Leonard Holmes of ParkQuick.com provides a domain monetization update.
SmartName is the premium service from Name Media – the parent company of Active Audience and GoldKey. They purchased the SmartName service that was originally developed by Ari Goldberger and Larry Fischer in March of 2007. NameMedia quickly moved the parked domains to their new system that offers over 500 themes (including all of the themes available at Active Audience and GoldKey and more). Some long-time customers balked at the changes, so NameMedia brought back the older platform as “SmartName Classic” for those original domain owners (many of whom had created custom templates for their domains). New applicants are added to the new platform. Many of the services at SmartName are similar to those at Active Audience and GoldKey, but SmartName also offers some unique services, such as the new “SmartName Shops.” You can request a SmartName account here, but be aware that this is a fairly selective program.
SmartName Shops are full-fledged ecommerce sites that you create almost instantly. TechnologyLiquidators.com is an example of the most basic site that can be created. This one took about 2 minutes to build. Spending more time will get you an even more customized shop, such as BabyBag.net. It’s worth your time and effort to do this, as the custom text you add can help search engine rankings. You can also buy AdWords or other ads to send people to your SmartName Shops. Is this the return of arbitrage? I guess it depends on how well Shopping.com monetizes your stores.
Developing your domains this way is a long-term proposition. Don’t expect immediate pay-per-click results that rival Google or Yahoo-bases services. If you do it right, traffic to your stores will build over time, resulting in much greater income 6 months from now.
I recently interviewed Brian Carr, whose title is Senior Vice President and General Manager of Direct Search Network at NameMedia. He shared the following information on SmartName Shops.
What is SmartName Shops?
Since its inception, SmartName.com has always been the place where domain developers can control their sites, such as by uploading custom photos and hand-selecting keywords at a time when other platforms didn’t allow it.
The SmartName Shops addition is the culmination of more than nine months spent at NameMedia researching more than 20 ecommerce providers, from CPA to CPC and product provisioning. We continue to rate them rate them on more than a dozen metrics, such as their partnership teams and policies, click-through rates, size of product catalogs, and flexibility in implementation. We saw successes with the current implementation, and that’s why we’ve made it available to our partners.
What’s exciting is that now on SmartName domain owners can develop a network of fully customized e-commerce sites, complete with their own header images, self-made network brand, hand-picked keywords, images and customized content. It’s all done on the same SmartName.com interface, so their regular parked pages are easily managed alongside fully developed ecommerce sites.
What makes it different from other programs?
This is not domain parking. It’s site development. With SmartName Shops, your domain portfolio can easily have SEO-friendly ecommerce sites with multiple pages indexed on search engines. For example, our BabyBag.net domain went from being a single parked page to a fully developed site with 12,963 products, including customer reviews, comparison prices, several brands, and multiple stores. It is now indexed on major search engines – it’s on the first page of search engine results for the searches for “Baby Bagâ€.