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Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Truth Behind Click Fraud

Great article to purchase from one of my favorite sites, Marketing Sherpas.

The Maddening Truth Behind Click Fraud Numbers -- How Big is Fraud Really?

SUMMARY: MarketingSherpa's research department hates click fraud even more than most people. Why? Because the numbers are shrouded in clouds of mystery and hype.

Now that Google's agreed to a $90 million settlement, what does that mean about the size of the fraud universe? Find out in this update from our Research Director Stefan Tornquist:

By MarketingSherpa Research Director Stefan Tornquist

For the last 18 months, click fraud has been in the spotlight, but not under the microscope. For all the hype, we’ve seen little in the way of hard numbers. And as you'll see below, MarketingSherpa's own surveys showed marketers themselves weren't terribly concerned about fraud. "It may happen to some people, but not to us," sums up most marketers’ attitudes.

Then last week Google announced they were paying advertisers $90 million to compensate for click fraud … and hype promptly hit a high water mark.

However, we wondered, what's the real data on fraud? ... click here to buy the ariticle.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Choosing the best domain name

Your domain name is the .com, .net, .org or some other dot
something that people use to get to your web site. is mine.

A group of investors headed by Jake Weinbaum (the guy behind
Disney's paid $7.5 million for the name
back in 1999, aiming to make it a showcase B2B site. According
to their own press they have succeeded. Yes, it's a terrific
name - short, sort of descriptive and easy to remember. There's
some cachet there, but is it $7.5 million worth? That cash could
have bought a lot of promotion or branding for whatever name
they could have had for ten bucks, or a hundred, or two hundred

Each year for 15 years The first $500K in profit goes toward
amortizing the cost of that domain name. That could also pay
for a terrific affiliate program, a truckload of banner and PPC
advertising, and a nice BMW lease for Mr. Weinbaum (who probably
doesn't need a BMW).

But the thing has set off a wave of domain name
speculation that staggers the mind. People are snapping up
domain names and ransoming them off to wide-eyed entrepreneurs
with business plans and dreams of riches. Being a hardcore
capitalist I am torn about domain name speculation - I am
tempted to applaud the person making a buck by getting there
first and grabbing up the good names, but I am annoyed at the
restraint of commerce that takes place while someone negotiates
with one of these guys to get the right name.

So if I look at the top 50 websites on Alexa, most of them
should be easy to remember names, right? Wrong. I would argue
that only one,, is an easy-to-remember name that
describes what the site is about.

I keep hearing that the reason these so-called generic or
descriptive domain names are so valuable is that some people
just type domain names into the address bar of their browser
rather than using a search engine. This fact seems to be
intuitively false. I find it hard to believe that someone
looking for information on a particular business would type in Furthermore, if I look at the top 50 websites
on Alexa only one,, is an easy-to-remember name that
describes what the site is about.

I wondered how many people actually type in their address bar
(address bar?) instead of using a search engine anyway. I
didn't find the answer, but Jupiter Media tells me that 64% of
people looking for something use a search engine.

That means that 36% of people use something other than a search
engine. What makes me believe that people typing stuff into
their address bar doesn't happen much is this simple fact...of
the people using search engines last November, 43% searched for
common websites like Ebay. In other words, instead of typing in, people Googled Ebay and clicked on one of
the results. That is absolutely hysterical. And totally

What do all these facts mean? They mean that as far as getting
the person there the first time, everyone starts off on the
same square. If your domain name can get the minority of people
who just type into their address bar to your website without a
search engine, it's worth more than someone who can't.

Here are some of the legendary domain name sales in the past
several years, according to Zetetic:

$12,000,000 - 2006 -
$7,500,000 - 1999 -
$5,500,000 - 2003 -
$5,000,000 - 2002 -
$5,000,000 - 1999 -
$3,500,000 - 1996 -
$3,350,000 - 1999 -
$3,300,000 - 1999 -
$3,000,000 - 1999 -
$3,000,000 - 1999 -
$2,750,000 - 2004 -

All of these with the exception of (computer
networking) should get address bar traffic, because people who
type will type in the descriptive names - if I'm looking for
sex-related stuff, I'll type in Where my mind gets
boggled is in ROI. If you're selling something on that nets you $25, you'll need to sell 200,000
of those George Foreman grills just to pay for your domain

It also dawned on me that if you pay $12,000,000 for,
the free publicity generated is probably also worth millions.

So now everyone gets dollar signs in their eyes and thinks they
can make a million with their domain name. Here are some
examples of asking prices from Ebay: (yes, that's a 6) - $7,000,000 - $3,500,000 - $1,000,000

What does this mean for you? Well, there's some good news and
some bad news. Remember back a few paragraphs when I said that
everyone starts on the same square? That's really the good
news. You can choose a pretty good domain name, put together
some terrific content, employ some simple Search Engine
and buy some keywords or exchange some links and
you have a pretty good chance of getting people to your site
the first time. Since most of them are coming via a search
engine they're not going to notice your domain name until they
get there anyway, so your domain name means the same thing
(nothing) to the majority of people using the search engine.

One last thing: if you're hoping to be close to the top in the
search results (the so-called organic SEO), having your
keywords in the name of your website gives you a huge boost.
For example, if you're looking for affiliate blog, we will be
in the top five search results. In this case, Google ignores
TLD unless you tell it otherwise. will come
up before us because their pagerank is higher (that's a
discussion for another day). So if you think getting near the
top of the organic search results is more important than having
someone type your name directly into the address bar (and you
very well could be right), then grab or I've done it, and I've suggested it to others.

Once the user comes to your site the name just needs to be
memorable enough so they type it in to get there the next time.
Or they may forget and Google you again. I do it every day. No
matter how great your name is, if the content is lousy they
won't come back anyway.

So should you buy a domain name? I don't know - I bought this
one. And I made honorable mention in the Domain Name News for
the price I paid ($2500). I bought the name because I liked it,
I liked the number of incoming links to it, and I felt
comfortable paying for it. I've never paid more than a couple
hundred dollars for a domain otherwise, and I have more than
200 of them. My favorite by far is, which I just
bought for $25. I have a pretty terrific idea in mind for
Blozzo too.

I would try to come up with my own name before I bought someone
else's. Here are some tips:

1. Try to go with a .com. It's the name everyone associates
with the Internet. Any other Top Level Domain (TLD) like .org
or .net is just going to confuse people, unless it sounds
better than the .com. For example, if you are about networking
or a network, a .net is more natural. If your site is
informational, you should use .info if it sounds okay. One of
my favorite $10 domains is I think it sounds
good. Hands down the most ingenious use of a TLD is, the social bookmarking site. The use of the .us
TLD is absolutely brilliant.

2. Leave out the dashes and meaningless numbers. If it's a
choice between, and, take the .net. No one remembers to put the
dashes or the numbers in, unless they are an integral part of
the name like or

3. Use the fewest letters possible to describe what you do. I
own Purple Monkey Media Group. would have been
perfect. It's taken, of course. was not. I
grabbed it. I could have taken, but
it would have been too long. Remember, every additional letter
is a potential typing error.

4. If you have a domain name that needs to be reinforced, get a
good logo and sprinkle it liberally on your web site, along with
some slogan that will reinforce the name in people's minds. You
would be surprised at how inexpensive this can be.

5. If you can save a few bucks with your own domain name or by
buying a cheaper domain name, do it, and use the money to get
yourself placed higher in the search results or Adsense

6. If you can't come up with a descriptive domain name, go the
other way. Depending on your site's focus, pick a memorable
short name that will stick in people's minds, get a great logo
and include the name prominently in your advertising and
marketing. It's called branding, and it's tried and true.

7. Ask your wife, friend, boyfriend, husband, dog, lawyer,
associate, Mom, Dad, cousin, uncle, Police Chief, blog writer.
They're smarter than you anyway, and they are going to be the
one looking for the site, not you. Some of my best ideas have
come going to or from somewhere with my wife and just

Here's the bad news: it may take you a while to come up with
the right name. There's more good news though - in the real
world most domain names sell for $1,000 or less.

Can't get started? - Go to a site that sells domain names, and
put in a word that describes your business. See if the name is
taken (it probably will be). Open your word processor or go to and put the word in. Get a few more words. Check
those. If there's a .com available and it looks good, grab it.
If not, add the word site or blog or online to your word, and
see if that works. Don't wait. If you think it might be
useable, spend the $9.00. I came up with I liked
it. I decided to think about it some more. Someone grabbed it
that afternoon. Just chisel loose the nine bucks (or less) and
buy the domain.

If you want something a little more sophisticated there are
several sites that are good for helping you come up with a
name, like DomainsBot ( and
Nameboy (

If you draw a blank, go over to Sedo ( or
Afternic ( and see what's for sale.
Search for a word that describes what you think people will
associate the name of your site with, and see what pops up.
That may give you some ideas.

These sites and more can be found in Tools section of

Domain Name Journal ( tracks domain
name sales. Going there is always fun.
Matt DeAngelis runs Matt is the former
Chief Technology Officer of Modem Media, a pioneer in the
Internet ad space. As a foot soldier in the Internet revolution,
Matt devised the technology behind ad campaigns and online
presence for a good portion of the Fortune 100.

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