The curse of typo domain names


Typo Domain Names

Typo domain names are like jar of sweet candy. They may be stuck in a high place for you to reach but given enough motivation you can reach it easily. However typo domain names are the curse – and here is why. When registering a domain name you are bound to the rules of ICANN and its ruling body for domain name disputes UDRP. The trademark and company product brand domains are not worth considering at all. Though you might have a run of month or two of that domain name squatting (because using trademark or brand domain name is considered squatting no matter what kind of a site you put on its front page). The UDRP of ICANN deals switftly and quickly with such cases.

Trademark and Product Brand

However typo domain names are different. If they are typo of some global used keyword search phrase then the UDRP has nothing to do here. No rights of trademark or product brand holder to protect. The owner of homepets.com can do nothing to hurt you if you happen to own hoempets.com. However if you are going to register gogle.com think twice. The domain is too similar in name to be actually substituted for a known and registered trademark. On big name holders such is Google UDRP is also swift and quickly resolves this to trademark domain name holder. In case of smaller company or product brand it can take some time but in the end UDRP decides in the name of the original domain name trademark or product brand holder in most of the cases.

Typo Domain Names Attraction

You might wonder why is then that typo domain names are so attractive. The short answer is traffic and visitors. To elaborate, if you are going to do domain name squatting on a large trademark domain name, you are in a rollercoaster ride. Some researches show on a good typo domain name (1-2 letters changed or mingled) typo domain name squatter can expect as much as 5% visitors from the squatting victim domain. To put that in numbers, if large trademark domain name is receiving 50000 page views a day (which is quite low actually) domain squatter can expect as much as 2500 pageviews a day, and that bundled with some form of affiliate, CPA or other means of advertising can in turn bring 100-500 USD a day. Not too shabby huh? And to think that you can usually find type domain name for a registration fee (around 10 USD).

Typo Domain Names Curse

Now comes the curse. Typo domain names on trademark or product brand squatting is never going to last. Once domain squatter starts this game it will take days and in worst case weeks until UDRP kicks in and domain will be ceased or transferred to the trademark domain name owner. Furthermore UDRP and trademark domain name holder has the right to sue domain squatter for any damage this squatting has produced on the brand or trademark. The “bad faith usage” article in UDRP is right on target in such cases. There is nothing unclear here, domain name has been squatted in order to illegally gain profit off of original (non typo) domain name.

Domain Name Squatting

This typo domain name squatting is not even bordering on gray area – it is illegal. Domain name squatter can turn a quick buck at first, but if unlucky can lose everything earned plus some. In some countries there is also a short prison sentence involved. Granted it is not like scamming a person or stealing the money – but it is close.