Fat Fingers, Cameroon's Latest Natural Resource

from the vowels-are-so-web-1.0 dept

Not to be outdone by its Nigerian neighbors, Cameroon has come up with a new way to make some money off the Net. Blessed with a fortunate top-level domain, .cm, the Cameroon registry redirects any unregistered .cm domain to a page full of ads, resulting in a slew of accusations of typo-squatting. Typosquatting is becoming quite popular lately, but this is the first instance of an entire top-level domain qualifying as typosquatting. It’s not, however, the first time a country has tried to capitalize on a fortunate top-level domain assignment. So, what to do? OpenDNS announced that its DNS service would allow users to filter out the .cm domain, which would then allow the typo-correction service that OpenDNS offers to kick in. Typo correction for registered domains is a slippery slope, so OpenDNS is approaching this with caution. Then again, OpenDNS makes money off ads on its error pages, so that’s money that might have gone to Cameroon. Ultimately, the winner of all of this jockeying is Google are contextual ad providers, who have ingeniously managed to cram ads into every last nook and crannie on the planet without having to look the least bit evil (updated to clarify).

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Comments on “Fat Fingers, Cameroon's Latest Natural Resource”

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Mike S. says:

Non Sequitur

I was with you until the google comment. WTF were you thinking? That has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of topic. It totally jarred me and I had to read the summary again to make sure I hadn’t missed anything.

Guess what? I hadn’t.

That google displays ads in exchange for its free services has absolutely nothing to do with a typo-squatting nation, and slightly less to do with a company that can redirect DNS entries to that nation’s websites.

C’mon, techdirt. You’re better than that. That was just a stupid attempt at a pithy comment.

David Ulevitch (user link) says:

Well actually...

We don’t just filter .cm domains — We just filter the wildcard. That means the domains that are real still work. We’re not gonna break the Internet dude. Please. 🙂

Oh, and Overture is running the ads on the wildcard page, not google. The internet ad world is fierce and as you see above, people get pedantic pretty frickin’ quick. You’re right though, Google and Overture kind of make the money no matter what.


Anonymous Coward says:

For those that don’t know, when google bought AdSense from Advance Semantics it also got DomainSense and mentioning Google in this story is right on the money as they are banking big time on this type of squatting 😉

Btw, GoDaddy is their biggest network for DomainSense 😉

Unfortunately DomainSense makes sense only to domains, very little to users and even less to advertisers…

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