You’ll Never Guess Whose Making Money on This Frequently Visited Typo URL
There are plenty of times when I “fat finger” a url and end up on a website I had no intention to visit. We all do it. Oftentimes, these typo domain names are owned by typosquatters who place pay per click links on the landing page, with the hopes of making money from this traffic.
This morning, I went to visit a popular blog hosted on Google’s Blogger platform. These websites generally are formatted with a url similar to this: blogname.BlogSpot.com. When I visited the blog this morning, the page didn’t load, so I double checked that I had the correct domain name. I didn’t. Instead I had blogname.BlogSport.com.
I did a quick Whois search to see who owns the domain name, and I was very surprised to see that Yahoo owns BlogSport.com while Google owns its flagship BlogSpot.com.
You might ask yourself how this happened. It’s somewhat interesting, so I will briefly explain. Sometime between September and October 2005, BlogSport.com was acquired by the owner of Rivals.com. In June of 2007, Rivals.com was acquired by Yahoo, and they presumably acquired all of the assets of Rivals.com, which included the BlogSport.com domain name.
Today, BlogSport.com sits idle, as Yahoo isn’t monetizing or forwarding the domain name, presumably because they know that Google might take action if they did. According to Alexa, over 10 million people visit Google’s BlogSpot a month. There must be thousands of people who accidentally visit Blogsport.com a month, intending to visit a blog or website on the Blogger service.
So whose making money on this valuable typo domain name? Presumably the Internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast who monetize error landing pages “helping” web browsers who accidentally type-in an invalid domain name. It’s very kind of them to do this for us.