Typosquatting is not solved. Merchants may know that typosquatters are out there, but I must disagree with anyone who says that most merchants know who they are and what they are up to.
For example, consider affiliate “travelinfor07-21″ from Amazon’s Associates program. Amazon probably thinks that this affiliate is sending them organic traffic from http://grimaced.com/asus-eee-pad-transformer-prime/. When you visit this site, it looks good, so what’s the problem? The problem is that this site is being used to scrub/clean typosquatter URLs. What’s really happening behind the scenes is that “travelinfor07-21″ is routing traffic from amszon.de (note that the second ‘a’ has been replaced with ‘s’) through grimaced.com and then onto amazon.de via an affiliate identifier. Verify this for yourself by visiting amszon.de and closely inspecting the network traffic, or going through the packet log saved for you. Be sure to pay attention to the the Referer header in last request to Amazon, for this is who Amazon believes is the source of the traffic:
The truth of the matter is that Amazon should not be paying for this traffic. It was from a typosquatted URL that would have eventually made its way through to them anyway (thanks to the features of modern browsers today).
I give this affiliate a 2/10.
- One point for typosquatting
- One point for scrubbing the source of the traffic
I feel that like a lot of the folks of his ilk, this typosquatter did not go the extra mile to make this a top notch job. I would have awarded extra points for not targeting everyone. He should have looked up the geographic region of the source IP and dealt with it accordingly, i.e., traffic from America should not be routed through an affiliate id to a merchant in Germany.