Free Credit Report* .com

9

I read Jamie’s post about the folks behind the “Free Credit Report .com” commercials and agree that it will be interesting to see what happens with their direct marketing campaign, which includes television and interactive media. If you didn’t read Jamie’s post – or are too lazy to click over, basically the Free Credit Report people can’t say that their product is free, as a result of the new credit card legislation. They also must link to AnnualCreditReport.com, which does provide the free annual credit reports.

One thing I did notice is that the company behind AnnualCreditReport.com seems to understand domain names and consumer behavior, as they have also registered typos, including AnnualCreditReports.com, AnualCreditReport.com, and AnnualCreditReort.com. I can’t definitively confirm this because the registrations are private, but all were registered around the same date, and all are hosted on the same name servers.

However, as smart as this company is, they are also pretty dumb. They bought the typo domain names, presumably for defensive purposes, but none of them resolve! Instead of forwarding the traffic from the typos, they go to an error page. This is a stupid mistake!

If you are going to buy defensive domain names, especially if they are typos and the visitor intended to visit the site, you should make sure they resolve to the right place! I suppose it might not be necessary if your defensive registration is something like AnnualCreditReportSucks.com or something like that where you just don’t want someone else owning it, but at least lead the way for the fat fingered potential customers/visitors who mistype your correct domain name!

9 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Elliot,

    Do you know a way to obtain stats from how many people are coming to a site from typing it into their browsers if you have one of these typo’s domains forwarded to your main domain name. Can you use Google Analytics in any way? Thanks dude.
    Have fun in Amsterdam enjoy the cafes.

  2. @Ross,

    directNIC and eNom have options to redirect via frame or noframe, and my server’s statistics will pick up the frame redirect in its referrals, and I am able to tell how much traffic comes from the typo.

    Otherwise, you can set up a separate URL w/ code for each typo domain name with a script, similar to what affiliate programs use to determine which affiliate is sending them traffic.

  3. i use 301 redirects for typo domains but add a referrer parameter

    ie, send all traffic from:
    MyTypoDomain.com

    to:
    MyActualDomain.com/r=MyTypoDomain.com

    google analytics picks this up and its easy to see how much traffic the typo brings in

  4. You do have to be kind of careful how you set multiple domain names up, because you don’t want Google to pick up your pages under multiple domains (all kinds of duplicate content filter issues there) I’ll point any number of them to the site, but I typically use a PHP script to write my robots.txt file so that the search engines don’t actually spider them.

  5. Free credit report .com .First is a scam they offer you a nine day free trial. Then to make sure it’s shut off in time.You call get ahold off somein the middle east that calls himself Andy. Then you go through the BS of why you don’t want it . And just like most other peopl they just want the score. So he says evereything is taking care of giv es me a conformation # and tells me to have a nice day . A few hours later checking my bank I see a charge for 29.95 . They said they wern’t going to put back in my bankand after talking to 2 managers and 30 minutes later. The best I get is 7 to 10 bussiness days . Boy it took them no time to take it but god forbit giving it back . Fucking rip offs

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