Typosquatting A Growth Industry

from the your-ad-heer dept

Some people have noticed that there are sites on the web that — gasp — attempt to profit from people’s typos by buying domain names that are common misspellings of popular sites, then putting Google ads on them. This then becomes Google profits from your typo”, with the implication being that the company’s doing something nefarious, or possibly even infringing trademarks. The trademark claim is pretty silly, since it’s pretty hard to imagine many people being confused into thinking a typosquatting site like hmoedepot.com is the actual homedepot.com site it’s aping. In any case, the space is attracting a lot of attention from companies who say the sites can function as additions to search engines. One such company, led by an ex-chairman of Facebook, has raised $120 million in venture capital, and is buying up more generic domains (like “flashgame.com”) and filling them with ads and cheap content. This company, or at least its investors, is attempting to distance itself from typosquatters, saying it is “trying to liberate these domains from the cybersquatters and actually put them to good use.” There’s no doubt that these companies are grabbing low-hanging fruit, but the bigger issue, particularly for typosquatters, is that their business could get stamped out, either by misguided trademark lawsuits, or by technology. VeriSign, for one, has a service that seeks to stamp out domain typos, while others like Microsoft are also working on solutions. For Google, any uproar over this latest accusation of evil just adds to its laundry list of potential PR problems, following spats over its role in tracking users for free WiFi, and its entry into China.

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Comments on “Typosquatting A Growth Industry”

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Anonymous Bum (user link) says:

Attorney don't help either

I registered Montster.com so I could get the email mont@montster.com . Unfortunately Monster.com didn’t agree with me having the domain name and issued a C+D and demanded I turn over the domain name. Granted I was sending traffic to their competitors but only because they didn’t have an affiliate program.

After many threatening letters from Monster’s attorneys I decided to ignore them and eventually let the domain expire. Many have bought and sold the domain since, being followed by Monster’s attorneys.

Scum of the earth have used my old domain name to sell herballife on monster.com, install malware or other crap. Now there are job links and at the bottom there are more examples of typosquatting for teen porn.

If Monster hadn’t heavy handed me they might own the domain today. Instead they are pounding sand.

dosdawg (user link) says:

Its all Free Enterprise

I dont know what only google was mentioned on this, as its applicable to all search engines. The robots as human emulators, may be too good, as most humans are prone to error, the robot cares not what the exact spelling of any given word would be. This is not some feeble attempt from google, GET OFF THEIR CASE, only the jealous continue on this path. I do SEO work, google is the hardest to optimize for, but once you get in there, you are there. If domains were ordered and reviewed, and a period of time was needed for approval of the name, say something like 48 hours so the intent on the site could be examined, then cyber squatting would not be here. there are always a few bad apples that create these issues, and if you do some research, you will find that most who are doing this type of site, are not even in this country, but they are still allowed to purchase .com names.

Topher3105 (profile) says:

Google sucks

I had a website and made the mistake of enabling Google Ads on it while I was developing it. Through contant previews and testing of the website, Google claimed I was inflating my click through rates and thus banned me from being part of their program. I generated $.53 woth of revenue in one week and was banned for abusing Google Ads! Can you believe it?

Yet, Google contantly allows crap websites that are nothing more then ad portals to proliferate on the web. How many parked pages and “mis-typed” websites are generating thousands of Google Ad dollars and offer no real service. These people are blatantly violating Googles rules and regulations and yet are allowed to continue in the program.

The simple fact is, ANY website generating enough hits is worthy for Google to whore themselves on. My little website, despite milking Google out of a whopping $.53 wasn’t big enough for Google to care about. They banned me after a review because, simply put, it wasn’t worth their while to keep ads on a website that wasn’t showing any traffic flow (um, because it was new maybe?). Instead, a website that has thousands of misdirected hits is worthy enough to keep on Google’s Ad program, because it just increases Google’s revenue generating ad exposure.

How many garbage websites are ranked number 1 simply because they paid Google enough money to be ranked above legit websites. Almost every sponsored link is just some spam generating BullSh*t phishing website.

I don’t believe in an instant that Google “Does no evil”. They target legit websites for violating their rules and regulations and blatantly overlook those crap sites that are abusing them left, right and center simply because they do, after all, having significant traffic flow, enough for Google to keep them running. Google is promoting nefarious web activity and is funding spam and phishing websites by completely ignoring any website that pays enough money or generate enough hits.

RareButSeriousSideEffects says:

Yeah, but if only...

…I could opt out of seing parked / squatted / typo domains in my search results.

Soon enough someone’ll roll such a “domain reputation” filter, I’m sure. Until then, it’s Firefox + the RollYo extension for me. Who has time to read “All the best DRM everything” and “Your one-stop source for copyright infringement” sites all day long?

Mick K (user link) says:

Here is a tool against typosquatting


– Type your company domain name into the input field below
– Choose the root domain from the drop down list below
– Choose the types of typos you want to be investigated
– Click “Search” and wait for a while
The system will generate the list of possible typos and misprints and tell you whether any domain names using these typos are already taken by other people.

Thanks IBCI Law Group

Mick K says:

Re: Here is a tool against typosquatting oops wron


– Type your company domain name into the input field below
– Choose the root domain from the drop down list below

– Choose the types of typos you want to be investigated

– Click “Search” and wait for a while

The system will generate the list of possible typos and misprints and tell you whether any domain names using these typos are already taken by other people.

Thanks IBCI Law Group

Phillip Kemp (user link) says:

I know why typos are so cool

I have a pretty substantial typo portfolio..
strawberrys.info = is a TYPO, for example.

*none are trademarked entities
* 3 targets have over 400 combinations of misspelling that i own. What ranks best, i then register EVERY domain extention available.

I also own hundreds of single real word domains. Still love typos. and after investing so much time and money and effort, you can register hundreds of combinations. run every generator etc and reg the lot. I know because i did.

if you want to get rid of typo squatters,
you need to get rid of dyslexia, or dyslexics. Learn yourself to spell, or just type a bit slower.

Why are typos so cool…
this forum is no1 on google
Google “tpyo sqauttres”

taken from:
BUBBA on May 1st, 2006 @ 11:04am
I tihnk “tpyo sqauttres” shuold eat siht.

eat that, bubbu

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