Update: Google Adsense for domains was retired by Google on June 27th, 2012.
Some people collect stamps, others comic books or baseball cards. Me? I like to “collect” domain names. The collection started in 2001 and has grown considerably over the years. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Sounds like a CyberSquater!” but the truth is, I just have a bad habit of thinking up new business ideas with great domain names attached which “I’ll spin up when I get time…” and for just $9.99 a year, why not right? Well, a few hundred domain names later and yeah, it has become an expensive “hobby”. And that’s where Google AdSense for Domains comes in.
EDITOR NOTE: Google Adsense for Domains was retired as a Google product on June 27, 2012.
Google AdSense for Domains (GAFD) allows you to use your Google AdSense account to park an unused domain name with Google which they will happily fill up with Google Ads. If someone clicks on those ads, similar to the AdSense program both you and Google make a little $$$.
Sounds great, how do I get set up and start making cash?
Although I could walk you through the setup with my standard screenshots and step-by-step, I’m not going to because Google already created a great guide for setting up AdSense for Domain. Take a look there and let me know here or in our Forum if you still have questions.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you setup your unused domains with GAFD:
- Where does Traffic come from? – Domains parked with GAFD will receive fairly low page rank so you shouldn’t expect much organic search results since there is little you can do from a content or SEO standpoint. With this in mind, most of your traffic will come from people who type your domain name in manually so don’t expect to get rich off GAFD unless you own a domain like candy.com or doctor.com.
- Customize the look of your Parked Page – To make your parked page more appealing to visitors, be sure to follow Step 3 in the Google How-To for setting up GAFD. The options are fairly broad to customize the color, background, etc…
- Add Keywords to Optimize Ads – There is little you can do from an SEO standpoint to get more traffic to your domain. What you can do however is add keywords to your page through the GAFD interface to optimize the Ads displayed on your parked page. Again, the steps for adding keywords can be found on the GAFD help page under step 4. For more information and advice from Google on adding Keywords that match your Domain name, take a look at the GAFD Keyword Help page.
- Setup Tracking using Channels or not… – Just like normal AdSense Ads, you can create and assign channels to each of your Parked Domains. That being said, the AdSense Advanced Reporting tool allows you to see reports on AdSense for Domains that are pretty granular. That being said, if you’re parking a huge number of domains and want to track performance at a higher level than a domain name, channels are for you.
- No Google Adwords! – Although you might be tempted to send traffic to your site through Google AdWords, don’t try it. It’s against the rules and Google will suspend your AdSense account.
- The more the better – Unless you have a domain like Shopping.com or Computer.com, from my experience I’m finding that on average I get no more than 20 impressions per parked page per day. So the more domains you park the better.
- Be Patient – Period. Google will optimize the Ads being displayed on your pages so make a few changes and wait a month to see how things change. Play with the color as well but be sure to give changes a few months to settle in before you start making changes again.
How much cash are you making on GAFD MrGroove?
Like I said earlier, I have a lot of domains that I’ve collected over the years. Back in early 2009 I parked about 2 dozen of them with Google AdSense and on average, some domains make a little and in other months a few make a lot. It really varies. Am I getting Rich of my parked domains? Was I stupid for not parking all my domains? Yes.
Although originally, the program was only available to people with several hundred parked domains, back in early 2009 Google opened up the Google AdSense for Domains program to anyone with a Google AdSense account. Being that pretty much anyone with a website can get an AdSense account (as long as they meet the Google AdSense policies) my recommendation is that if you have a domain that is parked and doing nothing, rather than let GoDaddy park your domain and get cash from the ads, YOU SHOULD PARK YOU DOMAIN with Google and if your lucky, it just might pay for the $9.99 annual fee.
What about you? Have you ever used Google Adsense for Domains for your parked domains? How much cash are you making? Do you know a better way to make cash on your unused or underutilized domain names? Drop a note in the comments and join the discussion!