Domain parking commonly refers to the practice of generating ad revenue from a registered domain name without any web development. Domain parking can be temporarily used before developing or selling the website or be the goal of the domain registration. Note that using domain parking before developing a site is often considered as a bad idea as Google doesn’t like parked domains with no content but ppc ads, and can penalize their SERP rankings.
Domain parking services offered by domain registrars and other specialized services are often free and there are no web hosting fees for quality domain names. The domain parking platform takes a share of ad revenues. For some less selective services, there may be a fee. Domain parking services are often syndicated search partners of PPC search engines.
An example of pricing plan:
To park a domain is a no hassle process. Content, - more often only an image and sometimes some content spinning articles - layout and ads are automatically displayed on the landing page by the domain parking service. For more detail about the process and features of parking services see domain parking service.
An example of domain parking:
Most of domain parking revenues originates from PPC ad platforms, but it can also sometimes be based upon affiliate programs or comparison shopping.
To generate ad revenue, a parked domain needs traffic. Traffic sources are mostly type-in traffic, but also traffic from spammy backlincks and much more rarely traffic from organic search results. In some very rare cases with high click prices, the traffic can be bought and "transformed" in paid clicks. Type-in traffic can "be natural" or related to typosquatting practices. Thus, best domain names for parking are domain names exactly corresponding to popular generic terms with good GTLDs - mainly .com - or some typos of popular websites - apart from legal issues. It is best when the generic term is related to expensive keywords on PPC platforms.
There is a lot of debates and rumors about potential revenues related to parked domains. During the domain parking golden age some parked domains could make more than $100 000 a year. Around 2005, before being sold, the candy.com domain was said to produce $300 per day.
Golden age of domain parking has passed for many reasons:
People are using less and less the browser address bar and type-in traffic is dwindling.
Browsers have changed the treatment of generic terms typed in without domain extension in the adress bar.
Google doesn’t like parked domain with no or poor content
Advertisers and agencies on PPC platforms are more and more educated and filter out domain parking traffic - see search syndication.
Nevertheless domain parking can still be profitable as it is easy to break even with the low cost of domain registration. A domain has only to generate 2 or 3 cents per day or less than $1 per month. Often it doesn’t need a lot of traffic with the usual 30% CTR on parked domains.
Most often, parked domains with high potential revenue are no longer parked domains but have been sold or developed to become e-retail sites or to go beyond a classic parked domain. In practice, established domainers earn money from domain parking with thousands of domains generating one dollar or a few dollars a month.
An example of parking reporting on Sedo’s platform: