Review of GoDaddy Cash Parking Which Makes Little Money
Do you want to make some money with your idle domains while you wait to develop the site into a huge success? Cash Parking is one way to monetize your portfolio of domains. GoDaddy Cash Parking is one place to put your domain portfolio, but the real question is, is it going to be a good return on your investment (that would be the $3.00 a month you have to pay for the service) in the long run? If you are wondering how much cash you can make with the GoDaddy Cash Parking service, let me give you my $.12 below, literally. I love the graphic and stats GoDaddy uses to show how much cash you can make with your GoDaddy Cash Parking account over the other un-named options available. If you have 100 domains, and you get 45,000 impressions, that makes for 6,750 click through's, with an average CPC (cost per click) of $.12, that gives you $7.92 per domain, or $792.16, and this is per month.
For those very casual domainers out there who's portfolio is less than a thousand domains (and possibly less than a hundred), the GoDaddy Cash Parking offers little in the way of cash, and probably less credibility with Google and any kind of search engine rankings.
What is Cash Parking
You have probably come across many cash parked domains, usually when you "type in" a domain name instead of doing a search for the company or site. Sometimes this can be annoying to the visitor who really wants to be someplace else, but if you did a type in to find it, someone else probably will as well.
Cash parking is a method of parking a domain name with a hosting company that uses a portal or template based web page to show ads when someone lands on the index page of that particular domain. It is a way to monetize your domain name before you are ready to use it for its intended purpose. Each time a visitor clicks on one of the ads displayed on your domain you will receive some percentage of the revenue generated by the click through from the ad company setup with the hosting company. Some domainers use cash parking as a revenue generating business plan, and I am sure there are many who make quite a bit, but I was more interested in the mainstream casual domainer here, someone who owns a few to a hundred domains.
How to Setup Cash Parking
There are many different companies that offer cash parking, GoDaddy just happens to be one of the larger domain registration companies on the Internet, so many are familiar with their services. To setup a cash parking account, you will need to sign up for their revenue share plan (or cash parking plan), add your existing domains to the plan, and then setup the splash page or template you want to use.
Most of the time you can setup keywords that you want to associate with the domain name, and once approved, the ads will generate from those keywords. You can also choose from various template colors and designs to customize your look and feel of the domain. An good example of this would be my domain o2oil.com. When you go to that domain you will see a graphic at the top, and a few separated boxes for sponsored links and then related and popular searches. If the domain is for sale you will also see a graphic in the upper right corner that shows where you can place a bid on that particular domain.
How Much Money Can You Make
This is the question everyone wants to know of course, so did I, which I why I tried it, and are currently still using the service. The graph shows my actual results through this writing and year to date so far has been $.23 and I think a few of those clicks were from "friends and relatives" by accident (obviously not many though).
I have a few dozen domains parked with the service, and I started using their parked domain system about 6 months ago. I also automatically add new domains to the service until I figure out what I want to do with them.
My domain buying skills are improving but I certainly do not have a professionals eye on buying great domain names yet like Aaron Wall's recent article, Selling Commodity Services: Controlling Cost vs Adding Value, where he talks about buying a domain for $2,500 and later being offered $17,500. He has been doing this a while and probably has a very good eye for domain names, but that is for another post. A little background information would give you a better understanding of the revenue potential, because how much money you make on cash parking will depend greatly on several variables.
- How many domains you own
- What those domains names are (good 3-6 character names or 25 character sentences)
- How much type-in traffic you can generate with those domain names
- How good you are at finding new domains to add to your portfolio
- How long have the domain names been registered
- Was there any existing traffic going to these domains before you purchased them
I am probably mediocre at best with the above items but trying to get better. But getting better requires you to actually do something and not just think about it, so go get a few domain names and give it a try if you are interested in seeing your own results. Doing a quick search through the forums I found similar results to what I stated above... yet to cover the cost of the GoDaddy Cash Parking account itself.
Check the Information About Parking Carefully
I did find several blogs and forums that have articles written about how much money they earned. Some blogs say $3,000 here, $500 the first month, potential earning is unlimited and so on. Check the source of the blog before you take what they say to heart. Are they a "make money online" or "spam" blog?
A good place to start is the bad neighborhood text link tool checker. This is not law, there are many good blogs that come up as spam on this check tool, but it will give you an idea.
I did find a few alternatives to GoDaddy Cash Parking that were popular on the forums but I haven't had a chance to check into any of these companies quite yet. They are NameDrive, Sedo, Fabulous, DomainHop, Afternic, and NamePros among a few (there are certainly many more), but it could be GoDaddy that receives a lot of the business, probably due to their marketing and appearance of trustworthiness they have established. There are many other alternatives to using the GoDaddy Cash Parking service, even if you register your domain with GoDaddy, you can still park them with another company.
Is There a Search Engine Penalty For Parked Domains
I often wondered what Google does with all these parked domains with no content. Well, I think the answer is not much. I have seen one of my parked domains actually get indexed, but I think that is because I used it as an example in a post like I did here. Otherwise, with the content is king notion, your parked domains will most likely remain in never land on search results if you haven't added any quality content.
I did email GoDaddy when I first started with the Cash Parking asking just this question. Their answer was pretty clear and to the point.
Thanks you for contacting Online Support.
1. The domains must actually be submitted to the search engines before the domains will appear. Although it is possible for the search engine to pick up the page, it is usually hit through direct traffic because the page has no actual content users would be searching for.
2. It usually takes a few weeks for the search engines to pick up the domain once submitted. Please let us know if we can assist you in any other way.
Best regards, Frank Online Support Tech
It may take a while for the search engines to pick up the parked domains but without any real quality content you are probably looking at just type-in traffic only. That means if they are new registrations, only REAL GOOD domain names will see some parked traffic.
Will your parked domains effect the traffic of your other, good content domains? Someone with a little more experience will have to answer that question but some initial research would indicate, I don't think so. While parked domains don't offer any real content or value for their visitors, they probably are not on a hit list, they just don't receive any search engine rankings.
A Few Final Thoughts
I could have made a post with how great it is that you can make money just parking your domains, and many articles state just that, but it isn't what my experience with the program so far has shown. It is certainly better than doing nothing I guess, but if you have a little bit of time you can probably develop your own program.
While I do use GoDaddy services, I don't think the majority of us are going to make a huge killing with the GoDaddy Cash Parking service. You need to be much higher on the food chain of domainers, and if you are, you probably aren't going to be using a GoDaddy parking service anyway. If you are looking for a cheap domain name and basic hosting services, they are a good place to start. If you are looking to make a fortune on cash parking services, you might want to put your efforts into another, more revenue generating, asset.
What has your experience been with cash parking services? Do you use cash parking for your idle domains?