Mediocre traffic for a mediocre system

Morning folks!!

Transparency has emerged
as the key issue for 2008. T.R.A.F.F.I.C. tackled the problem in session after
session. Change won't come easy but it will come. A set of standards are now in
play and has wide support.

What does transparency
do? It educates. Education creates a bigger market with wider and deeper demand
because they have a clear understanding and that is something to build on. But
the way the system is set up, it rewards mediocre traffic while ignoring very
potent traffic and not filtering out the crappy traffic. So as long as you mix
those 3 groups together, the entire online advertising community is not capable
of taking advantage of this golden opportunity to steal market share from
traditional media. They are stuck with mediocre traffic no matter what. Blind
buying will choke online advertising. And I have yet to even mention a word about separating social traffic from commercial traffic which is a huge factor. Scratching your head? What am I talking

Let's reverse things. Imagine
buying time on TV and not knowing if you are getting Super Bowl time or 3AM
bible music ads. IMAGINE how absolulutely INSANE that system would be!! How could you possibly build on that. There is no recipe. It's Russian Roulette. Well
welcome to OUR world of insanity. THAT is exactly what WE do on the online
advertising and why so much of the $$$ don't make it to the pockets of the
domain owners who supply that traffic and why the demand is not as high as it
could or should be for Google and Yahoo on top of the equation. That also suppresses
payouts because it is all about supply and demand and the demand has never been
what it should be because without knowing what you are getting it is impossible
to increase your buys for most businesses. It's basic stuff not rocket science. The result is easy to see when there is a flaw in the  construction.

I URGE folks to start
thinking about grading traffic. Having transparency. Having Google and Yahoo
and PPC providers cooperating because as I illustrated above, the current
system is insane. It makes little sense. It is world's better than impression
based advertising but it is not good enough to compete with traditional media
for the long term and actually get those dollars that can be won over sooner
rather than later.

We have mediocre traffic
for a mediocre system because we mix all the laundry together and have yet
to learn to separate the colors from the whites, from the stuff covered in
Sh*t. The space will never evolve to its full potential until things like this
are understood and addressed. Not all traffic is created equal. Not all TV ads
are created equal. Not all magazine ads are created equal. The blueprint is
already in place from traditional media. Some of that blueprint may be
obsolete, but much of that blueprint for magazine circulation and TV ratings is
waiting to be deployed in what we do. Buyers need to know the 'Source' of the traffic they are getting and the system should be transparent enough for them to see. So when we talk about 'Transparency', we are talking about it on many levels. Domainers have a responsibility. Monetizers  have a responsibility. Google and Yahoo and whoever shows up next, have a responsibility.

Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz

10 thoughts on “Mediocre traffic for a mediocre system

  1. Francois

    Hello Rick,
    You had few articles about valuation last month.
    For sumarrize you said the only valuations that could be realistic should be the one given by a set of experienced top domainers.
    Strangely few weeks after Sahar Sarid presented his BIDO domain auction where each auctioned name should be valuated by a set of experts (including you).
    So today reading this post I am wondering if you are not trying to push parking domains to share traffic numbers with BIDO or if it’s not already done and BIDO will come tomorrow saying they also give this info for the auctioned names…
    By the way:
    I asked Sahar if the experts like you will be pay for valuate each day an auctioned name (which I think).
    And if it should be the case how we can trust valuations done by experts involve in the sale.
    He did not respond.
    Maybe you can clarify.

  2. Andrew

    I think Yahoo already”grades” traffic. It has a traffic quality score, which is actually show to clients of

  3. Steve Morales

    All the more reason the Geo Domain Industry makes more sense than traditional domaining when it comes to delivering results to advertisers.
    Geos deliver quality traffic to a specific area. Geodomains=Quality Traffic
    Generic domains get too much dirty laundry with white clothes, making it difficult to give advertisers quality.
    What it comes down to is quality over quantity, and geo domains deliver quality to advertisers (All white clothes in the wash).
    There is really no need to grade geo traffic. It is everything an advertiser wants: targeted audience, geographic, and 100% local.

  4. DomainerPro

    I learn more about the broader challenges facing domainers from your blog than from any other source. Thanks for putting it out there.

  5. Yanni

    To Steve Morales:
    The principle applies to all domains, not just Geo as you mention.
    Which traffic is more potent?
    To: phones dot com or cellphones, cordlessphones, 3gphones, anybrandnamephones, etc?

  6. Steve Morales

    No, it really does not pertain to all domains.
    The most successful websites on the internet all have one goal in mind, to have a global reach with 100% local touch for the consumer visiting and the advertiser spending.
    That is why so many big companies and generic domains are embracing local platforms.
    Local traffic is the most potent, as consumers spend most of their money in a 20 mile radius of where they live. This equates to big dollars advertisers are willing to spend to get a piece of that.
    Geodomains are very unique when compared to generic domains. You know the quality of traffic you are getting is 100% local in a geographic location. It is also 100% consistent traffic. It is the holy grail for advertisers as statistics on the internet are proving.
    Generic domains do not give you this.
    As an example, If someone types, is it not because they want to look at homes all over the world. They type it to get specific location of homes such as Austin Homes, the next visitor comes in and is interested in Africa Homes, the next is interested in North Dakota Homes, etc. There is not much consistentcy in most generic domains.
    Generic domains are the catch all to an industry, product, and subject traffic, making it hard to deliver accurate and successful results to advertisers wanting to focus on a specific audience.
    This falls into what Rick states as not knowing what audience an advertiser is selling to. The difference between superbowl time and church program time.
    My opinion does not matter much, but I recommend you do some research on the local market and advertising and see with your own eyes where everything is going on the internet, 100% local.
    Geodomains=Superbowl time for advertisers

  7. Jeff Schneider

    Geo-domains are great if you want to limit your market penetration to a very small target market. You should always target the broadest audience. If you have aspirations for unbridled growth, Keyword domains are your best value.
    The beauty of the web is its market penetration capabilities. Your target market should be consumers on a global basis. To do otherwise ignores the power of real estate offices as close as a click.

  8. Goodkarmaco

    If you are talking about domain parking transparency, please address the transparency issues most domainers are really interested in.
    I agree with all your points that it is the quality of traffic that matters and the best traffic should be rewarded.
    For myself though I was looking for more insight into how parking companies figure out payouts to the domain owner. I want the issue of transparency to mainly be about what metrix the parking companies use to decide what we get paid.
    I am not as concerned that advertisers are not getting the best targeted traffic, as I am about the lack of transparency shown to domainers from the parking companies when a click is registered.
    My concern for transparency is this, what did they get paid for the click that my domain earned?.
    As it is now we do not know. Thats the transparency I would like domain leaders to get to the bottom of. Sure like you say Rick, giving the advertisers the best quality traffic is the optimium for our industry.
    Its just that transparency for advertisers is not transparency for us as domainers.
    If the advertiser received the very best targeted traffic, that is not an assurance my clicks are going to be reported honestly and that I received a fair share. My idea of transparency is I can somehow know for sure what the advertiser paid for a click on my parked domain.
    So I guess we are now chasing to ideals, one is to start improving the advertisers bottom line.
    Two is my partnership with my parking providers and my having no qualms that the stats they are showing me are my fair shake.
    So far I have not seen any progress for the transparency I am interested in.
    I am wondering what you had meant then when you stated many times, we will count the change from our $20. at McDonalds, but have no interest in knowing what the parking companies received for a click on our parked page, (not a direct qoute).
    Rick at the Traffic convention was there any talk about how to get the parking companies to be”transparent” about what amount of money they pay to the domain owner?

  9. fin

    The greatest transparency can only be achieved when web publishers of all kinds (domainers, parking companies, blog owners, former newspaper chains, etc) unite to form a collective marketplace where advertisers can make a single buy that potentially reaches every member site. Functionally this is little different than the present system, just take Google and Yahoo out of the role of middleman and market dictator.
    The 6 largest cable companies in America recently formed a coop of their own to do just this. They get it. Why don’t we?
    Can we really afford to sit back complacently while Google or any single entity for that matter determines our collective financial fate?

  10. Paranormity

    Thanks Rick for the wonderful input. I’ve been searching for a few days on this subject and I found your information the most useful, keep up the great work!


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