Sending Traffic to a Parked Page is Against Terms Of Service | DomainInvesting.com

Sending Traffic to a Parked Page is Against Terms Of Service

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One of the primary reasons pay per click advertising payouts are down is because of click fraud. This happens when a website or domain owner either clicks on the pay per click links on his website or parked page, hires someone to click on the links, or someone else clicks on pay per click links in order to make the advertiser pay for this traffic.

When a domain owner has pay per click advertising on his or her site using Google’s Adsense or a domain parking provider, it can be tempting to click on some of the ads or ask friends to click on them to generate revenue. Some may justify this to themselves somehow, but any way you slice it, clicking on PPC links on your own website – or encouraging others to do it for you – isn’t legit.

Domain parking companies have the difficult task of determining what is a legitimate click and what may be click fraud. For this reason, most parking companies don’t permit people to send traffic to parked domain names. In fact, it’s a violation of the Terms of Service for most (if not all) domain parking companies to send traffic to a parked domain name.

Here are a few examples:

Parked.com TOS states that traffic can only come from “type in (direct navigation) traffic and existing search engine results/expired traffic.”….  “All other types of traffic including bought traffic, traffic driven by PPC campaigns, traffic directed from hyperlinks are not permitted.”

Domain Sponsor TOS: “Publishers may not generate traffic to their website or our links by any of the following methods: listings on newsgroups, bulk e-mailing, icq postings, IM messages, chatroom/irc postings, iframes, zero pixel frames, hitbots, clickbots, spiders, cgi-scripts, JavaScript, DNS hacking, spoofing or pharming, cache poisoning, any toolbar or downloading of any computer software application (“Downloadable App”), altering an End User’s host file to point another domain to a Publisher’s domain, PTC Programs, click farms, via cellphone messages, online viral media, other online incentives, media advertising of any type, any promotion of a domain, including, but not exclusively, communications or press release with a media outlet or organization capable of public communications with the intention to create an interest or drive traffic in a domain, or any other similar method.

NameDrive TOS: “Traffic promotional methods not allowed include, but are not limited to:  Blog sites / forums, TGP Gallerys, bought traffic (PTR/PTC),  Arbitrage traffic driven by PPC campaigns (Adwords etc.), traffic directed from hyperlinks etc. are not permitted.”

One other reason why it’s not legit for domain investors to send traffic to a parked page is because it can inflate a domain name’s traffic numbers illegitimately. Click fraud aside, if I encourage you to visit one of my parked domain names, and I later sell the domain name while providing traffic figures, would you be pissed if you were the buyer?

If I purchased a domain name believing that it received thousands of visits a month, but it turns out that was only due to the fact that the previous owner was illegitimately sending traffic to the parked page, I would be pissed and would probably take legal action.

No matter how you look at it, intentionally sending traffic to a parked page isn’t good for the domain industry and gives everyone a bad name.


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 (25)

    Olney

    Parking is down for a few reasons
    1. Advertisers now have the option to not advertise on parked domains. Conversion based campaigns usually opt out or just advertise on specific sites.
    2. iPhone, traffic via mobile is increased & CPC is very low. Although the traffic on parking stats look the same as PC based traffic CPC can be from 1 to 5 cents. (I tested my parked domains using an iFrame & Google Analytcs to see exactly where the traffic is coming from).
    3. Google has been indexing parked domains from it’s search results (Another reason why using an iFrame is good).

    November 29th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Mike

    No one knows why parking is down. No one knows why or how, for sure, anything related to parking, PPC, traffic metrics and the like actually work because not one parking site will ever answer questions related to “where does my traffic come from?” or “why is my PPC down this month?” or “who audits your PPC data and can I see the independent audit of those numbers?”.

    There is NOTHING transparent about the domain name industry and the veil that it keeps over it will continue to keep the good folks in the Federal Govt quite interested…

    November 29th, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Olney

    @Mike I think that working for a company that is reported to be one of the world’s biggest buyers of media from Google gives me a bit of a right to say I know where the ads are coming from because we put them there for clients.

    What is transparent is the ads come from Google, the ads get put there from Search Agencies that manage the ads for clients. Anyone working in Digital Advertising would say the same.

    November 29th, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    George Pickering

    Which demonstrates that Parked Pages is not a real business. A legit business spends marketing dollars promoting their web site. That is why companies that spend dollars advertising on Google Adwords get an SEO advantage over competitors who don’t. Google wants legit businesses and paid marketing campaigns indicate to Google that the company/site is legit.

    November 29th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Uzoma

    Elliot,

    It is quite difficult to figure out whose side you are on a day to day business. I truly believe that you pander a lot to big companies, and the poor domainer be damned. I know this is your blog, and you may not take kindly to this.

    I encourage you to stand by what is ‘true’ over what is ‘false’ and to avoid judging things by ‘good’ versus ‘bad’, or ‘wrong’ versus ‘right'; things should be judged by true or false when neutrality and fairness is assumed.

    These types of write-ups you do looks like kissing ass to me.

    November 29th, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Elliot

    @ Uzoma

    I don’t really care. I write about what’s impacting my business and what’s impacting this industry from my own perspective. Some articles are news bits while others are things that are directly going on with my business. If you don’t like how I come across or if you don’t like my opinion, you are more than welcome to post your opinion or spend your time elsewhere. You didn’t pay to read my insight, and if it’s not beneficial to your business, you probably shouldn’t waste your time.

    BTW, WTF is ass kissing in this article? It pisses me off when people get away with sending spam that contain links to parked pages.

    November 29th, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Uzoma

    Yes, but with all the technology at Google’s disposal, that is a poor excuse to punish an entire industry for the failings or fault of a few.

    They can easily identify the culprits and deal with them, while paying legitimate parkers what they’ve earned. And you know better.

    November 29th, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Elliot

    @ Uzoma

    The point of this article is to shed light on what some people are doing against TOS, which is driving traffic to parked pages via spam emails.

    November 29th, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Uzoma

    Yes, you are right in most of your premises, however, you conclusion, and in fact, the aura you left in the air vis “No matter how you look at it, intentionally sending traffic to a parked page isn’t good for the domain industry and gives everyone a bad name”, is tantamount to big business constantly trying to portray the domain industry as nuisance opportunists in general, and those generalizations must be stopped. We shouldn’t be aiding them. If our own Elliot is not writing articles about the rip-off of domainers, but rather writing about tangential reasons why “PPC” is down, it is a heart breaker.

    November 29th, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Elliot

    Half the time I think domain investors do stupid shit to shoot themselves in the foot.

    Actually, it’s probably a lot more than half.

    Just calling it how I see it.

    November 29th, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Uzoma

    “Half the time I think domain investors do stupid shit to shoot themselves in the foot.

    Actually, it’s probably a lot more than half”.

    That may or may not be true, besides, what does have to do with collective punishment? Even if 99% of domainers do something wrong, 1% is still entitled to fairness, transparency, compensation, et al.
    No, Elliot, Parkers, registrars, Yahoo, and Google are the ones that need to clean up their acts, and deal with us fairly. There’s no need to raise all these straw man, simply to turn around and destroy their own straw man. name names! If you know any domainer doing something illegal that should warrant an entire industry from being dealt with the way they did us since 2008, name them now. I don’t think any of those things is the issue. I thing it is good old greed, and getting over on us because they can. They came up with a technology to make us obsolete. Don’t help them do it, I beg you.

    November 29th, 2010 at 11:44 pm

      Elliot

      If you run your business legitimately, you should be fine.

      Here are four domain investment tips:

      1) Don’t register crappy names nobody will ever want to buy, especially if they don’t earn PPC revenue.

      2) Don’t go back on your word.

      3) Don’t do something that will screw other domain investors.

      4) Listen to people who make money in this business and are willing to share rather than talk over them.

      PS: It’s not my business to name names. If some young or new domain investor sees someone they think is a professional spamming their parked domain(s), I don’t want them to think it’s okay just because someone else is doing it.

      November 29th, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Jimmy James

    I feel what you are saying Uzoma about domainers getting trashed from every angle, but I do believe Elliot is right, and I don’t think it is catering to big business.

    I have been banging the drum about these spammers for years, and I have also been buying domains since the mid 90’s, before there were many real commercial interests on the Net. I’m not looking out for Big Biz, just trying to get my earnings up b/c I see these guys doing this crap all the time.

    I’ll even step it up a notch and say if the parking companies would get rid of arbitrage than my parking earnings would go up also since they would be moving most of the trash ads from my parked domains.

    I still feel you though Uzoma, I hate it when they say a parked page is not a website — that’s bullsh*t. Who the fu*k invented this notion? What is Google? A site full of ads. What is a parked page? A site full of ads. They are both developed sites, just with ads as the content. Ask anyone and they will tell you Google is a site, and ask anyone not in the industry or not a developer and they will tell you a parked domain is a site also.

    November 30th, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Uzoma

    Elliot,

    You must have one thing in mind: Google is a domainer.
    Registrars are domainers; Godaddy is a domainer. Sedo is a domainer. Domainer is not limited to any niche. Sure, once someone becomes successful, they may try to run away from their roots. :-)

    The way I see it, domainers are not just with popular blogs; Google is just a giant domainer.

    Jimmy James is right. I don’t have a problem with most of Elliot’s points, however, those are small points considering the magnitude of the wrongs heaved on domainers from the other side. It’s like removing the speck from a domainer’s eyes while ignoring the log in the Parkers/Google’s eyes.

    November 30th, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Uzoma

    Elliot says:
    “Here are four domain investment tips:

    1) Don’t register crappy names nobody will ever want to buy, especially if they don’t earn PPC revenue.

    2) Don’t go back on your word.

    3) Don’t do something that will screw other domain investors.

    4) Listen to people who make money in this business and are willing to share rather than talk over them”.

    On your first point, I agree in part and disagree in part; one shouldn’t register names no one wants to buy, true, but how do you know a name no one wants to buy? Godaddy? Yahoo?? Google?? Groupon??? Before those became successful names, they wouldn’t be premium names. They are not generics. they are not household names. On the issue of PPC, some people have a different model; they could care less about PPC. And some people do. So, it all depends on business model. Amazon and eBay wouldn’t earn you a lot of PPC before those names became household names either.

    Your points 2 to 4 should be used to admonish the domain parkers and everyone in higher echelon of this industry just as much as the little guy. In essence, we should stop kissing up and kicking down. Amen.

    November 30th, 2010 at 12:56 am

    steve cheatham

    Click fraud is common sense. Don’t click on your own ads. If you do you have the wrong idea of why the advertiser is buying an ad.

    PPC is down and so is the entire economy worldwide. Same for parking. You want to make more money with your domain name? Develop it.

    November 30th, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Larry

    “One other reason why it’s not legit for domain investors to send traffic to a parked page is because it can inflate a domain name’s traffic numbers illegitimately. Click fraud aside, if I encourage you to visit one of my parked domain names, and I later sell the domain name while providing traffic figures, would you be pissed if you were the buyer?”

    Yes…but I would know to think about that potential risk and
    realize it could be possible. Just like it would be possible to buy
    a domain with what you call “legit” traffic that could end or cost per click to drop. (Ref: Smartname acquistion).

    That’s more or less the same with any risk of doing business. If you are going to buy someone’s coffee shop they aren’t going to tell you that they just found out that Starbucks is moving in down the street. Maybe a rumour, maybe truth.
    Nor is it necessarily unethical to not disclose that either. And, what is ethical in one business might be unethical in another business.

    In business you would never promote something that would be your competitor. But in the news industry they do it everyday showering praise on web businesses to the point of their extinction.
    In medicine you do what is in the patients best interest. In business not the same.

    You have to take everything with a grain of salt. Business is all about navigating those risks.

    November 30th, 2010 at 3:29 pm

      Elliot

      @ Larry

      “You have to take everything with a grain of salt. Business is all about navigating those risks.”

      Of course it is. But this business is so small that a great deal of it is based on trust and the word of other professionals. If a professional domain investor says their parked domain name gets x visits a month, I would expect that to be the case. If it’s not the case due to inflated traffic numbers, such as sending traffic to a parked page against TOS, I would take legal action. That’s what lawyers are for.

      November 30th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Larry

    “If a professional domain investor says their parked domain name gets x visits a month, I would expect that to be the case.”

    I think what you mean and what you are saying is that if someone you know and trust says that then you would expect it to be the case and I agree with that. But there are no professional standards in this business, no certifications, no licenses to loose etc. No feedback mechanism (such as with ebay).

    “such as sending traffic to a parked page against TOS, I would take legal action. That’s what lawyers are for.”

    From a legal standpoint I think it would be difficult if not impossible though to prove if the only evidence was a drop in traffic.

    And the cost to taking legal action would be great and not worth it unless the loss was great. Consequently if the potential risk was so large it would be better to put the effort into due diligence to determine upfront what you were getting involved in.

    There are plenty of businesses that are sold that are cash businesses with next to nothing on the books. The potential buyer might spend some time casing the place or pick random days and extrapolate to verify the amount of cash that is being collected. Obviously in those cases nothing is put in writing because the owner is cheating (unless you think many small cash businesses
    are reporting their income?). Or extrapolate by number of cigarettes sold or some staple product etc. Easy to do if you know
    the business you are buying if not very hard.

    November 30th, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Elliot

    @ Larry

    That may be the case… if a lawyer said I wouldn’t have a legal case, I would probably not file any type of action. However, I would never do business with that person ever again, and word of mouth can be more detrimental than anything.

    Bottom line is that if I buy a dog walking domain name for $10,000 because the owner says it gets 250 unique visitors a day, and I forward it to DogWalker.com and it only gets 1 visitor a day, there will be repercussions, whether of the legal or business variety.

    November 30th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Joseph Slabaugh

    Hey I have to agree with ES here. I have had the privilege of moderating for dnf 4 years ago, and I got 1st hand knowledge of the scams people try to pull.

    One time I had a thief that was using a stolen credit card to pay for domains, and well I was made aware of what the hacker’s password was to his email, and returned the domains to him, but I would not have done that sort of thing unless there is a good deal of evidence to support what I was told, that the guy was using a stolen card to buy domains off dnf.

    I returned the domains and the owners all confirmed that they got charge backs to their paypal either before or after I got the names back for them.

    But that was just one case. I had to deal with a lot of crooks on DNF, and again, spamming, scamming etc. is only going to make you get in more trouble, maybe not today, but you may just get hacked, or DDOSed (Example the recent WikiLeaks attacks).

    November 30th, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    LindaM

    Frankly it amazes me people find the time to do dodgy stuff – I give scams a lot of thought, so I can best defend my own interests against them. It always strikes me that to pull off some of these scams without a high chance of getting busted at some point takes so much work!!
    All the hassle of anonymising various aspects, covering your tracks, permanently having to avoid numerous law enforcement and online do-gooders. Not knowing if an action, click, link, transaction or whatever you made years ago or this afternoon causes visa, google, siteadvisor, verisign, joe schmoe’s antifraud algo to drill you bang to rights – jeez who needs it.
    I always decided it was easier to play it straight, and to be honest I think if you do it well it probably pays better too.

    December 1st, 2010 at 2:02 am

    steve cheatham

    @LindaM I have always heard crime does not pay. :)

    December 1st, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Stu

    Some domain name parking services misdirect visitors away from the parked website and directly onto the websites of advertisers that pay a fee solely to the parking service. So the parking service uses its customers’ domain name to attract web traffic but then, instead of splitting the advertising revenue with the customers, takes the advertising “click” for itself and pockets the entire fee.

    http://www.classactioncentral.com/2010/12/domain-name-owners-beware-your-parking-service-may-be-directing-traffic-away-from-your-website-and-keeping-those-parking-fees-for-itself/

    December 21st, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    John

    It was always logical to me that you can’t drive traffic to parker domains. Common people, we all would be rich if that is allowed

    January 1st, 2012 at 8:59 pm

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