Domain Industry News, Domaining Definitions October 18th, 2007
Does domain parking provide a useful service? Or is it utterly valueless to the public? Many bloggers and tech writers are vehemently critical of domaining in its essence, calling it cybersquatting, typosquatting, or domain hoarding. They overlook the fact that domain parking provides at least one very basic service.
I’ve recently read two mainstream articles on cybersquatters – here’s one from CNET of all people (CNET has a large domain portfolio) – in which all domainers have derisively been lumped into the cybersquatting bin. These authors, who don’t seem to have a clear idea of what cybersquatting is, seem determined to negate any value that may exist in domain parking. They insist that parked pages generate clicks only by fooling the reader, who apparently is a dummy who doesn’t know what he’s looking for.
Domainers typically respond to these articles with the argument that parked pages provide a service by marrying people who are looking for something specific to businesses that provide that thing. Some domainers insist that these authors are simply jealous because they missed the boat.
Be that as it may, both these authors and the domainers are failing to mention one very basic service that parking provides: when a user navigates to a parked page, at least there’s something there. For example, I just registered several domains related to biometrics, including BiometricCars.com (I’m excited by the future possibilities of biometric devices). Anyone who navigates to that page is presented with links on relevant topics, including biometric security, biometric locks and biometric safes.
On the other hand, let’s say someone is curious about the use of biometric devices in motorcycles and navigates directly to BiometricMotorcycles.com. What happens? He gets a blank page with a “server not found” message, because at the time of this writing no one has registered this domain name (there’s a freebie for you, readers; it’s yours if you want it).
Which of these two experiences is more user friendly? Which provides more value?
Clearly a parked domain provides a fundamental service. There’s something there, and it provides relevant links to boot. How can anyone argue with that?