Sunday, June 07, 2009

Accidental revenue!

Over the last few weeks, I have become pretty interested in site flipping, domain name trading, and earning passive revenue from websites. I'm not directly involved with it, but am doing research on the topic and writing up the findings for a client.
While I found quite a few very surprising things in the process, one of the strangest things that I found was that the business of 'accidental revenue' is extremely robust.
Have you heard of Sedo? or how about NameMedia and GoDaddy?
All of these online companies do domain registering, forwarding, web hosting, domain auctioning, reselling, and much more. But what we want to talk about is Parking. No, it is not the regular parking that you have heard of - if you park your car, you need to pay a parking fee. If you park your domain with one of these providers, you will earn revenue - most of it accidental.
Let's say you have a domain name which you have registered, but are not making into a website immediately, you can park it for free with Sedo, and they will in turn create a landing page for your domain name. So if someone searches for that particular website (oh yes - it happens quite often), or just stumbles on it through a link, there is nothing there but a series of links and ads to related topics. For instance, and are just 2 of thousands of thus parked domain names. If you visit them, you will see a huge list of related ads, and you will also find a link if you are interested to buy that domain name. Now, who will exactly go to You will be surprised to find that there are thousands of people who actually go there! Take a look at the stats there!
Another example is Though it does not have an ad page like the one above, it is parked for free by GoDaddy, and there is a link there that people can use if they are interested in buying the domain name.
These domain names actually count on us to make mistakes so that we stumble onto them. Instead of typing, if you type in, you will be led onto yet another Sedo parked page displaying ads and a 'buy' button!!
If you are thinking how many mistakes can we make? Think again!
According to stats, NameMedia reported a revenue of over $ 60 million generated from people clicking ads on domains parked by them in 2006-07! That is a lot of typos and a lot of foolishness on our part, isn't it? However, the Silver Lining is that we don't need to pay any money for that! The advertising companies pay out that money for our clicks. How many of those are genuine clicks, no one knows! 
But still, there is a lot of accidental revenue going around :) Quite interesting!

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