Protected Parking Monetizes "Risky" Domain Names
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Protected Parking Monetizes “Risky” Domain Names

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While at the domain investor meetup in Chicago, I met someone whose company has an interesting business model that monetizes trademark domain names. While I think it is highly risky for people to own domain names that contain famous trademarks or are typos of famous marks, I thought Protected Parking’s business model was interesting.

I understand that Protected Parking has deals with major branding owners that allow them to monetize domain names that likely would be considered cases of cybersquatting. It is also possible that keyword domain owners could use their services if their domain name is in a vertical that monetizes well with the company.

I asked Marlon Phillips, the company’s Vice President of Sales, if he could share more information about his company, and here’s what he told me:

“Protected Parking monetizes brand typo domains for major brands with full agreement from the brand owner. By partnering with Protected Parking the domain name is masked from the advertiser, providing anonymity. The user is redirected to the correct brand site via Protected Parking’s affiliate agreement. When a user transacts on the brand owner’s site, commission is generated.

Advertisers see this as an alternative to pursuing the UDRP route as it enables them to recapture the traffic with no initial cost and much less effort. The feedback we have had from brands has been overwhelmingly positive. Protected Parking is managed by the same team that runs Barefruit.com, an error monetization service for ISPs that has developed relationships with over 10,000 brands over 10 years. This background places Protected Parking in a unique trusted position with large brands.

Protected Parking provides a fresh alternative to traditional CPC monetization from Google and Yahoo which is on the decline. Feedback to date shows average gains for domain owners are a 200-400% increase in performance compared to traditional parking solutions.”

Marlon also shared the “current average RPMs across the Protected Parking network:”

  • Travel – $300-$1,200
  • Dating – $1,050
  • Apparel – $100-$600
  • Electricals – $500
  • Flowers – $500
  • Technology (cellphones, laptops) – $100-$300

From my perspective, the risk of a cybersquatting lawsuit outweighs any potential reward, but I would be naive to think that there aren’t companies out there who are willing to take the risk. Even domain owners that use a service like Protected Parking for their domain names could face a UDRP and/or a cybersquatting lawsuit. To reiterate and make it clear, I think buying or owning trademark domain names is very risky. I also think going out and registering potentially infringing domain names to monetize them is, to put it bluntly, very stupid.

That said, I know there are people and companies who do own domain names that are likely infringing, and perhaps Protected Parking is a service that can help monetize those domain names.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (2)

    Eric Borgos

    Interesting. I had never heard of them. They don’t seem to do much advertising or promotion in the domaining community.

    July 19th, 2015 at 5:48 am

    John Berryhill

    This service strikes me as utter snake oil.

    Probably the only entity “protected” is Protected Parking.

    Just because PP has a traffic/revenue agreement with a brand owner, in what possible way does that extend any immunity to the domain registrant?

    “By partnering with Protected Parking the domain name is masked from the advertiser, providing anonymity.”

    Which strongly suggests that when the brand owner is looking over lists of infringing domain names, and they spot one they want, they’ll go after it and the owner.

    Whether PP has an affiliate agreement with the brand owner has NOTHING to do with the fact that they clearly say the brand owner does not know which domains are sending that traffic. Sure, PP doesn’t identify which domains are sending traffic to the brand owner, and WHOIS certainly doesn’t provide any “anonymity” when they come after the domain and the registrant.

    I’ve had a look at the agreement PP uses to enroll domain registrants, and it is crystal clear that the domain registrant is required to indemnify PP, and PP does not extend any indemnification to the domain owner.

    What is absolutely hilarious here, is that in various puff pieces, PP has said things like that quoted above, concerning the brand owner not knowing which domain names are sending traffic. Meanwhile, on their site, they say:

    “The Protected Parking platform enables domain owners to monetize brand related domains with the full knowledge and explicit agreement from the brand owner.”

    These guys are clearly talking out of both sides of their mouth.

    They say “the domain name is masked from the advertiser, providing anonymity” which “enables domain owners to monetize brand related domains with the full knowledge and explicit agreement from the brand owner.” Now, look, either the brand owner has “full knowledge and explicit agreement” or “the domain name is masked from the advertiser”, but it makes absolutely no sense that they are doing both.

    August 25th, 2015 at 4:44 pm

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