The Official Frank Schilling Blog

The ERROR is in the Details

The ERROR is in the Details

Greetings from Malibu. No matter how bad things get in the local economy the surf and sand and birds and trees always look the same. It’s much colder this year.. very chilly. A fitting metaphor for the difficult economic times this state finds itself in. I first came to Malibu as a teenager from Canada in the 1980’s. I was a broke tourist, unable to afford to live here but dreaming of the LA beach lifestyle. I am still a tourist who can’t afford to live here today – a convoluted web of high taxes and rules keeping it unaffordable in a different way.

My reflections on Malibu and how the town looks a bit more hardscrabble this year, got me noodling on the consequences of a secular period when “taking shortcuts” seemed like a good thing to do. It’s the Gordon Gecko “Greed is Good” meme, which brought us (and Malibu) to this point. First noticeable to me in the 80’s, but accelerating since the .com bubble and September 11th – Greed (the hunger for stuff) has acted like a crutch to move us forward, but at a non-trivial expense. The low interest rates which followed the .com bubble and 9-11 allowed speculators to build second and third homes in Calabasas and Point Dume. It allowed private equity guys to pump companies like yours full of debt so they could flip them to the public markets. This leveraging came during a period when population growth (the number of new consumers born) began to stagnate. It was this slowing of population “growth” which Bill Gross recently described as: “likely a significant factor in the leveraging of the developed world’s financial systems and the ballooning of total government and private debt as a percentage of GDP from 150% to over 300%”. The borrowing and levering up, allowed us all to consume more per person, and fill the “demand” vacuum left by slowing population growth in our developed part of the world.

That leverage or debt had to be serviced though, and its shackles have led to a greater need for short-term PROFIT in order for all those borrowed dollars to be financed. It’s been a chain with unholy consequences. Consider how the quest for ever-greater profit has changed the nature of our food supply. The food you and I eat has been cheapened to garbage at the expense of our long term health, because the food producers needed ever greater profits so they could pay the interest payments on the money they borrowed to expand. Consequently it’s harder for you to stay fit and healthy, and more difficult to avoid a future life hooked on the expensive medications, concocted to fight the ills which the cheaper food causes. Good for the drug companies I suppose.

The ecosystem which short-term thinking and the hunt for ever greater profits has spawned is leaving terrible and often invisible consequences for us all. It’s really manifested to a head in the last 10 years though, the most visible example being the global banking and financial crisis which continues today.

Those of you feeling a bit bummed out after reading the preceding paragraphs, please don’t throw yourself in front of that Prius on PCH just yet.

Tomorrow will bring a brighter day and not everything which happened in the last 10 or 20 years has been bad.

The Internet for example, allows us to share information like this and to think about how we can solve for better outcomes. This is my 10 year anniversary working on the Internet. Ten years ago I was just another guy trying to find his way in the domain business.

I still remember mining for available two and three word generic phrases (unregistered), only to light them up, and immediately start harvesting (and selling) the organic traffic those names got. It was a terrific moment in time. I remember calling my rep at (now Yahoo), to discuss my first direct deal there, feeling quite proud of the little tranche of traffic I’d cobbled together over the preceding weeks. He politely set expectations: “3500 unique visitors a day isn’t going to blow anybody’s hair back Frank”. It was a humbling beginning, and gave me pause. Fortunately it also gave me the resolve to grow. Today we marshal 24 to 26 million unique visitors per month. That’s a lot of reach. But while we’ve grown, if you talked to my first rep’s modern day counterpart, he’d tell you that 24 million households is nice, but not blowing his (now grayer) hair back. “Taking Shortcuts” to grow traffic have made 24 million the new million. You see there’s a new belle in town and her name is “error search”. Many of the deals being done these days are with ISP’s for their error traffic. The audience numbers are terrifically large and so are the dollar volumes of the deals. The average user will make 8 errors typing on their keyboard each month, or so goes the oft quoted industry metric. Frequent users like me probably make that many each day.

Error search volumes have grown and domain traffic declined as a desperate but quiet war has waged to dam the river upstream. I recently typed the domain names of some of my colleagues in at a hotel and found those visits redirected by the hotel or ISP to an “OpenDNS parking page”. The website at the domain was substituted for a page with advertisements provided by OpenDNS. The visitor (me in this case) was thwarted from reaching his final intended destination because the ISP and OpenDNS made a deal to change the user’s experience, substituting one website with ads for an “error search result”.

OpenDNS isn’t the only unwanted intermediary injecting themselves between users and the sites they request. You have literally thousands of toolbars and error traffic diverting applications which bundle along with the smiley screensavers and free backgrounds, unwittingly downloaded onto people’s computers. You have browser makers who partner with computer manufacturers to divert traffic above them. You even have those running the Internet DNS advocating taking BACK the DNS (from whom they would take it back is unclear) .. Literally everyone and his mother is trying to get in on shaping the user’s experience, often for their own economic benefit. Errors are always constant of course but the fight to steal more legitimate site visits and label them errors has marginalized the domain name paid-search business’ and domain name’s importance to the keyword marketplaces. We’ve gotten to the point where some keyword marketplaces will not do domain deals, opting instead for more error search “short cuts” which bring larger quantities of traffic more quickly and easily.

Not all shortcuts are good ones however. As you’ve gathered by my backstory, there are consequences to taking the easy road and short term profits in favor of long term investments in more stable and sustainable forms of traffic.

The Achilles-heel of error traffic is that it’s all drive-by .. The experience is not uniform to the user. A user can’t visit a site and then tell their friend to go there for a shared(viral) experience. I can’t guarantee that I’ll make the same error twice, or that if I do make the same error twice, that I’ll ever have the same experience again. Errors are unduplicable mistakes built on less sincere lay-up, which offers no road back and has little intrinsic value beyond what it can generate on PPC.

Perhaps that’s enough for some, but Google has largely sworn off error traffic as an undesirable source and left that marketplace to those less able to innovate in search., Yahoo! and a few other also-rans have embraced error-search and tried to figure out a way to gentrify it into something useful, or through a back-door into Google’s healthier keyword marketplace again. Judging by the stock prices of the companys in question, the embrace of error search is showing itself to be an error.

Far better to leverage a large network of distinct households coming to the specific websites they type in. I imagine an upstart search engine which discovers that they can take 10 or 20 or 50 million visits coming to a portfolio of names and direct each name to a results pages within their index, building both branding, search revenues and the opportunity for visitors to find a return path for them and their friends. That is a much more value adding implementation in the long run.

My view (while clearly biased as a site owner) seems to be corroborated by the secondary market for domain names which has completely decoupled from paid-search revenues. The marginalization of domain name traffic has perversely (and inexplicably) dovetailed with strengthening names sales. In fact, we are now at the point in the domain business where traffic sales are a sideshow to the deals which happen for the names themselves. The world’s small website makers, individuals and companies are learning what lumbering public companies and also-ran search properties have been slow to awaken to. Or perhaps these entrepreneurs are sufficiently spooked by unpredictable platforms like Facebook that they are building on their own platform (domain name) more often. The surprise if any is that folks are not satisfied with a single name – many of them opting for dozens of names to give them a greater measure of diversification and reach. While it’s heartbreaking to see PPC domain deals so uselessly implemented and mismanaged to the point of irrelevance, I see this as a huge disruptive opportunity.

Consider our present reality and imagine a world where error search intermediaries tried selling inactive domain names for thousand dollar commission checks rather than trying to subvert incorrect domain type-ins for nickels in traffic. Imagine entering an exact match domain name with the intention of navigating at the Google or Yahoo search-box (as we have all done) and then being served a small one-box result helping to facilitate the purchase of the name and it’s escrow.

While not every name will sell, there are sufficiently many which do in this multibillion dollar industry that double-digit percentage commissions could equate to 600 million a year in potential brokerage revenues. I think we will live to see some version of that. Or perhaps a second tier search engine which finally will get the religion that they can use domain name traffic as first-stage rocket-fuel to lift their property into homes around the world.

As complicated as the Internet seems to have become in the last 10 years, it is really very simple in that there are only 4 ways to get significant traffic (3 are legal), buy a meaningful generic domain name, create a property with a utility people will come for, bleed link traffic from another website with traffic or send spam email.

Perhaps it’s my older naïve thinking at work, but if the name sales and prices we see are indicative of anything it’s that there are still some high-minded people left in this world who haven’t been blinded by short-term greed and cashflows. There are still corporations and individuals out there who plan and invest for the long term, for permanence and lasting value. If the last 10 -20 years have taught us anything it’s that we can all do with more of those sorts of folks. That, and more beaches are always good.

This entry was posted by frankschilling on Thursday, August 12th, 2010 at 12:12 AM and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Arbel Arif says:

    Great Post Frank, Thank you.

    I like the pic in the end :-)

  2. You know we don’t intercept or even have a category for “parked” domains, right?

    I’ve no idea how you could have what you think happened to you happen to you. We don’t show our guide pages on registered domains.

    In other words, I’m not the enemy you seek. But otherwise somewhat decent post, even if I disagree.

    -David Ulevitch

    ***FS*** Really not seeking any enemy.. I was in a hotel and typed a parked name using isp such as wayport and got the OpnDNS lander. I will post the screenshot as a follow up when I get a recreation. Not just OpenDNS of course there are many others

  3. Bonkers says:

    Did you take the pic on the last photo yourself? or stock photo?

    I hope everything is going well for you, outside of business, I am going to take your advice in about 2 months for the wellness check over at mayo.

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Todd Mintz, keith carasco. keith carasco said: The ERROR is in the Details [...]

  5. Domain Sales says:

    Great ending with the beach, nice sand. Greed is born out of necessity, desperation. I do see quite a few changes lately that remind me of the early internet, default pages on searches, error page forwarding. Twitter is no different than the old FFA pages that were everywhere. The big search engines wiped them from there serps, the same will happen again. Facebook at least has some value and usefulness. In these cases greed would be smart, take the money and run that they have been offered, the internet could change, what people favor and they could disappear overnight. The Napster kid is a great example of missing the money train. Like you always say, domains are here to stay, good domains will and should keep value.

  6. Troy says:

    Beautiful Frank… in more ways than one=)

  7. Mark says:

    Frank, off topic, this question is pestering my mind for quite some time. Imagine you are going to a car showroom. You cornered a model which you like most. Then the dealer comes close to you and murmurers something in your ears which leaves you shocked. He says something like, “Since your father has already owned of a car, your application to own a car yourself has been rejected. Your only option is to pay 100 times premium price and drive yourself one”. I know its all BS, and it never happens in real world, but wait.

    Now imagine the year is 2030, a fresh entrepreneur drops out of college in his 20s. He wants to start a business and he needs a decent dot com. If all the dot coms in the world are already taken, where do he start? Where will he get the premium when he has not even started his business? Which VC will trust him to pay the premium just for the name alone? Do you honestly think Steve had $1,000,000 for getting a domain like when he dropped out of college? Doesn’t a good domain like that took a little pressure off him while he branded his company?

    I think domains are the only thing the future generation is going to get provoked on the present generation, because trust me, this place is already wiped out. May be oil comes second. And 50 years from now, the greatest companies in this world are going to be dkfjle, wdkjte & posmfv because that’s all the names which are left, and ofcourse it depends on some readers here who don’t book them too. rant

  8. Dave says:

    Error pages don’t lead to repeat visitors, but then again, neither do parking pages. Any plans to create repeat visitors yourself, Frank, by building out? Or are you strictly trying to sell at this point?

  9. Joe says:

    Hi Frank, congrats on the article, I liked it, but I liked the picture more! :)

  10. OpenDNS actually *does* have a category for “parked domains.” Go to Settings, Web Content Filtering, and then “Customize” and one can view every category that can be filtered, one of which is “Parked Domains.”

  11. Bjorn says:

    @Mark: Do you really think Sergey and Larry whined about that the domain where so expensive that they where forced to make something up instead like They did pretty good anyway?
    Or Twitter, Facebook etc.

  12. Ed Muller says:


    Not every name is taken, just every name that people feel entitled to is taken. So what if you have to start off your business as for a few years until you get a leg up and can afford Or forward 20 years and you are buying either or…or Great.Bakery

    What’s the difference between this and not being able to open a store on Madison Avenue on your first day? No one is entitled to anything. Not even a domainer. Everyone works hard to accomplish a goal and just because can’t be bought for less than 50 million in 20 years doesn’t mean there’s a revolution in the air.

  13. Jeremy says:

    I like the ends in the pic. ;-)

  14. Frank, Keep ‘em coming Frank. Good post, got me thinking.

    The current quest to “steal” internet traffic remindes me of cable companies wanting to build their own Internet for subscribers. This has been going on in one form or another since the Internet began.

    Grabbing error traffic ought to be illegal. It deprives the user to further seek out the site and sends them on a journey designed to sidetrack their Internet use at that moment. Me thinks the phrase “error traffic” has expanded to “captured traffic”.

    I think it is similar to a man on the sidwalk in front of my store hawking goods and other stores to my customers. Down right rude and disrespctable. I would call the cops if talking to him didn’t work. And if the city gave him a permit to do this they would be hearing from me.

    The big lobbists for cable and telephone companies are at it again trying to get the feds to allow them to take part of the pipe and priortize traffic on it. That is just the same dance, different dress. Now comes upstream hijacking. What will the “missed the boat” folks think of next?

    The Internet must remain open and that also means no hijacking users.

    2.5 cents worth.

  15. Meyer says:

    Comcast steals traffic all of the time.
    A penny here, a penny there, all of sudden it totals into
    the millions.

    I guess that is why they could afford to buy NBC and Universal

  16. owen frager says:

    “in fact, we are now at the point in the domain business where traffic sales are a sideshow to the deals which happen for the names themselves.”

    Smartest observation you’ve ever expressed.

  17. says:

    Hope Malibu treated you right… and thanks for another great blog post. Looking forward to the next one! Thanks Frank!

  18. Hi Frank – we all listen, but you know that. I liked that comment that you “couldn’t afford to live in Malibu”, lol.

    @Mark – I’ve been pushing Future Trend Domains since 2006 — research new trends, services, products, technologies and try to find what generic terms would describe those trends you think will explode. Work a little, you can get a six figure domain name for $8. I have.

    BTW – Frank – the last photo, while interesting because I saw my wife on the right, is not going to endear female marketing executives to your article. Lots of great points, and your comments section has guys talking about the last photo… *sigh*

  19. Anunt says:

    Domain names are going to be worthless very soon!

    More and more people are going to to find things rather than directly typing in a domain name….also, more and more people are using apps!

    Why do you think Frank has started to sell domain names…he knows that traffic is decreasing daily because more and more people are going to and using apps, etc…..he can easily see this downtrend in PPC Income and traffic with his portfolio of more than 300,000+ domains that he owns.

    Most of you guys own less than 1000 to 2000 domains and cant see this trend quite clearly like he can.

    My Advice: Follow the big money…if he sells, its probably a good time to sell.

    People on this comment board talking about 10 or 20 years from now…trust me, domains will be worthless by then…they will have a new way of searching…and nowhere to type a domain name…look at the ipad, it doesnt even have a keyboard or a mouse…they already doing stuff thru apps which we never imagined…and you guys here talking about domain names in 20 to 50 yrs from now…there will be no such thing as a domain name…LOL

    A beach will always be a beach…but a domain name will NOT always be a domain name!

    ***FS*** You and I will be gone LONG BEFORE domain names Anut. I am still aquiring more names than I sell and I am selling the odd name as I am getting older bro. Traffic volumes are flat, not down dramatically and the iPad has a .com key in their browser keyboard, not something Apple would do for a dying format. Google is an index for (you guessed it) domain names and the biggest dollar sales I have made this year were to appmakers :) The downtrend in PPC you’re correct about so if you own 1000 names or if you own 100,000 and somebody comes to you offering 100k for a single domain name which gets low multiples, you should probably sell. Thanks for your comment. I predict you wil;l live to pay 100k for a domain name.

  20. Danno says:

    Hey Frank,

    I went through “Malibu” about 5:45 am Wed Aug 11th…went just north of ‘Pepperdine University’…to ‘Leo Carrillo State Beach And Campground’

    Did a 2+ hour 2000 feet hike…went to the beach for about 40 minutes, water temp was 57-58…it felt good after a “Hike”…but it was petty cold to enjoy for anything else without a wetsuit.

    Very nice little “surf break” there…it just goes “right”…lot of surfer’s in the water (wet…it was breaking pretty good.

    Very strange summer here this year.



    Congrats on lottery .net


    “I am always “7miles behind you at least”…LOL

    You beat me to by about 7 months not ‘miles’: 3dconcerts .com which is really nice domain name…(for

    I cannot believe the person that owns 3dconcert .com (reg it in 2005…did reg both)

    Yours is better IMHO


    If you are any “FS” followers are interested…this is/has happen faster than I thought. (news just came out today)

    ” Fujifilm Introduces Camera That Can Shoot HD 3D movies”


    I had been doing battle in this thread where I thought “3D” was going: (35 pages long…this starts at last , most current page)

    It sure is smart of you to post your “Last Photo” …well last..or no one would be reading your blog post…LOL

    Very nice…post ending photos indeed!

    Always The Best,


    BTW: Frank…Any thoughts on ’3D’ domain names you care to share?

  21. Josh says:

    I started in domains in Thanksgiving of 1999. Back then, Great Domains was hotter than a two-petered-puppy. I started selling the bulk of my portfolio in late 2006/early 2007 and finished a few days before 2008. I sold for a lot of specific reasons, the summary reason being I did not believe domain type-in traffic as a form of search was sustainable.

    After surveying and researching my domains’ traffic, I discovered a very clear ratio: the more Internet-educated the surfer, the less likely they were to type in a domain name as a form of search. The longer a person has been on the Internet, the more likely they were to use a search engine like Google. (Obviously excluded from this conclusion is typo domains or domains where the visitor is trying to reach a website similar to a developed website).

    I came to the conclusion that in order for type-in traffic to continue to grow, we would have to continue to see exponential growth in Internet users. And that cannot happen forever because at some point, we reach Internet household saturation.

    Although my traffic was still growing, when I factored in how many new people were entering the Internet, my traffic was actually shrinking. Positive growth as raw numbers, but negative growth when I factored in the overall growth of the internet population. As less and less people enter the internet and the existing internet population becomes more internet-savy, we’ll less and less type-in traffic as a form of search (excluding typos, someone seeking the plural of your singular, etc.)

    Another concern was that Google was/is the 800 pound gorilla and there are precious few other ways of monetizing most domains through ppc. Yahoo is one of the few options but how much longer will they be a serious option and how much lower will their ppc fall, as Google continues to dominate them?

    And yet another (paranoid) concern was that what if a major ISP (like Comcast) decided to replace ppc landers with their own form of advertising. You say, “oh a change that drastic could never happen”. Really? I was in domains before Google or Yahoo had entered ppc, and in fact both looked down their noses at the concept of pay for position listings as something respectable search engines just didn’t do. Times change and the domain times are a changin’.

    Don’t misunderstand me, however. Unlike some, I’m not saying that domains will have no value ANY time soon. They clearly will, specifically for a good domain’s sake, one that is easily spoken and spelled and indexed in Google. But the easy, glory days of the ppc traffic that I enjoyed from 2000 on was coming to an end (and it still is in my view).

    So if the easy days of endless traffic was coming to an end, and ppc was/is going in the tank, and you must give your visitors a reason to return (because you do not have an endless supply), then that means domains will have to be developed, each into a business. And that’s a whole lot harder than ppc lander pages because it involves a business plan for each domain. I’ve watched countless others try and fail at development, as have I. And by development, I don’t mean a lead generation site, a front-end for an affiliate site with pretty graphics, showing goods or services from someone’s wholesale database on your site, etc. A few domainers have succeeded in this area, but their numbers are indeed few.

    For me, it was time for me to start taking the very attractive offers on the table for specific domains as well as groups of domains, and move on to other ventures. To each their own, but to deny that domains and longevity of their traffic sources are not fundamentally changing is liking sticking one’s head in the proverbial sand.

  22. Danno says:

    Hi again…

    Sorry I was “off topic” in my post above…but I hope it was at least interesting and/or helpful to someone.


    I forgot…

    This “OpenDNS parking page hijacks” have been happening to me over the past month a lot. (always the same company/url)

    “Google” seems to be really infected…as it has not happen to me yet on any other search engine.

    You seem to click on a legitimate website link in Google and it “redirects you to a “parking ad page”….but it will only do it one time.

    If you go back and click on the same website link…it takes you to the correct website page.

    I had the hijacking URL written down…. but I have looked for the past 45 minutes and have not found it yet.

    I will let you know when I find it…


  23. Graham says:

    Man I hate those error pages. You make a typo, hit enter then go to correct the spelling and the URL bar changes and you have to type the whole thing again. Nothing short of plain old rudeness diverting an URL.

    Frank I’ve been meaning to ask you have you kept stats of how your assets grew? I still can’t figure out how you did it! Say you started with $100K and reached $100M in 4 years. Let’s use an exponential model, you doubled your assets and income 10 times in 4 years (2^10 = 1024), so you consistently bought domains for 5 months revenue (10 X 5 months = 4 years)! Or did you get a cash cow early on which allowed you to make a lot more purchases? A graph or two would be great!

  24. Chirag says:

    It allowed private equity guys to pump companies like yours full of debt so they could flip them to the public markets. This leveraging came during a period when population growth (the number of new consumers born) began to stagnate.

  25. Dan says:

    FOUND IT….

    Frank Here is The URL ~ That will take the pace of a Legitimate site once ~ then it must make note of your IP address.

    Because, if you click on the site your trying to go to… it then goes to the correct site.


    It looks like they are ‘trying to fly below the radar”…no one is going to complain if it just happens once to them
    from on click on that site.

    very sneaky…

    Almost 99.999% sure this URL has no virus or malware…but I would be still be a bit careful with it.

    ( I went on it nad it looks like a PPC Search Engine…and had no problem with virus or malware )


    I have hit their PPC page maybe 15+ times over the last month…doing searches that run from A=Z that have no relation to each other as far as subjrct matter and ‘clicking on real websites listed at the top of Google….so their “reach” …seems to be wide and far.

    These “Thieves” are pretty sophisticated…

    Here is the site I have hit every time.

    http://www.infomash .org


    (The .com shows a Moscow reg ~ the .net shows a GB Reg…I do not know if they are connected in some way or not)

    ***Note: I did NOT go to the .com or .net site(s)*** to worry at least one of the will come up “Virus city ~ Malware… etc


    Domain ID:D156870325-LROR
    Domain Name:INFOMASH.ORG
    Created On:13-Aug-2009 15:57:04 UTC
    Last Updated On:15-Mar-2010 00:22:38 UTC
    Expiration Date:13-Aug-2011 15:57:04 UTC
    Sponsoring Registrar:Tucows Inc. (R11-LROR)
    Registrant ID:tuWP7yxZL1UTgF5X
    Registrant Name:Julian Mountford
    Registrant Organization:Nixxie Ltd
    Registrant Street1:Golden Cross House
    Registrant Street2:No 8, Duncannon street
    Registrant Street3:
    Registrant City:London
    Registrant State/Province:
    Registrant Postal Code:WC2N4JF
    Registrant Country:GB
    Registrant Phone:+44.7766867788
    Registrant Phone Ext.:
    Registrant FAX:
    Registrant FAX Ext.:
    Admin ID:tu5yMVBLo01qw0Pp
    Admin Name:Julian Mountford
    Admin Organization:Nixxie Ltd
    Admin Street1:Golden Cross House
    Admin Street2:No 8, Duncannon street
    Admin Street3:
    Admin City:London
    Admin State/Province:
    Admin Postal Code:WC2N4JF
    Admin Country:GB
    Admin Phone:+44.7766867788
    Admin Phone Ext.:
    Admin FAX:
    Admin FAX Ext.:
    Tech ID:tuHGV59QesrnDRxF
    Tech Name:Julian Mountford
    Tech Organization:Nixxie Ltd
    Tech Street1:Golden Cross House
    Tech Street2:No 8, Duncannon street
    Tech Street3:
    Tech City:London
    Tech State/Province:
    Tech Postal Code:WC2N4JF
    Tech Country:GB
    Tech Phone:+44.7766867788
    Tech Phone Ext.:
    Tech FAX:
    Tech FAX Ext.:
    Name Server:NS.123-REG.CO.UK
    Name Server:NS2.123-REG.CO.UK
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:




    BTW: My apologies to Stephen Douglas …I have been ‘staring’ at his wife’s ass in the “photo” for too much time the past couple days…LOL ( on the right )

    But it is nice to see OUR wives….getting along so well! ( mine being on the ( “left’)

  26. David says:

    Most all domains lose traffic due to errors. However, you can configure your server, htaccess, and 404 files to capture a good percentage of your error traffic. It’s always surprising to me how often that’s not beeing done.

  27. Steroids UK says:

    I must make at least 20 url typos per day how on earth did they get a average figure of just 8 a month ?

  28. LS Morgan says:

    If I own a rib shack and a marketing man promises he can divert tour buses full of vegetarians to my location, what good does that do me?

    Sure, my door count goes up… Maybe one or two of them has a sense of humor and buys a tee-shirt, once in a blue moon, but no matter how many of them he sends me, the sales of my core business does not change.

    In my opinion, error traffic is garbage. There is very little articulable user intent built in to it, which is the entire point of businesses paying for eyeballs in the first place. It has virtually no meaningful lead generation potential.

    Businesses are starting to ‘get it’ as far as online marketing goes. The big ones already do, the midsized operations are rapidly catching up and even small business intuitively understands that clicks absent sales aren’t worth much to their bottom line, even if they don’t use complicated ROI and conversion formulas to arrive at that conclusion. Just as consumers are getting more sophisticated with their online consuming habits, so are merchants. They don’t want ‘clicks’. They want sales. Most error traffic doesn’t offer the filtration for user intent that type-ins or search navigation does.

    I’ve never viewed domains as click vehicles, anyway. They’re the basis for businesses and the further you travel inward towards keyword purity, industry relevance and definitiveness, the more they’re worth to industry participants, regardless of how many curiosity navigators they receive and irrespective of how many times those people click. It all boils down to qualitative, human stuff that is far more meaningful than multiples of monthly PPC earnings. In that organic mish-mash is where the ‘value’ lies.

    … but on a more important note, I would like to say that the concluding photo this post wasn’t nearly as good as the last one. Boobies are much better than bottoms.

  29. Nice to see you writing again Frank.