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April 18, 2007

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Rob Sequin

Frank,

Another well thought out and written article no doubt but I think there is one thing that is better for domains than PPC and that is development.

Think about it. PPC revenue ultimately has a ceiling of income. Granted it is a rising ceiling but none the less, the ceiling on PPC revenue is determined by the quantity of advertisers and their bids for keywords.

There is really nothing "entrepreneurial" about parking domains with PPC ads so there is no $1.6 Billion deal waiting to happen on a domain.

Imagine if you developed all of your domains. Sure it would take an army of people and a cruise ship full of cash but how many multi-million dollar domains/websites would you have then?

Development may not trump PPC revenue every time but at least a developed site has the potential to bring in more traffic and revenue then just the type in traffic and PPC revenue.

Also, one last thing and I hope this doesn't sound crass but PPC sites really contribute nothing to the end user's experience of the Internet. People don't really learn anything from PPC sites other than maybe where they can buy the product or service they are seeking.

***FS*** Thanks kindly Rob.. you make a teriffic point.. but I would argue that PPC has a gwenerational leap forward and has added a great deal reinforce navigation paterns.. Give the people relevant listings related to the subject matter they are looking for. In most cases those results are powered by Google so they are more relevant than not. Take away PPC and you have pages filled with a bunch of banners for casinos and viagra.. or worse.. the network solutions stickman and shovel under construction page. So while we disagree on your last paragraph, we agree that dev of one kind or another is the highest and best use.. I just haven't found the tools to quickly roll it out across thousands of sites yet.

josh/Swerve

Frank: "I just haven't found the tools to quickly roll it out across thousands of sites yet."

Perhaps it is a myriad of tools in the hands and minds of humans that work with you.

***FS*** Good thinking :)

Edwin

Here's something to consider... you can find high-quality, experienced writers who will work for around the $100-$150 per 500 word article (you can also get cheap writers offshored in various places for 10% of that).

Hire a few freelance editors to liaise with the writers and keep the story ideas flowing and the resultant articles formatted and ready for publication and you could be rolling out "real" sites with hundreds of unique, well-written, professional articles for perhaps $25-50K per site. Add a unique, validating, cleanly coded, professional-looking template and logo (another $2K or so) and you're basically "there" with a totally credible, real site. For a tip-top domain name, that might not be much of an investment, I don't know.

Equally, you could probably spend a similar amount (or less, or much less) on online tools to add to domains that lend themselves naturally to such tools (an example might be a range of mortgage calculators on a domain such as mortgagecalculators.com)

Basically, "real" development need not cost the $millions that VC firms are dumping into the Web 2.0 style companies if you already have a domain that brings in the traffic that the aforesaid companies are going to have to advertise for, one (expensive) visitor at a time.

If you have hundreds or thousands of daily visitors at your disposal, and you give them on-target, useful tools and information, the promotion basically takes care of itself as some % of your visitors will blog about the site, link to it, add it to their social bookmarking tools and so on.

TMfor

Arbitrage is just cheating on advertisers and is causing that bids for content pages are lower. For example: I have keywords which converts well for me, keywords which does not convert so well on which I bid less and keywords which does not convert at all which I block. Now some "arbitrage" guy buys those non-converting keywords for cheap, and "arbitrage" these non-valuable visitors on his page into a converting keyword click. But the visitor is STILL SAME, that means it still will NOT convert for advertiser. Arbitragers are trying to transform shit into gold (excuse my french).

***FS*** I agree with some of your sentiment here.. there is "garbitrage" (shoveling bad traffic to to good phrases) and there is arbitrage (taking keyword: 'shopping' where advertisers pay 30 cents a clcik and moving them to keyword 'shopping' (exact match) on another network for $1.00 a click). If arbitrage went away I would be content as a clam, because domain owners 'own' real traffic. But so long as the keyword-marketplaces (YHOO/GOOG) permit the practice, you would be remiss not to participate.

TMfor

Re: Arbitrage
The example $0.30 versus $1.00 for same keyword would not be effective. While arbitrage between stock markets is 100% efficient (minus brokerage fees) keyword arbitrage depends on click rate on the arbitragers page. In this example you would need click rate 30% to break even, which is already quite high for content page.

Javier Marti

Your blog is outstanding. I come here every day. You deliver real value with most of your posts.
I am not sure how many people give you feedback, but there you have mine.

I have been blogging for a long time, although my blog is totally different, and I think it is always nice to get some feedback...

Many of the subjects you talk about are interesting, and your approach is also informative, yet fresh. Your links are alsu usually worth a look.

When I read blogs like yours I fully appreciate the power of the internet.
And the "effort" of people like you who keep posting for everyone's benefit.

It is hard to find the good quality stuff on the internet (and I read a lot)
Your blog is one of the best things I've found so far, for a long time...

Congratulations

Regards
Javier Marti
http://trendirama.com

***FS*** Thanks sincerely!

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