Look for Google and Yahoo to cut out low traffic domains.
I’m at the Admirals Club in Dallas, en route to Orlando for TRAFFIC. On the short flight from Austin I read the latest Forbes, which includes a short article about domain names. Titled “Bo Knows Rico”, the article discusses a lawsuit against Google that has, among other plaintiffs, Bo Jackson (same case as Vulcan Golf). The plaintiffs contend that Google is aiding cybersquatters and benefiting from their trademarked brands by showing ads on their domains.
Google is holding fast with its contention that it can’t control what everyone is doing on its ad network and that it isn’t responsible. But let’s face it, the future of domain parking will be different. I predict that within a couple years Google and Yahoo will kick the “long tail” off its domain parking channels. It will only show ads on domains that receive high traffic (say, 100 visitors per day). That will allow them to control trademark issues better.
There will be special deals for direct relationships and people with clean portfolios such as Frank Schilling. But people who use services like Parked.com, DomainSponsor, and Sedo will lose out. If your domains aren’t high traffic, the ad networks will teach you about the 80/20 rule. 80% of their revenue comes from 20% of the domains, and it simply isn’t worth it for them to bother with the 80% of domains that deliver little revenue but are full of typos and fraud.
This will suppress prices of long tail domains, which will create a superb buying opportunity for those with direct deals with the big ad providers. But the “little guys” will lose out.