I’ve seen quite a bit of animosity towards parking companies, especially in light of Frank Schilling’s new venture, where domain owners are seeing a “pretty drastic” lift in revenue. Much of this vitriol is probably justified, especially from people who continue to earn a significant amount of money from parking.
From the perspective of someone who hasn’t ever focused on domain parking for income, I don’t think we all should be so hyper critical of parking companies.
Parking companies enabled regular domain owners to earn revenue from their unused (or under-used) domain names. They cut deals with upstream providers, tested and built thousands of landing pages, provided self-optimizing platforms allowing customers to do minimal work, and most always signed off on revenue checks once or twice a month. They may not have created the PPC model, but they brought it to the masses and still do.
In addition to this service, parking companies spent millions of dollars re-investing in the domain industry. They sponsored conferences and events where domain investors could meet others and they bought millions of dollars worth of domain names from domain investors. Revenue from parking services was reinvested into many different ventures, which still provide utility for domain owners.
Yes, there is a BIG issue of them working within a “black box,” not sharing how they calculate revenue share and other information with domain owners. Most are anything but transparent when it comes to their operations, and they likely take a very large cut of revenue from our domain assets.
However, most of us wouldn’t and couldn’t own the number of domain names we own without parking companies. On one hand, they’ve taken advantage of us and our domain names, but on the other hand, they provided a service we couldn’t provide for ourselves and have helped advance this business.
I have never done much parking, and I am sure if I did, I would be more critical of them. As a result, I appreciate what they have done for the business and what they will continue to do for those who don’t qualify for Frank’s service.