Don’t Try GoDaddy, If You Need Domain Parking

I like GoDaddy.com and I admire Bob Parsons, his “bigger than life” personality and panache reflecting on GoDaddy, so it’s not personal, it’s business. My friend and I keep a portfolio of about 120 domains, most of them registered through GoDaddy. So when we considered domain parking to monetize our portfolio, choosing Godaddy Cash Parking […]

I like GoDaddy.com and I admire Bob Parsons, his “bigger than life” personality and panache reflecting on GoDaddy, so it’s not personal, it’s business.

My friend and I keep a portfolio of about 120 domains, most of them registered through GoDaddy. So when we considered domain parking to monetize our portfolio, choosing Godaddy Cash Parking program seemed logical step. The Cash Parking service does not come free – GoDaddy offers two packages $4 per month for 60% revenue sharing and 10% for 80% revenue sharing. While competing services like Sedo and NameDrive are free, convenience of having domain parking at the register account has won. We signed up.

It seems that Cash Parking is feeded by Google Adsense for domains only, while other domain parking programs work with several ad suppliers. The ads were higly relevant to keywords within domain name, that factor alone provided quite high clickthrough rates. One thing common for all domain parking programs is their hatred of fraud clicks. However, regarding source of traffic, terms of service vary. Some domain programs require only natural type-in or searh engine traffic while traffic bought through PPC advertising is clearly prohibited.

GoDaddy has no specific ban for bought traffic:

You may not generate traffic to Your website or Go Daddy’s links by any of the following methods: listing on newsgroups, bulk e-mailing, icq postings, chatroom postings, iframes, zero pixel frames, hitbots, clickbots, spiders, cgi-scripts, JavaScript, click farms or any other similar method. You may not beg, ask, entice or incentivize users into clicking on Go Daddy’s links. You may not mislead visitors into believing that he/she shall receive anything other than an internet search by clicking on a textlink or search box.

While NameDrive is absolutely specific about bought traffic:

Traffic on domains parked with NameDrive can originate from two sources only: 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. If your traffic originates from any sources other than type-in and search engine traffic, it must first be cleared with NameDrive LLC.

We advertised our sites parked on GoDaddy through Adwords. Highly targeted traffic resulted in high clickthrough rates. Probably that triggered some alarm in fraud detection algorithm and our account was suspended and than terminated.

Here is quote from reply of Cash Parking support team:

Google Adwords falls under the “other similar method” category as previously listed. You may not generate traffic through advertising to a cash parked domain.

That left me wondering:
Why the hell did not you put it in your TOS in plain words, just like NameDrive did?
What does not fall under the “other similar method” category? This definition can accomodate virtualy anything.
These vague TOS are nicely supplement three month payment cycle of GoDaddy – it means that several thousand dollars accumulated within three mont cycle stay forever in GoDaddy pocket if account is terminated. Very convenient. Competing programs pay either once in two weeks or once in month.

The lessons are:

  • avoid long payment cycle
  • avoid vague TOS
  • avoid Godaddy Cash Parking
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