Efficient Frontier and Google provide the first decent stats about parked domain pages…and the news is good for the domain name industry.
Efficient Frontier released a case study about conversion rates from parked domain names and the results were good: parked pages convert at double that of search and other content sites.
Until now the only data people have used to validate parked domain conversion rates was a study by WebSideStory that suggested that “direct navigation” traffic converted higher than other forms of traffic. However, “direct navigation” was defined as traffic from parked pages and type-ins to existing web sites and bookmarks. When you type-in Amazon.com or go to a bookmarked site of course you’re more likely to convert.
There are a couple questions that aren’t answered in Efficient Frontier’s case study:
1. This was a limited study for auto leads. Will the conversion rates stay high for other topics and keywords?
2. Efficient Frontier is a pay-per-click management company. They use site blocking to eliminate sites that aren’t performing well. It’s possible that the company eliminated a number of parked domains that weren’t performing well.
3. It’s unclear if the parked pages included typos. I imagine typos of car dealers and car brands convert very well.
Efficient Frontier also lumps together “search sites” from a conversion perspective. Are these all search sites in Google’s network, or just Google? This becomes an interesting question when you consider how Google pays out content and domain publishers. They payout on “smart pricing”, which effectively discounts the price paid based on conversion. But as Frank Schilling pointed out about Yahoo’s recent move into this type of discounted pricing, the ad networks consider their traffic ROI as 100%. If your parked domain pages are performing at twice that of Yahoo or Google, you’re still only receiving 100% of the bid, rather than double the bid.
Despite the questions, this new data is great new for the domain name industry.
(sourced from Domain Editorial)