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How HTTP.com makes MONEY

March 23, 2011

Today I was updating a website for someone, and I came across a broken link which had a double http:// in front of the www.  Once clicked, instead of the intended destination, the hyperlink typo directed me to a parked page on the domain http.com.

I decided to take a quick peak at the domain’s Compete.com profile, suspecting that it might be getting a boat-load of traffic.  here’s what I saw:

HTTP.com compete profile

The lowest reported monthly estimate is above 100,000 visitors, and the figure crests at over 241,000 for the highest month.  That my friends, is some nice traffic for a parked page.

How It Works

Allow me to demonstrate.  Say I were to want to link to the best domain blog on the planet.  I would then create a hyperlink as follows …

The Best Domain Blog On the Planet

I’ve made the mistake (intentionally) of inserting a double http:// – and, if you examine the structure of the URLs, you’ll notice that the URL …

http://http://www.DomainAnimal.com/is-the-best-domain-blog-on-the-planet/

gets redirected to http.com and converted to read …

http://www.http.com//www.DomainAnimal.com/is-the-best-domain-blog-on-the-planet/

This mistake is easy enough to make, particularly if using the WordPress CMS, in which case when you click on the icon to add a hyperlink to a bit of text, the popup which displays automatically inserts the ‘http://’ in front of the field for entering your link.  Supposing you just grabbed a URL from the address bar using a copy and past of the entire URL, you would be committing the error in question.

According to Yahoo! Site Explorer, there are 2,758 inbound links to http.com.  This to me seems surprisingly low for how often I would assume this mistake is committed.

How Much Revenue Does HTTP.com generate?

This is really anyone’s guess, but we could lay out some hypothetical numbers that might be in the ballpark.

Let’s assume the domain has an average RPM (revenue per 1000 visitors) of $10.  This is actually lower than any of the average RPM’s I noted in my Domain Parking Provider Face Off, so we’re erring on the side of caution here, if at all.   Given that figure, I’d next take the average monthly visitors over the course of the year, which for simplicity sake we’ll round to 170,000.

Just based on the above I’d estimate the domain http.com to make about $1,700 per month, or a little over $20,000/yr.

Not bad, for a page that requires ZERO maintenance.  And this is why some IP court cases have held in the past that domain parking constitutes a legitimate business model.

I should also point out that I don’t believe the domain is parked with a parking provider.  The DNS points to DNSMADEEASY.com nameservers.   So it looks like the owner’s got their own arrangement worked out with a PPC provider, which means they’ve cut out the middle man and are taking a larger share of the PPC Pie.

In that case I’ll bet they are most certainly earning much more than I’ve estimated. What do you think?.

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