I recently was doing research for a project that led me to the Technorati Top 100 – the list of the 100 most popular blogs as ranked by Technorati.
For my project, I was looking at the design of the various top blogs, so I had two browser windows open. In one window, I had the page with the list opened. I looked at the names in that window, closed the window, opened the other window, and then typed the domain name into the address field in the new window. I don’t have two monitors, so this entailed closing the window that had the names listed before opening the other window.
What did I find? I mistyped a LOT of the names.
Here are the ones that I got wrong in the top 30.
Correct URL / What I typed
The interesting thing I found through all of these errors is that none of these mistyped URLs redirected to the correct domain name. They were all owned by domain name speculators who were out to make money off bad spellers who might click on a link on one of the parked pages. This practice entails buying domain names that people might accidentally type into the address bar – like I did with these popular blog names – and then putting a page up on the site that is fed by ads – so every time someone clicks a link on one of those pages, the speculator earns some money. For more on this industry, read this article.
The lesson? Try to consider easy-to-do misspellings of your domain names, and buy those as soon as you can – maybe not when you buy the initial domain name (if you’re trying to save on cash) but as soon as you know that you’re going to do something significant with the domain. And don’t forget to snap up the .com, .net and .org extensions, as well.