Google: Typosquatting for dollars. 32,000,000 of them

Google is helping to monetize interenet search misspellings, a technique that is estimated to make them 32-50 million per year.   It has also brought them a lawsuit from Edelman, the massive advertising consultancy who has no less than Wal-Mart as a client.

The technique involved is called “typosquatting” and is simply web publishers taking advantage of the many internet mispellings and mishits on keyboards to place advertising for terms like “computors” or “Girmany” or “uPhone” (where the user has accidentally hit the u instead of the i)

A study estimated that monetizing these domains via adsense ads (Google’s revenue share ad service) puts an extra 32-50 million to Google’s bottom line.

I don’t find this objectionable but not clear on the details of the Edelman lawsuit.  I’m guessing they want Google to direct people to the best sites for those terms and not charge rather than send the user to an intermediate site.

Silicon Alley Insider reports

5 thoughts on “Google: Typosquatting for dollars. 32,000,000 of them

  1. I have absolutely nothing to add to this story other than the small world coincidence that I interviewed at Edelman in Portland yesterday. I know, completely useless information. Just sayin’. 🙂

  2. Alot of search results seem to be annoying now rather than useful. Just reading the URL I find that the content is often a place I have no desire to visit. Often I see my rather scholarly search term returned bracketed by some very undesirable content and I wonder how Google is returning this hit on the first page?

    I’m unlikely to go to that site and if I do go there I am absolutely certain to never click on any ad, so how does the site-owner or Google ever make any money doing this?

    Search for ‘scholarly term’ and a URL in some exotic foreign country will be returned by Google but the ‘scholarly term’ is bracketed by ‘hot babes’ and ‘domain name sales’. Well, I am not going to waste my time going there but I wonder just how such a site gets such a high ranking from Google.

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