URL typosquatting makes $497 million per year to Google, revealed a study

Harvard University researchers Tyler Moore and Benjamin Edelman estimate that Google could be making $497 million per year in revenue from the “typosquatting,” because its network of display ads from which it receives a cut of the profits run on the typo’d sites. If it’s a frequently misspelled site address instead of yours, the tactic […]

Harvard University researchers Tyler Moore and Benjamin Edelman estimate that Google could be making $497 million per year in revenue from the “typosquatting,” because its network of display ads from which it receives a cut of the profits run on the typo’d sites. If it’s a frequently misspelled site address instead of yours, the tactic could pay off handsomely. Moore and Edelman used a list of common spelling mistakes to generate another list of possible typo domains for the 3,264 most popular “.com” websites, as determined by Alexa.com rankings. With help from software, the researchers crawled 285,000 of some 900,000 “misspelled” sites to estimate what revenue the domains are generating. Scale those results, and you’re looking at some serious coin: “Expanding to the top 100,000 sites, retaining the 0.7% estimated ratio of typosquatting site, we estimate that typo domains collectively receive at least 68.2 million daily visitors. If these typo domains were treated as a single website, that site would be ranked by Alexa as the 10th most popular website in the world. It would be more popular, in unique daily visitors, than twitter.com, myspace.com, or amazon.com!