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Domain Parking Face Off

November 18, 2010

A look at domain parking metrics using the Above.com platform to cross-examine the performance of various parking providers

Above.com logoNear the beginning of this year I decided to try Above.com for my parked domains.  In case you weren’t aware of who Above.com is …

Above.com is not a Parking Company, but rather a sophisticated analytics and optimization solution that supports many different parking services…

In every portfolio there will always be a percentage of domains where one parking service outperforms all others. Hence utilizing multiple parking companies will dramatically increase your revenues if done right.

Above.com tests to determine where each domain performs best, then points that domain to the preferred parking provider.  The four parking companies I’ve been using in conjunction with Above.com are, in alphabetical order,

  • DomainSponsor
  • NameDrive
  • Parked.com
  • Sedo

I recently ran some numbers to evaluate the performance of my domains at the four parking companies above, and thought I would share the results with you.  There are a few important things to keep in mind, before I deliver…

Small Sampling

I don’t have a high volume of traffic to my portfolio of parked domains.  In fact this volume of traffic would be considered meager by most standards, I’m sure.  Collectively, the amount of unique visitors to this data set is only 2,521.

This is really far too low to draw any definitive conclusions.  Ideally, these statistics should be averaged across hundreds of thousands or millions of visitors to get an accurate picture of how the various parking providers truly stack up against each other.  Above.com no doubt has this data, and I’d love to be a virtual fly on the wall to see it.

Your Mileage May Vary

The numbers are interesting to look at, no doubt, but also keep in mind that the type of domains in my portfolio are not necessarily representative of the type of domains in your portfolio.  For example  I might be focused on product domains, and you may have a disproportionate number of finance-related domains, whereas Tommy Domainer’s portfolio might be largely comprised of 3 and 4 letter .coms.  The different categories of domain are likely to diverge on the average cost paid per click and could easily result in painting a different overall picture.

The Numbers

Below is a graphic chart of the data collected.  Numbers in red indicate the highest score for their respective column. The row labeled by Above.com Parking Maximizer indicates where additional revenue was earned through Above.com on top of the revenue earned from all of the parking providers combined.

domain parking comparison chart

domain parking company by highest EPC

The second chart shown above displays the top three overall clicks paid at each of the four parking providers.  Here is where you will see what accounted for the large disparity in average EPC (Earnings Per Click).  Looking back at the first chart, you’ll notice that the average EPC at DomainSponsor was nearly 300% more than the next highest parking provider.  However this is primarily due to the low volume of traffic in this sample which allowed the top two clicks to significantly weight the average.

Parking Maximizer

Nonetheless I wanted to push some of these numbers around to see exactly how much Above.com added to the bottom line.  Here’s what I found …

The most important statistic to care about is your RPM (Revenue Per 1000 visitors). So I combined the lowest overall RPM (Sedo) with the additional revenue earned from the parking maximizer, which totaled $47.51.  I then took this number and subtracted the highest overall RPM (DomainSponsor), to get a difference of $6.15, or 14.90%.

This tells me that using Above.com + the lowest performing parking provider would earn, on average, almost 15% more than would the highest performing parking provider alone … I think.  I’m going on the assumption here that the parking maximizer’s additional revenue earned is irrespective of which parking provider a domain is pointed to.  If that is correct, than my determination should be correct as well.

But again, the actual numbers here should not be relied on for a definitive comparison of parking providers, simply because the low volume of traffic here is not enough to give good averages.   However, I would love to see someone with a significant amount of traffic repeat these steps and publish their data.

Do It Yourself

Why not?  Here’s what to do …

Login to your Above.com account. Select ‘Statistics’ from the menu.  On the next page, (see below image) select ‘All Time’ for the Period, and ‘All’ for the Folder.  Then check off the following boxes (or uncheck any other boxes):

  • Uniques
  • Clicks
  • Revenue
  • CTR
  • EPC
  • RPM

Generate Parking Stats At Above.com

Next, under the ‘Services’ column check the box for a single parking provider, and click on the ‘View Report’ button.

The next steps here are important or you’ll not get the best results.  Once the report is generated, it will show 25 results by default.  You’ll want to select 100 (highest possible) under the drop down menu to view your top 100 domains.

Next, you’ll want to sort the columns to order your domains by the highest performers.  You can sort by any column simply by clicking on the heading for that column.  For larger traffic portfolios. I would recommend to sort by ‘Uniques’ to get a picture from the largest amount of possible traffic.

Once you’ve done the above steps, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page, to see the totals row.

The totals here are for Parked.com.  As you can see, for some reason Above.com does not not automatically calculate the total RPM or CTR (Click Through Rate) for you, so you’ll need to calculate these on your own.  Here is how to do it …

To calculate the CTR, divide the total Clicks by the total Uniques, in this case 58/376, which equals about 15.4% (this is a little different than the original chart I showed you, which means I must have gotten some additional traffic since I first ran the numbers).

To obtain your RPM, the formula is 1000 x CTR x EPC.  In this case, 1000 x .154 (15.4%) x $0.09 = $13.86 RPM.

There you go!  Next you would want to run the exact same steps for each of the parking providers in your Above.com account.  If anyone with a large volume of traffic bothers to do this, please let me know. I would really love to see the numbers.  Maybe we could collabo on a new site … ParkingProviderDeathMatch.com  🙂.

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