Typo-piracy: the main victims are children

There are numerous good reasons to register the most possible variants of your domain name. One of them is a phenomenon called “typo-piracy”. A Dutch parents association has established that the main victims of such practices are children.

ZDNet, the Dutch website for IT business and technology, has recently evoked a study conducted by the Dutch foundation Mijn Kind Online. Searchers established that the main victims of “typo-pirates” are children.

Typo-piracy consists in registering domain names that look like well-known domain names, but that include deliberate typos. “Pirates” start from the idea that everyone sometimes makes a typo or a spelling mistake.

You’ve certainly already experienced making an accidental typo that led you to a totally different website while you were typing the name of your favourite website.

Given that mainly children make typos (although they are certainly not the only ones), they are more subject to typo-piracy. An example, among many others: try typing Disny.be…

The researchers also observed that numerous variants of well-known domains were also registered without typos, but with the letters ‘www’ placed right before them. An example: wwwteletubbies.nl (note the missing dot between ‘www’ and ‘teletubbies’).

But why do certain people register such domain names? Because Internet users who type in the domain name come across adverts. The domains are indeed “parked” by some companies, such as Sedo and NameDrive, which automatically place adverts there from advertising intermediaries such as Google. And by doing so, these advertising intermediaries make money, as do the person who registers the domains (via a commission) and the company that parked the domains.

This whole story also serves as a nice hint to companies. Because the fact that there are people who register domains to reach Internet users who make typos means there is money to make via this procedure. And if they make money via this procedure, it also means that there really are a lot of people who make typos.

In other words, by registering these variants of your own domain containing typos yourself, you can generate extra traffic.

Tip: think of phonetic variants (kombell.be, combel.com, etc.), but also of typos related to the placement of letters on the keyboard, the omission of a dot, and so on.