Parking services are pretty smart when it comes to categorizing domain names. I often take the process of categorization for granted when I load new domain names into my account because it’s such an easy process, but I can think of two reasons why it is a good idea to check them out and make sure they are categorized correctly.
The first reason is quite obvious. If you have a domain name that should have insurance keyword links, but instead, the links and landing page are related to pets, you may be leaving money on the table. Not only could you impact your click through rate, but you’d almost certainly be getting a lower RPC on a lower value term. There may be a reason the parking company thinks it is suppose to show pet related advertising, but you may have a better understanding of the domain name than the parking company’s algorithm.
The second reason is similar but there may be different consequences. This morning, I was searching for something for my daughter. As is the case so many times, that led me to look up domain names related to this product. I noticed that one of the better exact match .com domain names is parked and owned by a domain investment company. I was surprised when I saw that the landing page had an adult-related theme and PPC links, and it’s quite obvious that the PPC selection was an error since there’s no way for these two keywords put together to be adult-related.
After seeing this mislabeled parked page, I emailed the owner of the domain name, and they agreed that it should be changed. I don’t know about you, but I would be pretty upset if one of my domain names was miscategorized like that, and it’s best for all of us to make sure our domain names are properly categorized and optimized to prevent something like this from happening.
This reminds me of when I used to work for a registrar and one of our customers called in to report that their Sexual Abuse Support related website had been hacked and defaced. It turned out that their domain name had expired and the DNS was updated to point to a parking page. The parking page system had decided that it should show XXX-rated ads. Needless to say, we helped the customer renew their domain immediately and filed a bug report to make the parking page system smarter.
I’ve been hit with a UDRP on aeo.xyz by American Eagle Outfitters,Inc., so I can testify as to the importance of checking your links. I was temporarily parking the domain at SEDO until I could build out an educational website. American Eagle Outfitters says that the links went to their competitors. AEO.net and AEO.info are both parked, and AEO.info has the same exact parking page that I was using. It should be real interesting to see what the Panel decides. I went ahead and built out the domain into an educational website because that shows good faith.
Setting keywords is both an art and a science and for those domains that are suffering almost always involves human intervention. I’ve found that Google gets it right about 60% of the time and completely messes things up on the balance.
The challenge is to merge both the psychographic and context sensitive targeting systems to provide a superior normalised RPM. This is what we do day in and day out at ParkLogic so sorry if what I’m saying is a little confusing.
I’ve written many, many articles on this subject and optimisation in general on whizzbangsblog.com and they’re pretty in depth.
Elliot, what you raise is a vitally important issue for domain owners that is forgotten by many people. I hope that you don’t mind but I’m going to link to this from my own blog.
“After seeing this mislabeled parked page, I emailed the owner of the domain name, and they agreed that it should be changed.”
Since ya got all this free time, can I email ya my entire list and you manually check them all for me and report back? Save me a ton of labor. 🙂
Also, if in doubt route them out! The best thing is to turn off any call to action service if your landing page is a fail.
Secondly, your landing page could be the deal breaker in terms of great SEO or heavy penalties.