Sunday, December 11, 2011

Protect yourself against the "www Typosquatter"

 Typosquatting is one of the great evils of the web that refuses to die and will continue to be a great nuisance for many web users and brands. Typosquatters rely on the human's infallible nature and  the on the people who spell poorly.

For example, a typosquatter might register domians.com to hijack legitimate traffic that was otherwise headed to the domains.com.

Not all us are native English speakers and the web is very much English, so expect lots of spelling mistakes. I for example  make more spelling mistakes when I have had very little sleep. The coordination just slips away and I type things like domians.com, chrap.com thus giving typosquatters un-derserved traffic. Also, I have seen people, especially new web users not very familiar with the internet who simply type "wwwdomainname.com" when looking for something online.

There is however a lethal typosquatter I like to refer as the "www typosquatter" who simply add the characters "www" to a well spelled domain. For example the domain www.africa.com has been typosquatted by "www typosquatter" as wwwafrica.com . He relies on the  conviction that someone somewhere amongst the world's 2 billion internet users will will type the domain www.africa.com  but without the "." just before the domain name.  The www typosquatter will not only claim your type-in traffic but they also rank easily on Google should they decide to aggravate the nuisance by putting up a website.

Dutch airline KLM has adequately defended its domain by registering wwwklm.com but other online players in travel, ecommerce, hotel or other online-intensive businesses have not bothered. The "www typosquatter" will come and claim his pound of flesh.


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