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Typosquatting affiliates

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Tuesday January 16, 2007 )

If you’ve joined an affiliate program and are contemplating the use of domain name typosquatting tactics as a means of promoting the merchant, be sure to check the terms and conditions of the program first.

Usually typosquatters register incorrect spellings of popular brand names in order to direct people who mistype that brand’s domain name to a totally different site.

In somewhat of a twist, it seems that Dell is taking legal action against several of their own affiliates who registered variations on the dell.com domain name, then rerouted the type-in traffic to Dell via their affiliate ID’s.

It’s pretty clever stuff as the people allegedly involved were sending very targeted traffic to Dell through this practice; i.e. users who actually wanted to go to Dell. A single sale of a notebook computer as a result of these sorts of referrals would certainly more than pay for the domain registration.

As clever as it is, it’s seriously not worth the potential loss of commissions if you’re contravening the terms of the affiliate program, and certainly not worth a court case. Merchants do check their referral logs, especially to track down where successful conversions are coming from.

While some companies can be a little draconian in how they allow affiliates to promote their products and services, it’s quite simple – they set the rules and affiliates need to abide by those rules. If you’re ever unsure of a promotion strategy as an affiliate, it’s alway safest to contact the merchant first for permission.

Read more about the Dell court case

Learn more about affiliate marketing



 

 
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