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Para-Sites: Misspelled Domain Names
Date: Wednesday July 19, 2000
Category: Beginners Guides Author: Jana Prikryl
Manufacture: Pcstats.com Turn Tech Glossary On Print Article Mail Article
What do you do when you go to hotmale instead of hotmail? You register the domain and make a fortune!
Rating: Software


Para-Sites that Live Off Misspellings of Bigger, Better Sites


Ever make a spelling mistake while hunting up a website -- and then land someplace you didn't mean to go? Ever absorbed any of the information you found on that inadvertently-arrived-at site? Better yet, ever clicked on anything on that site?

Well, you're not the first. Many e-companies are profiting from people's poor typing skills and bad orthographic habits. The potential for straying off the beaten path of the internet is quite large, given that you need to accurately type a sequence of usually over ten characters in order to arrive safely at your desired destination (indeed, for some people, such accuracy proves next to impossible).

Some of these misspelled sites are blatantly subversive, in that they're (ahem) pornographic. Type in www.hotmale.com, and see where that gets you. But hotmale.com isn't really a legitimate misspelling of hotmail.com. There are other, wackier domain names you'd never think of -- but might end up punching into your keyboard by mistake.

If you're trying to find Yahoo! and hit "g" instead of "h," you'll get to a very, very vague page that tells you to "Click here to start your search." If you still fondly believe you're under the protective wings of the big Y, you'll "click here" and land on the home page of www.goto.com. This is a search engine that touts itself as the best new alternative to search engines.

If their search strategies are as wily as their domain-name tactics, they probably are among the best. Because they're not just plagiarizing Yahoo!'s name. If you misspell infoseek.com, replacing the "s" with a "d," you'll get to publicadvertising.com, a search engine that reverts back to goto.com. Sound hopelessly convoluted and virtually inbred? Welcome to the web, my friends, where every spelling mistake counts -- as a page hit, that is.



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