Typos Spell Google Cash, eBay Discounts

    May 1, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Depending on one’s usage, misspelling a term on the Internet can land a surfer in a nest of advertising pages or a sweet price on an eBay auction.

After we reported on the threat Microsoft could present to Google through exposure of typo-squatting on misspelled domains, the issue gained more prominence with the Washington Post’s focus on the Google side of the equation.

Google and firms like Netster and Sedoparking have benefited from the mass registration of misspelled domain names, and the placement of pages laden with advertising at those URLs.

Analyst Peter Alguacil from disclosed his firm’s findings regarding typo-squatting, and how Microsoft’s release of the Strider URL Tracer with Typo-Patrol could lead businesses like The Walt Disney Company to more easily track down those infringers.

Should that tool become part of a future browser release, those that benefit from the typo-squatting may find that part of the business imperiled. “When that happens, companies serving ad pages are going to have to adapt or see a significant loss of income,” said Alguacil in our earlier story.

Typos can help buyers take advantage of eBay sellers who lack solid spelling skills. By using a site like TypoTracker, buyers can find auctions containing a desired item that other buyers may not find due to the item’s misspelling.

It’s a hit-or-miss process, as some typos may lead to great bargains while others go nowhere special. Considering how spelling seems to be a forgotten skill online, it’s not unlikely someone could uncover an incredible deal on eBay that better spellers will miss.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.