GoDaddy Did Not Acquire Rook Media

Rook MediaRook Media emailed its customers this morning to announce a partnership with GoDaddy. The email, which I posted below, did not mention that the company was acquired by GoDaddy, but I could see how it may have been interpreted as an acquisition. After exchanging emails with GoDaddy’s Paul Nicks and Rook Media’s Ash Rahimi, I can confirm that this was not an acquisition.

The two emails that Rook Media sent to customers offer more information about the partnership and explain what is happening with the company going forward. The two emails Rook Media customers received this morning are published below:

Email One:

A Big Announcement from DomainSponsor, Rook Media, and GoDaddy

We’ve got exciting news: GoDaddy can confirm that Rook Media customers are moving to GoDaddy’s SmartName parking platform. GoDaddy and Rook Media will team up to make this transition as seamless as possible for our new customers while doing everything we can to provide best in class support and a top-of-the-line customer experience.

What does this mean for you:

You don’t need to lift a finger: within the next 24-48 hours your portfolio will be migrated to GoDaddy’s SmartName platform automatically
You can expect the same top support and monetization performance from SmartName
You’ll receive an email from SmartName within the next 24-48 hours containing details on how to access your new account
Your historical stats and credit notes will not be available in your SmartName account, however you can continue to access your DomainSponsor or Rook account

Post migration to SmartName, you will receive payment for your earnings on SmartName from GoDaddy
We encourage you to speak to your GoDaddy account manager asap to discuss how to dramatically improve your domain portfolio sales numbers using the GoDaddy aftermarket. (

Email Two:

DomainSponsor and Rook Media Present a Completely New Way to Maximize Your Revenue
Yes, even more news: DomainSponsor and RookMedia now offer domain portfolio management services across multiple advertising feeds. You now have access to a first in our industry: monetization from the top 2 advertising feeds in the world, as well as demand from direct advertisers. We optimize your portfolio by creating competition amongst advertisers for your traffic, ensuring that you receive the best revenue for your domains.

How does it all work:
We now support the addition of any advertising feed onto the DomainSponsor and Rook platforms. Initially, we’re offering a mix of a top-tier Yahoo parking solution and 0-click ads from direct advertisers. In addition, we support Google parking feeds. We are already integrated into SmartName, and will continue to add further Google feeds upon request. Please let us know who else you’d like to see and we’ll get to work.

For all integrated feeds, you’ll receive statistics in your DomainSponsor or Rook account, broken down by source. Please note that for any integrated Google feeds, while they provide statistics to us and you can access them in our interface, you will receive payment for revenue generated directly from the Google provider, not from DomainSponsor or Rook. We will pay for you revenue generated from Yahoo and direct advertisers.

We will soon be opening up a self-serve advertising platform that allows any advertiser to bid directly on your traffic. Stay tuned for more details

We get the most out of your traffic by ensuring that your portfolio gets exposure across all advertising feeds, not just one. More demand means more competition, and that means more revenue.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. I believe there might be a deeper story here, and I’d bet a lot of money that Rook lost access to their Google feed due to partner quality/fraud.

  2. Agree with Robert.

    “In addition, we support Google parking feeds. We are already integrated into SmartName, and will continue to add further Google feeds upon request.”

    So basically they lost their Google feed, presumably due to fraud, and now they are nothing more than an clone albeit with less functionality.

    I’m sorry, if I wanted to join Smartname I would have done so myself!

    Above has direct advertisers and is already partnered with all the parking companies, am I the only one here that fails to be excited by this news?

  3. Its been known for a long time that Rook media has done some shady stuff with their own Google feed, buying cheap crap traffic and playing the arbitrage game. Im surprised Google and others didn’t discover this earlier. Its also strange that nobody wants to talk about this, cheating advertisers and partners on money and traffic. Why is the rest of the domain industry keeping their back, where is the cover story about this on DNjournal or DNW ?? Everybody are connected, this happens when you drink to many free drink on behalf of the guys on the domain conferences..

  4. Wow, I dont get it why they could not got a separate contract from Google using Domainsponsor as a another entity as a back up. The only reason people were using them was for Google feeds.

  5. “You now have access to a first in our industry: monetization from the top 2 advertising feeds in the world, as well as demand from direct advertisers.”

    Baloney. DomainSponsor did this years ago.

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