How Cybersquatters Make Money from Your Children’s and Your Own Innocent FlubsWritten by Anti Spam League.org
Getting clicks and traffic by accident appears to be big business. And by ‘big’ I mean worth MILLIONS of dollars! While typosquatting is unfortunately not a new online marketing practice, its use and, moreover, its ABUSE has grown significantly and exponentially since 2000. Cybersquatting means registering, trafficking in or using a domain name with intent to profit in bad faith from goodwill of a trademark that belongs to someone else. It commonly refers to practice of buying up domain names that use incorporate names of existing businesses with intent to sell names for a profit to those businesses. The term derives from squatting, practice of building some kind of home or dwelling or in some way using someone else's landed property without their permission. Typosquatting, although very similar to cybersquatting, has a slightly different, but much more serious purpose: it is employed by people who want to divert traffic to their websites. Typosquatters typically purchase a domain name that is a variation of a popular domain name with expectation that some of traffic for original web site will stray to theirs by capitalizing on web surfers´ misspellings of those popular domain names. How can large companies, with all their IT experts, not foresee something like this happening? How come they allow tons of opportunistics to make revenue every time innocent Internet users mistype original brandnames or trademarks? The answer is, cybersquatting originated at a time when most businesses were not savvy about commercial opportunities on Internet. Since opportunities like these rarely knock on one’s door more than once, these so-called ‘entrepreneurs’ reserved and registered domain names corresponding to names of well-known businesses with intent of selling names back to companies when they finally woke up. Commercial domain names are obtained from companies that are authorized to ensure that a domain name you want is unique (no one else already has it) and issue it to you if it is. However, these registries make no attempt to determine whether domain name is one that rightfully ought to go to someone else. The principle is ‘First come, first served.’ Panasonic, Fry's Electronics, Hertz and Avon were among first targets of cybersquatters. Well-known products, sports and political figures and other celebrities are also among victims. Today,, although practice itself is growing, opportunities for cybersquatters are rapidly diminishing, because most businesses now know that nailing down domain names is a top priority. Although trademark laws may offer some protection, it is often cheaper to buy domain name from cybersquatter than it is to sue for its use: these processes cost money, and though you may be able to recover your costs and attorney fees if you win, there is no guarantee; it's completely up to judge. Among some of most famous examples of domains resold by cybersquatters to companies are; WallStreet.com for over $1 million, AltaVista.com for $3.5 million and unprecedented $7.5 million paid for Business.com, all in 1999. Cybersquatters may also regularly comb lists of recently expired domain names, hoping to sell back name to a registrant who inadvertently let their domain name expire. How do you know if domain name you want is being used by a cybersquatter? As a general rule, first check to see if domain name takes you to a legitimate website. If it takes you to a website that appears to be functional and reasonably related in its subject matter to domain name, you probably are not facing a case of cybersquatting. But if you own a trademark and find that someone is holding it hostage as a domain name until you pay a large sum for it, you may be victim of cybersquatting. You can sue to get your domain name -- and possibly some money damages -- under a 1999 federal law known as Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act or you can initiate arbitration proceedings under authority of Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and win name back without expense and aggravation of a lawsuit. The ICANN arbitration system is considered by trademark experts to be faster and less expensive than suing under ACPA, and procedure does not require an attorney.
Typosquatting, however, is a much more dangerous practice because it is commonly used by pornographers. Typosquatting is based on probability that a certain number of Internet users will mistype name of a web site (or its URL) when browsing web. Typosquatters usually register several possible typos for a brand name or web site known for its high traffic, then monitor to see how many clicks per day each of their typo domain names receives, and finally use information to sell advertising for web sites that receive a high volume of accidental traffic. Ironically, advertising revenue might come from selling ads to original site's competitors or by providing redirect pages to related products or services.
Is your domain costing you traffic?Written by Nicholas Dixon
You visited a great website some time ago that had some fantastic information on it. It is not easily found in search engines results so you decide to type domain name into your favorite browser. The problem is that url spells out something like www.keyword-keyword-keyword-keyword-keyword.com.
Does that sound ethical to you? It maybe helpful with those search engine rankings but for many visitors that can be a pain in you know what to type out.
For years I worked in an internet café and was surprised to know that many persons can’t type in a hyphen. Instead of finding out how to do it, they just move on to an alternate site hence a loss of traffic.
The average computer user can be a lazy fellow indeed. That’s why there are so many keyboard shortcuts. He needs to complete his task as soon as possible.
Ever wonder why Googles, Yahoos, Amazons and Ebays of online world are so successful? It’s because there domain name play a significant role in there branding.
There are countless persons logging on for first time each day in search of information that can assist them in iniation process. It is imperative that your domain name play a major part in creating a bond with your viewers.