Domain Traffic May Be Black Gold, but Domain Development is the Alchemist’s Stone

By on September 2, 2010

Frank Schilling published an editorial recently that was well received, even proclaimed to be the most important post of the year. I would like to respectfully disagree with that sentiment and provide my own perspective.

Frank crafted an interesting metaphor between the early days of oil drilling and the present day perception of direct navigation domain name traffic. Direct navigation is when people type in a domain name instead of doing a search. This type of traffic is extremely targeted. On most generic words it flows in daily by the barrel full.

The editorial did not necessarily apply to me personally because my domain names do not receive any significant amount of traffic. So dismal in fact, that I have stopped parking entirely. That’s the hard reality that many domainers who got their start around or after the .COM bubble or may not have capital to invest in generic domains.

However, hope is not lost for the countless domainers who do not have a steady supply of black gold.

Like the mythical Alchemist’s Stone that transmutes common metals into pure gold, we can transform virtually any domain name into a source of traffic by developing it.

Development through content creation, marketing and web design enables you to transform an “undiscovered” domain into vibrant virtual real estate. We can essentially create our own streams of traffic through a little hard work and know-how.

The future of our industry is heading towards web development, lead generation, affiliate marketing, direct advertising and paid content. Trade-in that parking account for a content management system and start working towards building your empire of truly developed websites.

I believe we can overcome the challenges and time-constraints to make this work by innovating and adopting the latest technologies. Quality websites built today will become the leading destinations of tomorrow.

About Mark Fulton

Mark is the Founder of DotSauce Magazine and a full time web developer, domain investor, SEO and online marketing professional residing in North Carolina, USA. Visit for information on freelance website development, SEO and consultation services.
  • Daddycou

    Excellent post. Spot on and applies to most of us.

  • Domaining365

    I read Frank’s article and I thoroughly enjoyed it…but I relate more to what you’re saying because my domain portfolio is not full of black gold gushers either (that type-in traffic we all love). I’m a rock hound and I’m used to seeing what others wouldn’t recognize as more than a hunk of stone be worked by a skilled lapidary into valuable gemstones. I approach domaining in much the same way. Take an undeveloped exact match keyword domain, cut it, add some facets, polish it up real nice and hey whadd’ya know…organic traffic that you can creatively monetize.

  • Rob Monster – Epik


  • Rh

    Mark good article but it really was not rebuffing Frank. Its apples and oranges. When Frank writes pieces like that there are only 50 people/organizations in the world who can relate.

  • Mark Fulton

    I should have chosen better wording. What I am “disagreeing” with in the first paragraph is the sentiment that his editorial is one of the most important posts for domainers. As you point out, very few people have high-traffic domains, which is what sparked my interest in writing this post. Thanks for your comment!

  • Mark Fulton

    I’m happy to see you relate. Keep up the dev work, creativity and active approach. Thanks for your comment.

  • Diane

    I think you are right on.

    I recently had to find the employee section of a local hospital website for a friend. When I put the exact name of the hospital into Google, I got many wrong hits…I did find her information on page 2 or 3. And every result that I clicked into was a BS parked page, no content, just endless lists of related links. It was very misleading and time consuming. Good thing it wasn’t an emergency.

    There are just some things that the general public/domainers shouldn’t be able to do…like parasite off a hospital…but many domainers morals are in their wallets and don’t care that they are creating a disservice. At some point the GP will catch on, if they haven’t already and when they click on a BS parked site, they will quickly leave it.

    This made me think about what I was doing with regards to my domaining. I am new to this area of business on the web(started focusing on domaining in Feb)…I am a web designer/master. I’ve been observing many domainers…good and bad. Learning lessons…

    Don’t get me wrong…between the process of buying a domain and development, I do park but I park at WhyPark because they provide articles for the viewers and I have a lot control over the domain. You should check it out.

    So back to my original statement…you are right on…website development is the key, that is why we are seeing places like Epik offering domain development so cheaply…I imagine you will see more and more of that.

    If you are interested in development and you are a DIY’r…take a look at the open sources available for free….Drupal, WordPress, Xoops, Joomla, osCommerce…there are many out there that really are very easy and very powerful.

    IMHO, A domain should be inviting, informative, easy to navigate and easy to read. Not cluttered with 6000 google links in all shapes and sizes. Nothing wrong with using google links but in moderation please.

    Enough of my 2 cents…thanks for a great article.


  • Krishan Kumar

    Good post,,

  • chris

    You just have to work for your traffic now, it’s very difficult to get direct traffic with many good domain names taken.

  • Joomla Development

    The post has rightly pointed out the problem along with its proper solution and is based particularly on experience rather then going by what other says.

  • web design company

    nice, really great work done by you. thanks carry on.