Domainmonster.com Domain Editorials
You type in what you think is the domain name of a particular site, but instead you find yourself at a generic-looking page with a lot of links relevant to the actual site you were looking for. Often there is an offer to buy the domain name as well. This is a "parked" domain. Perhaps you mistyped the site address, or you appended the wrong top-level domain; someone has realised that this was likely to happen, and has registered this misnomer and had it resolve to a "parked" page.
Domain parking can be extremely lucrative, and if you're in the business of registering Domain Names which look like they might be valuable, but aren't sure what to do with them in the meantime, parking them can be a good idea. Sites like Sedo.com offer a domain parking service, which generates the page with the pay-per-click links on it that redirect the visitor to other sites which might be relevant. You could also set up your own parked page, and just put pay-per-click ads on it of your own. The benefit is that you don't have to do anything – if people visit and click, you've made a profit, and if they don't, you haven't lost anything (unless you paid for the parking service, of course).
Another form of domain parking is registering a domain that you know people are likely to type instead of your actual domain name, and having it redirect to your site. This is a sensible idea if you are concerned that you are losing type-in traffic because of confusion over your domain name.
Domain parking was conducted on a huge scale by the .com registry company VeriSign, between 15th September and 4th October 2003. Every unregistered .com address redirected to a VeriSign "web portal" with information about VeriSign products and services. There was much objection to this practice, and VeriSign was forced to stop. (Technically, this was employment of a Wildcard DNS record, which is a record in the DNS zone file that will match any requests for non-existent domain names.)
By Natalie Catchpole