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In depth articles on domains, the domain industry and how investors can get the most from their assets.

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How to do a Domain Traffic Test - Assembling the Data

When I was speaking at NamesCon in January I said that I would like to show the attendees the best computer game I’ve ever played. It has all the aspects of both a tactical and strategic game with a bit of time travel for good measure. Everyone leaned forward with expectation…

I then put Excel up on the big screen in the room. It’s safe to say there was a bit of laughter. Let’s think about it for a second, Excel allows us to answer questions about the performance of our domains like no other application can. We can view the past, compare it to the present and even predict the future.

Right now we are going to mobilise the data that we have arrayed from the previous articles in the series so that we can understand what is happening with our domain traffic. This will be a VERY high level view of our traffic test but I believe that it will help get some answers to our questions.

The first thing we need to do is to ensure that all of the baseline data is in the same currency as the testing monetisation source. Once this is done then we then need to convert everything to daily data. The reason why we need daily data is that it gets rid of the problems associated with 28/30/31 days in a month and also allows us to later compare the data against daily from the new testing source.

Next, create another tab in Excel and call this “Latest Data”. When capturing data make sure that you have multiples of 7 days so that any variability caused by the weekends can be minimised. All of this data needs to be brought back to a daily format so that we can then compare it to the baseline.

Make sure you check the DNS settings of EVERY domain in the test so that domains not pointed correctly can be removed. There’s no point in penalising a test by having domains with baseline data and no data from the testing source.

Now create a tab called “Analysis”. In this tab you need to add you complete list of domains in column A, Column B, C and D are for the baseline views, revenue and RPM. Columns E, F and G are for the new monetisation company’s views, revenue and RPM.

Now that the data is sorted out you are now in a position to conduct some analysis.

Tagged in: traffic test
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Posted by on in Personal Musings
Saturday Musings - It Is Finished!

I’ve finally completed the final rewrite of my debut science fiction book, Battleframe, in the Mindwars series. I’ve paid an editor to read the manuscript and mark any obvious errors. This should be completed later this week.......so hopefully it won't be long until I have my finished manuscript ready for publishing. Hooray!!!

My wife, Roselyn, happening to be sitting next to me at the time I and I turned to her and said, “It’s finally done.” I don’t know who was more relieved, her or me!

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It’s been a twenty month journey getting to this stage and it seems that the last 10% of the book has been the hardest and most time consuming to complete. For those of you that are wondering, Battleframe is around 110,000 words....it's a decent size.

So what has to happen now? After the editor comes back with any fixes (hopefully not too many) I’ll use a standard paperback template provided by Create Space (an Amazon company). I’ve already purchased my ISBN numbers so I’ll add them to the document for the electronic and the paperback version of the book.

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Tagged in: battleframe mindwars
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  • Nuno Oliveira
    Nuno Oliveira says #
    Congratulations Michael! What about the domains? I did the opposite, bought the domain for my book 11 years ago but never finished
How to do a Domain Traffic Test – Paying Attention to the Right Number

In the previous articles in this series I discussed the importance of baseline data and what you should be measuring. I’m now about to dive into the most important metric that you can ever use to evaluate the success of a traffic test, the normalised revenue per thousand visitors.

I want to apologise to all those readers where mathematics isn’t your strength….that’s OK. I will try and make this article as simple as possible so that it gets across the point.

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Many domain owners have learned to pay attention to the revenue per thousand visitors (RPM) that is produced by the various parking companies. The reason for this is that it takes into consideration the variation in the traffic levels for each domain. So really what is RPM? The formula for RPM is the following:

Revenue / visitors x 1000

This makes sense until you get under the both revenue and visitors. For a start, visitors is actually filtered traffic and since each parking company filters traffic differently than this number changes for each company. Another way of viewing visitors is:

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Tagged in: nlRPM normalised RPM
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Saturday Musings - How to Always Win

My daughter Elise had her first game of netball for the season on Saturday. For those of you that don’t know what netball is, it’s like basketball with no backboard and you can’t dribble. She played brilliantly and the whole team just seemed to come together so they ended up winning.

I’ve heard many parents (myself included) fall into the trap of saying to their children. Winning isn’t important, it’s the fact that you play the game. There is a certain amount of truth to this statement but if winning isn’t important for the little darlings then why do we keep score? As parents, we think that are kids are so stupid that they don’t realise the fallacy of our encouragement.

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The fact is that in life winning IS important. It’s important because it inspires you to try harder, push the limits and think through problems.

Could you imagine if Alexander Fleming, who developed the antibiotic penicillin, just pottered along rather than strive to do something that had never been done before? Or how about, Gordon Moore that developed the first microprocessor with Andy Grove at Intel. My guess is that we’d all still be on 4 bit computers.

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  • Michael Gilmour
    Michael Gilmour says #
    Thanks for that Aaron! I bet you that all the kids are keeping score no matter what the parents are doing. Maybe there is an oppor
  • Michael Gilmour
    Michael Gilmour says #
    You've got to be kidding! I didn't know that......does this mean that they won't have to keep score in the rest of their life?

Posted by on in Domain Industry
Interview on Domain Masters Radio

I just had a great time with Jonathan Tenenbaum and Scott Pruitt from Domain Masters radio. In the show we covered a huge range of topics, starting with my own personal story and how I entered the domain industry. It took me down memory lane and caused me to reflect a little on the journey over the last 14 years.

We then moved on to how to extract the most value from domain traffic. Times have changed in doing this, you can no longer just pick the gold up from the ground. I relate how ParkLogic is like drilling a mineshaft three miles down to find the seam of gold for each domain.

We finally discussed domain development and how it's so important to start with a business model and move on from there. Many people start with building a website and then try to make money....it's the wrong direction to head.

I want to thank Jonathan and Scott for the opportunity to be a part of the show. They do a great job! Here are the links to the live cast and the archive.

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Posted by on in Personal Musings
Looking for Work….

My son, Timothy is looking for work and I suggested he may like to write content for websites. If you need of an incredibly talented writer that can write articles on just about any topic then I’d highly recommend him.

Timothy is half way through a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in performance and writing. For the past couple of months he’s been working on his first novel that is based upon his experiences when he took a “gap year” from studying last year. He plans on publishing the book later this year.

Please contact me here (and I’ll connect you with Tim) if you have need of an excellent writer that is prepared to work on a fixed fee per article basis. Below are a few pages from his novel that feature his unique flare for writing.

 

Extract from the first few pages of Tim's Book

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Tagged in: timothy
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Posted by on in Personal Musings
Saturday Musings - It's My Birthday!

Tomorrow is my birthday! I find I’m so privileged to lead a life that is exciting, at times challenging but always interesting. As I breathe the fresh air of another year I think that this one’s going to be absolutely awesome. Why is that?

For a start, my wife has given me an absolutely brilliant present….time to finish my scifi book “Battleframe”. Today is the day that I really do hope to finish the final read through and then it’s off to be published. Feel free to visit my author’s website at michaelgilmour.com to register and get the announcement when you can buy it on Amazon. :-)

The domain business is booming! My domain management company, ParkLogic, is experiencing really rapid growth and at long last we are nearly at the end of an 18 month development cycle. I’m so looking forward to seeing the new platform in action.

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Those items above are great but do you know what’s even better? My family is all home and the love of my wife and kids is really what spurs me onwards. Tim is saving up to go travel through Europe, Sarah is studying to become a film/tv makeup artist and Elise is nearing the end of high school (Dad’s helping her with maths).

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Tagged in: birthday
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Michael Gilmour
    Michael Gilmour says #
    Thank you for your kind comments. They are really appreaciated.
  • Altaf
    Altaf says #
    Wish you a very Happy Birthday Michael. You are one of the wonderful persons the world has ever produced. We all wish you a very b
How to do a Domain Traffic Test – What are you measuring?

“What are you measuring” seems like an obvious question when you are conducting a traffic test with a new monetisation company. From experience, most people get the answer to this question completely wrong.

When you are running a traffic test you are NOT seeing if you can earn more money. This may sound strange but it’s the simple truth. What you should be actually measuring is the capabilities of the new company to optimise your traffic for a better result. More money (although important) is merely a by-product of the optimisation activity.

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For example, we recently had a client place their domains with ParkLogic for optimisation and as time went by we just couldn’t beat their numbers. In fact, it seemed that the more effort that we put into the optimisation the worse thing became.

It was at this time that I had an epiphany (ie. a brainwave!). It just so happened that the client provided their baseline data in Euros from back in August and we were being benchmarked against these numbers. Since the ParkLogic system uses $USD we dutifully converted the baseline data from Euros to $USD when we received it.

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How to do a Domain Traffic Test – Baseline Data

Doing properly structured domain traffic tests are absolutely critical to extracting the complete value from your domain traffic. What it also means that you need to get down and dirty into the numbers to really understand what’s going on. I’m going to unpack what I mean by this and how we typicaly conduct traffic tests at ParkLogic.

First of all, let me say that doing a properly constructed traffic test is not for the faint hearted and is NEVER as simple as changing a nameserver.

Escrow.com

I was speaking with a domain owner that has been in the industry for many years and still believes that changing the nameservers for their domains is how you start a traffic test. It’s one step in a larger plan and is rarely done straight away.

The first stage in any test is to establish what you are measuring against. For example if all of the domains are currently parked at Company A then the least you need to do is download the last months data to benchmark the success or failure of the test. This set of data is known as the baseline.

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Posted by on in Personal Musings
The Road Less Travelled

Each one of us is travelling on our life’s road. Sometimes it feels like the open freeway and you’ve got your right foot firmly planted on the accelerated while other times you feel like your four wheel driving and dodging potholes.

In my own life I’ve had many off-road journeys and most of them were times that I really don’t want to repeat. For example, I woke up one day to discover that I was not going to be paid $1.5 million that I was due. That was a moment that I’ll never forget… When I look at my time in the domain industry I must admit that I feel like it’s been the open road the whole way…..got to love domains!

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In my times in Los Angeles I’ve learned a number of things about getting from point A to point B. It’s either 20 minutes or 3 hours, depending upon the traffic. If your life feels like you’re in the middle of an LA traffic jam and every light seems to be red then this is my recommendation.

Take the road less travelled. Take the side streets and back streets….don’t stay in the jam. In other words, if you can’t get through your problems then go around them.

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Tagged in: road
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Richard St Cyr
    Richard St Cyr says #
    Very important to stop and take a hard look at your journey ! It was nice meeting you at NamesCon you were sitting on a sofa when
  • Michael Gilmour
    Michael Gilmour says #
    Richard, it was great catching up with you as well! The trip back was as good as can be expected for traveling 15 hours in a tin c
  • Eric Borgos
    Eric Borgos says #
    Great posting!
  • Michael Gilmour
    Michael Gilmour says #
    Thanks for that Eric!
  • Michael Gilmour
    Michael Gilmour says #
    I wish that I was Joe!