Verisign Report May Indicate That The Number Of Parked Domains Looks To Be In Significant Decline

Verisign released its Domain Name Industry Brief yesterday for the 4th quarter of 2011.

At one time Verisign reported the number of parked domains but stopped that practice a few years back.

The last time Verisign  reported the number or percentage of parked domains on a .com or a .net domain name that number totaled 7%.

In recent years Verisign has been lumping parked domains into a category¬† with “One page websites” which “include under-construction, brochure-ware and parked pages in addition to online advertising revenue generating parked pages.”

Assuming that the percentage of “under construction pages” stayed steady over the years (actually one would think they would have gone down) lets look at the percentage of

In October 2009 the percentage of .com/.net domains sitting this description were 24%.

In November 2010 the percentage of .com/.net domains sitting this description were 22%.

In January 2012 the percentage of domain names meeting this description  is down to 17%.

So it would appear that the percentage of parked pages has declined over the years which of course is not surprising as revenues for such pages has declined while prices for renewals have increased.

However it could also be that the percentage of parked pages has simply not kept at the same pace as the increase of overall domain name registrations.

Its too bad that Verisign doesn’t report actual numbers for parked domains any longer leaving us to guess.







  1. SF says

    Domain parking and parking alternatives is probably the hottest topic in the industry at the moment.

    The latest focus on all the blogs is on the newer alternative platforms, like DevName, DomainApps, etc.

    I say, Good Luck to anyone who is out there trying their hand at starting a business. The failure rate for startups in will known. And, the domain industry certainly needs more alternatives (especially when it comes to domain monetizing).

    But, many of the new platform services are not really about domains.

    They are about Website Development. That is Not the same thing as Domain Monetization. It is a totally different business.

    Domain Monetization, like other conventional investments, are more of a Passive Income business. People may “manage” their investments to a certain degree. But, Development is not normally involved.

    Parking fell into that model. Google controlled the parking industry. People got tired of seeing a never-ending ocean of parked pages. Even many domainers who made money from them probably got tired of seeing them (as a web surfer). So, Google’s decision to punish the industry can be understood.

    Currently, there seems to be no alternative to domain parking that offers a scalable system that helps domain names earn Mostly passive income, with only minimal management required on the domain owners part. At least, I have not seen any.

    To be clear, the new services and platforms are not really about domaining at all, other than you need a domain just like you need a name for a site.

    These new services/platforms fall under the category of Website Development Business. That may be the only opportunity out there right now.

    But …That ain’t Domaining!

  2. Jp says

    I think the number is probably higher, just parking has gotten high tech so for example epik sites are probably not considered parked

  3. yes says

    What is “parking” and what is “development”?

    Is the distinction a subjective one? Is there even is a distinction… outside of geeks discussing the idea on blogs?

    The real question, assuming the domain name owner wants to make money from his portfolio, should be what generates the best return. Measure effectiveness.

    Not sure about these “new” “development” platforms, but I’d bet there is some uniformity to be found among the sites they produce. Perhaps they do not look as identical as “parked” pages, but no doubt there are similarities in each and every site falling under a single system.

    There are always patterns to be found on the web. Randomness is in comparitively short supply. HTML is a classic example. The patterns to be found in HTML usage easily outnumber the amount randomness to be found. And content is duplicated. Repeatedly.

    The “parked” pages of the future may carry a little bit of video. The ads won’t just be text. A snippet of video, if it’s well targeted, may be enough to satiate the most impatient web surfer. Today, users appear content to watch short snippets of low quality video. Look at the wild growth of YouTube.

    Does the person who arrives at the page care if it’s “parked” or if it’s “developed”? Does she even recognise such a distinction?

    Verisgn’s methodology is puzzling. Why not focus on the registrars who park and the dedicated parking companies? They are responible for the vast majority of parked pages. Instead they focus on page count. Do users count the number of pages on sites they visit? What about page quality?

    This is very subjective territory.

    “What you need, when you need it” and the like is probably on the decline, slightly. But only because with today’s hardware specs, network speeds and bandwidth, we can deliver more than just a wee bit of text.

    Stuff the pages full of more crud for the browser to chew on. And call it “development”.

  4. says

    Distinguishing PPC parked domains from developed domains has become more complex over the last few years. Some PPC links are obfuscated to look like genuine deep content links. However the market itself has changed and though many registrars and hosters autopark unused domains on PPC landing pages, the industrialised PPC registrations of 2005-2009 have been declining.

    From experience, running a survey of millions of websites is difficult as there are so many languages and so many different versions of “coming soon” pages. While Godaddy, Sedoparking and others will have the bulk of PPC parking, there will also be some small country-level PPC operations. However the results of deep web surveys can be very unsettling for registries when they find that upwards of 40% of their domains are just stuck on PPC.

    The simple breakdown provided by Verisign could be done on a sample basis rather than on a full TLD(s) survey basis. The results it provides in the Domain Brief does not reflect the diversity of the web and may be designed more for PR consumption than for the domain industry.

    There has been a shift away from generic holding pages on some large registrars over the last few years. They had previously had a combination of “coming soon” pages with some PPC adverts but some now use a cookiecutter template to allow registrants to add what is in effect a business card set of content (Name, contact details, location etc) to a webpage. Google’s Getting Business Online has been a driver in this though I think that the real reason for Google’s GBO scheme in ccTLD positive markets is because its blind crawling algorithm does not work well at present. New sites often have no inbound links and are invisible to the inelegant, brute force, blind crawling approach that Google, and other search engines, use to detect new sites.

    There is also a bit of perception management going on with these figures. The breakdown of website development in a TLD is actually quite complex. While the public sees over 100 million .com domains registered, this does not translate into 100 million websites. Some will forward to a primary ccTLD website or other main TLD website. Some will be on PPC or holding pages. Others will be partially developed (abandoned websites and websites that have not been updated for years are common). Others still will be clones of particular sites (small web developers often point unused domains to their main website). By the time you get to unique and developed websites, you could be looking at between 11% and 30% of a TLD. With the global nature of .com, that percentage could reach about 50% in some markets. Most developed country-level markets have a ccTLD/.com axis which can account for over 80% of that country-level market’s domain footprint. Outside that ccTLD/com axis, the development figures can be quite horrific. Development is expensive and it takes time. For most small businesses, unless they have a really good non-core (net/org/biz/info/mobi/asia/eu/co/etc) domain and brand identity, it does not make financial sense to develop a primary brand website outside their local ccTLD or .com TLD.

  5. yes says

    @mccormac very well said. 40% parked. 11-30% developed. whatever the actual numbers may be, in practice parking result in an inordinate number of entries in a zone file that all effectively point to the same ip. and to what end? to give an appearance that each of those entries represent a distinct server? as you know, zone files occupy precious ram. what a waste.

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