Update: Ben Edelman left a comment on Web Pro News where he wrote, “Surely it’s not Google’s fault that some people misspell. But our study [shows] that typosquatters register more domains targeting companies in sectors with high PPC prices. That tells us that PPC funding is *causing* and *exacerbating* typosquatting. Without PPC payments, there would be fewer typosquatting registrations — much less reason for squatters to register these domains. Google’s payments put the system in motion; squatters register domains exactly in anticipation of getting paid by Google. Google knows where it’s showing ads. (Example: Google shows Expedia ads if you misspell Expedia, but Travelocity ads if you misspell Travelocity!) So it’s natural to look to Google for resolution of these problems.”
Original Blog: Many people hate typos and find them annoying. I can be one of those people. Seriously, it only takes one second to hit the backspace key and fix the typo. With Google, however, typos can mean big business as Benjamin Edelman and Tyler Moore have estimated that typos make the search engine giant $497 million per year.
Edelman and Moore both wrote a paper titled, “Measuring Typosquatting Perpetrators and Funders.” In a blog post summarizing it, they stated a few sets of data and wrote, “According to our analysis, 57% of typo sites include Google pay-per-click ads.”
Then they took a comment about the effect of Google’s connection: “Combining our observations with financial reports and others’ estimates, we conclude that Google’s revenue from typosquatting on the top 100,000 sites is $497 million per year.”
Google’s is most likely the only search engine they point a finger at, since not nearly as many ads from Yahoo and Microsoft appear on typosquatting sites.