The dark side of the parking lot

    A team from Indiana University (USA) published a study on the dark side of domain parking. They studied the characteristics of the business in this area and found out how parking companies are involved in illegal activities.

    According to their findings, the activities of parking companies for most of the time is legal, but from time to time they use illegal methods to increase their income.

    To test companies, researchers registered domains, parked them, registered accounts for advertising with different companies and launched a “spider” that visited parked pages and collected the necessary information, but did not click on the links.

    Thus, the researchers received information on the results of 24 million visits to more than 100 thousand parked domains.

    The study identified three main problems:

    1. Winding up the number of clicks on the link (Click Fraud). The main problem was not that domain name owners click on their own ads. On the contrary, those advertising companies that researchers contacted to place ads on their pages required them to pay for click-through traffic that did not exist. This traffic was generated by their own "spider", which is configured so that it does not follow the links. It is interesting that in the largest advertising networks (Google and Bing) there are very few cases of cheating. Parking companies are likely to avoid making clicks on the domains hosted by them because Google and Bing have successfully uncovered such scams.

    2. Spam. When using the “zero click” serviceit was noticed that sites that were redirected to traffic from parked pages had nothing to do with keywords set by the domain owner.

    3. Theft of traffic. Domain investors often blame parking companies for not paying them for clicks. This problem exists, especially when using the zero click method. Researchers paid 7search advertising company for zero click traffic, but received no reward from the parking company. The fact is that if someone in the chain “traffic buyer –advertising company –parking company –parked domain” considers that the number of visits is winding up, he will not pay the domain owner, but the money will not be returned to the traffic buyer.

    It is worth noting here that we wrote about earlier -redirecting zero click traffic to dubious sites . According to the data, 3.7% of zero click users spread malicious traffic without even knowing it. This also harms the owners of parked domains themselves, as it leads to a decrease in their income.

    Most of the illegal activity was recorded by anonymous parking companies, which appear in the report as PS1, PS2, PS5 and PS6. For legal reasons, their names are not disclosed, but researchers note that they can be "guessed" based on information about the advertising networks with which they collaborate.


    We also note that in the report, the researchers disclose that PS6 is a service of TeamInternet, which also owns the DNTX network, which receives complaints about the very poor compliance of zero click traffic with the target audience.

    We also provide statistics on the number of parked domains.


    The names Above, Rook Media, Fabulous, and Internet Traffic are not classified, as they are not anonymous.

    Also popular now: