Google May Make $500 Million a Year on Typos

According to a recent analysis by a team of Harvard researchers, Google may make as many as $500 million each year on typos.

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The reason for this: many of the “typosquatting” domain names that get most or all of their traffic from people incorrectly typing the names of the places they want to go — for instance, as we discovered yesterday, “stackiverflow.com” for programmer nexus “stackoverflow.com” — use ads from Google’s ad network. And whenever they do, Google gets a piece of the profit as well. Individually, typosquatting domains might not make a lot of money, but as the middleman, Google’s profits could seriously add up, the researchers theorize.

New Scientist reports:

If the top 100,000 websites suffer the same typosquatting rate as the sites Moore and Edelman studied, up to 68 million people a day could visit a typo site, they say. They estimate that almost 60 per cent of typo sites could have adverts supplied by Google.

If the company earns as much per visitor from ads on typo sites as it reportedly does from ads alongside search results, it could potentially earn $497 million a year in revenue from typo domains, they conclude.

A Google spokesperson pointed out that the company will remove ads from typo domains if the owner of a site with a trademarked name makes a complaint, but declined to discuss the research in more detail.

(New Scientist via Slashdot)


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