is Part 2 of my ‘Monetisation 101’ series. If you missed Part 1, it’s worth reading that article first, as it covers some important policies that apply to the monetisation of .au domains.
I don’t think anyone, myself included, would say that domain parking pages add a huge amount of value to the internet at large; and I say this as a person that has built my own parking platform. However, it is the simplest, fastest approach for monetisation. It is also the easiest way for .au domainers to meet auDA policy requirements.
You may be asking why I built my own parking platform, given there are a number of services already available (some of which are listed later in the article). I built my solution because I wanted:
- complete control over my parking pages, including the design, content, advertising and ‘make offer’ form;
- to handle all domain enquiries and negotiation myself;
- to optimise the payouts per click (there’s no intermediary to take a share of the advertising revenue); and
- to ensure that I was meeting the Domain Monetisation Policy.
On that last point above, when I looked at the existing solutions I wasn’t completely confident that some of them would consistently meet the policy requirements, in particular content that “related specifically and predominantly to subject matter”. Here’s an excerpt from an auDA blog post that also highlights why I would be concerned by this:
Sometimes a registrant will tell us that they have no control over the content of the website because they have signed up to a service like Google Adsense which automatically generates the content. We do not accept this as an excuse for non-compliance, because the registrant can always remove the domain name from the automatic service and upload different content to the website.
You can read the full blog post here.
If I used parking services from another company, then I would have limited control over the advertising/content displayed. If a complaint was lodged, then my ability to update the content in order to meet the policy requirements would be limited at best and non-existent at worse.
Now I’m not suggesting that any of the parking service operators are not compliant with the policy, I simply feel more confident building and using my own solution. I have used my own experience as a case study, because I think it highlights some of the issues that domainers need to consider.
I absolutely acknowledge that for most people developing a custom built solution is completely impractical. Unless you have the resources and economies of scale to make it worthwhile, the costs of developing your own platform are unlikely to be outweighed by the benefits. For these reasons, in most cases I would actually recommend using one of the existing parking services.
Here’s a selection of the parking services on offer:
Some of these services will require you to hold the domain in an account with the provider, but for many parking services it’s simply a matter of changing the nameservers (also called ‘DNS records’ or ‘DNS entries’) for the domain to the parking service provider’s nameservers.
The takeaway message from all of this is to carefully consider your options.
For .com domains, I would say shop around and find the provider that offers the greatest return for your portfolio. For .au domains however, I suggest putting the emphasis on meeting the auDA policy requirements.
Assuming you’re open to selling your domain, make sure the parking provider has a ‘for sale’ option, ideally with a ‘make offer’ form or ‘buy now’ button if you set prices.
Sticking up a ‘for sale’ sign will not contravene auDA policy. The Transfers (Change of Registrant) Policy (see section 3) allows registrants to both offer a .au domain for sale and to ultimately sell that .au domain, provided it was not registered solely for the purpose of resale.
If you’re willing to sell a domain, the best way to let people know is by flagging this on the parking page.
In the next instalment of the ‘Monetisation 101’ series I’ll be looking at directory sites – so stay tuned!