Here’s a quick summary of what’s gone on at TRAFFIC the past 24 hours.
The mood at TRAFFIC is somewhat subdued right now, but that may be the massive hangover from last night’s TrafficZ party. A lot of beer was consumed and things didn’t settle down until four in the morning.
This morning several domain investors and service providers discussed the fallout of pay-per-click and parked page revenue and what can be done to diversify. The session started off with a bang as Howard Neu told the audience that Google’s Hal Bailey had accused domainers of clicking on their own ads and for fraudulent traffic. Context is important, and I’m sure this wasn’t exactly what Bailey meant, but it’s certainly not good to hear. Regardless of what he said and what he didn’t, everyone agreed that depending solely on cpc ad feeds from Yahoo and Google is dangerous. Many of the parking companies are diversifying away from PPC to include CPA and CPM ads.
TrafficZ’s Ammar Kubba said that pay-per-click will never go away, but it’s possible that domains could lose Yahoo and Google as upstream providers. The focus, he said, is again being directed to quality. Gregg McNair of Domain Holdings Group said his company is experiencing the same difficulties the industry is facing and is diversifying. However, he pointed out that even with lower parking returns domains still outperform many other investments.
Attendance at the event appears to be about 200 people, which is much smaller than previous shows. That can be blamed on a few things, including the overall economy, the location, and the timing before a holiday weekend and before school gets out. I expect attendance to jump sharply for the New York show. But in some ways it’s nice having a small crowd as it is easier to interact.