Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Make Those Parked Domains Earn Their Keep"

If you're anything like me, you've got a lot of registered domains out there gathering dust - 001_02 doing nothing. Sure, you keep meaning to add some content tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes. Why does that sound like a movie title? Anyway, your intentions were in the right place when you bought all those domains, right?

What if I told you there's an easy way for those domains to start earning their keep?  Interested? I thought you might be. It's called "Google Adsense for Domains", and it's got your name written all over it. Unlike Google Adsense, which reviews the content of your site pages  then displays relevant ads, Adsense for Domains is just for parked domains that contain no content. Understand, you cannot run both on one site. It's one or the other.

If you already have an Adsense account, you'll see the "domain option" when you log into your account. All domains must meet with Google's approval first. There's also a limit of 1500 domains for submission. If you have more than that, you may have a problem. Nothing that a little therapy couldn't help with. You can enter each name manually, or if you have more than a handful, you can upload them in a spreadsheet to make your life a little easier.

It takes about 48 hours for domains to be approved and go active. Once that's done, there's a few settings you'll need to set up. The first thing you'll need to do is log into your domain registrar and change your DNS to point to Google's servers. Make sure your registrar gives you access to your DNS servers before you submit to Google. There's no reason they shouldn't and if they don't, it's time for a new one. Don't let the technical name scare you. It's very simple to change your DNS servers – you  just type in the new numbers, and presto, you're done.

Don't think that just because your domains have no content you can't guide Google in ad selection. Log into your Google Adsense Domain account and click on “edit settings”. Here you can select colors to appear on your site and type in keywords.  By typing in keywords, you'll be
helping Google to serve up targeted ads.

You can also set up channels to track how well your domain ads are performing. It's a beautiful thing. Do yourself a favor - if you have some parked domains lying around, implement this simple solution today.

If the day comes you decide to develop content, it's easy to change the DNS servers back to your own. In  the meantime, why not make those domains earn their keep? Don't you wish you could apply this same advice to your teenager? <grin>

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