Home / Blogs

Squeegee Domains

John Levine

When I was growing up, one of the annoyances of life in New York City was squeegee men. When your car was stopped at a light, these guys would run up, make a few swipes at your windshield with a squeegee, then look menacing until you gave them a tip.

It occurs to me that domain "monetizers'' are the Internet's squeegee men. If I make a minor typing error entering a domain name, they run up and offer to sell a link to the place I wanted to go (well, they sell the place I wanted to go a click from me, but close enough.)

Domain monetizers often make the self-serving argument that they're providing a valuable service helping us find the domains we're looking for. Uh huh. Squeegee men think the same way as in this self-serving defense from a (former?) squeegee man.

So feel free to call them squeegee domains, and remember, you heard it here first.

By John Levine, Author, Consultant & Speaker. More blog posts from John Levine can also be read here.

Related topics: DNS, Domain Names

WEEKLY WRAP — Get CircleID's Weekly Summary Report by Email:

Comments

Re: Squeegee Domains R. Meyer  –  Jun 24, 2007 4:52 PM PDT

Very interesting thought.

And, there are people in the corporate world that think the same thing about consultants.

Re: Squeegee Domains Martin Hannigan  –  Jun 24, 2007 9:11 PM PDT

R. Meyer said:

Very interesting thought.

And, there are people in the corporate world that think the same thing about consultants.

Drive by shooters too.

Re: Squeegee Domains Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Jun 24, 2007 9:22 PM PDT

Squeegee Men it is. Wonderful meme there, John.

srs (waiting for TRAFFIC to get hosted at Days Inn and catered by Wendys)

Re: Squeegee Domains Kevin Ohashi  –  Jun 25, 2007 9:17 AM PDT

John,
What you fail to see is the many differences between your squeegee men and domain monetization.  You conviniently lump anyone monetizing domain names as typo squatters.  If I type in stocks.com did I mean something else?  No.  I meant stocks, no typo there.  But it's a parking page!  Dear lord, call the police, someone is offering links to different stock brokers and services!  There is a very easy to spot difference between typos/trademark names and generic ones.  The equivalent analogy here would be you came crashing into my living room with your car, I helped you out, let you use my phone, and helped you figure out what to do.  Sounds terrible doesnt it?

You probably want to say this is just some self-serving defense, it is.  However, domain owners paid their fee, they own a specific domain name.  Let's be clear though, unlike a squeegee man, you've stopped in their driveway, pulled up to their personal property, used their resources (bandwidth at the least), and then call them worthless. 

It's tiresome to see you and others lump a whole industry together.  You have a problem with typos or trademarks?  State so, don't say domain monetization is the problem.  It isn't, that's just ignorant babble.

Re: Squeegee Domains John Levine  –  Jun 25, 2007 9:26 AM PDT

Thanks, I couldn't ask for a better example of self-serving babble. In case anyone didn't notice, he changed the topic from typosquats to domain speculators, implicitly agreeing that there's no defense for typosquat squeegee domains.

I don't have much sympathy for complaints from domain speculators, but I agree that if someone overpaid for a generic non-typosquat name like stocks.com, he can do anything with it he wants.

As far as the argument that I used his resources by landing on his parking page, well, gee, squeegee men have to buy their squeegees and greasy rags, too.

Re: Squeegee Domains Frank Michlick  –  Jun 25, 2007 9:26 AM PDT

John, I have to agree with Kevin here. Domain Monetization is not necessarily based on typo domains. And while you might not do so, users do indeed type in generic domains such as stocks.com and videocameras.com to find what they are looking for.

Re: Squeegee Domains Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Jun 25, 2007 9:38 AM PDT

Frank Michlick said:

John, I have to agree with Kevin here. Domain Monetization is not necessarily based on typo domains. And while you might not do so, users do indeed type in generic domains such as stocks.com and videocameras.com to find what they are looking for.

Yeah, right. And if you actually make enough in ppc revenue from visits to that site to justify the multi million dollar valuations on some of those domains ..

No?  Alrighty then ..

Re: Squeegee Domains Frank Michlick  –  Jun 25, 2007 9:50 AM PDT

Suresh Ramasubramanian:

And if you actually make enough in ppc revenue from visits to that site to justify the multi million dollar valuations on some of those domains ..

Suresh, thanks for adding your valuable comments. Not sure what this has to do with "squeegee man" though. Sounds like you would like to add an additional topic to this discussion, domain name valuation.

Nobody forces you to buy them. The fair market value of a name is whatever the buyers are willing to pay. There is only one "stocks.com". A domain name with existing targeted traffic can be the best starting point for developing websites, but yes, you can also start from scratch. The choice is yours.

/Frank

Re: Squeegee Domains Kevin Ohashi  –  Jun 25, 2007 9:56 AM PDT

domain “monetizers’’ are the Internet’s squeegee men.

I changed the topic?  Read your own post before you start your a reply.  If you can't keep track, I stated my post was self serving.  I own domain names and use parking services.  TM domains *may* fit the bill of your squeegee men description.  But you conveniently ignore the part where I say you should state the problem with TM/typo domains.  I make a general defense of an industry when you really want(or should) be criticizing a certain segment.  Criticize that segment all you want, but make sure you're saying it's only them.  You clearly have no problem with domain parking as a whole,

I agree that if someone overpaid for a generic non-typosquat name like stocks.com, he can do anything with it he wants.

As far as the defense of typo/tm names, depends on the typo.  Even some typo names are defensible, are you going to argue flickr.com is a typo of flicker?  If the typo term is generic and it is being used in it's generic connotation it could be defended. 

http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2003/d2003-0267.html

Domain: giftcetificates.com (missing R - typo)

Complainant attempts to equate its successful establishment of an online business at with evidence of acquired distinctiveness as a service mark. These two are by no means equivalent. Generic terms are highly valued as domain names because Internet users are very likely to use them to find products or services by reference to the genus. This does not mean that those terms can be taken out of the common language and reserved to enterprises as trademarks. When an enterprise elects to use a generic term as its domain name, it accepts that its rights in the domain name derive from its good fortune in having secured a valuable address on the Internet. Rights in such a domain name do not derive from a trademark.

An interesting discussion of the topic is here: http://frankschilling.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/02/when_is_a_typo_.html

Re: Squeegee Domains Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Jun 25, 2007 10:23 AM PDT

Kevin Ohashi said:

As far as the defense of typo/tm names, depends on the typo.  Even some typo names are defensible, are you going to argue flickr.com is a typo of flicker?  If the typo term is generic and it is being used in it's generic connotation it could be defended.

Whether the domain can or can't be pried out of the domainer's hands through a UDRP action, and whether the domainer can or can't be sued, is kind of irrelevant here.

John's point is that the guy who came to a site after he either typo'd a domain name or typed in a generic name like stocks and added .com to it, certainly didnt ask for the service that he's being offered.  Any more than the guy in the car asked for his windshield to be wiped over with a dirty rag.

His other point, like mine, is that those domains are overvalued, and you're certainly not going to get the sort of inflated prices these domains change hands for, in actual revenue from ppc traffic or whatever other source of income those domains can have.

Re: Squeegee Domains R. Meyer  –  Jun 25, 2007 10:38 AM PDT

Suresh Ramasubramanian said:

John's point is that the guy who came to a site after he either typo'd a domain name or typed in a generic name like stocks and added .com to it, certainly didnt ask for the service that he's being offered.  Any more than the guy in the car asked for his windshield to be wiped over with a dirty rag.

Using that same logic, when I pull into a shopping center and don't find what I'm looking for.  The shopping center is the same as the "squeegee man".

The shopping center is trying to profit on your interest because of its convenient location.

Re: Squeegee Domains Kevin Ohashi  –  Jun 25, 2007 10:39 AM PDT

Suresh,
First of all, I think your arguments have been all over the place and mostly been irrelevant.  But I will address them anyways:

Whether the domain can or can’t be pried out of the domainer’s hands through a UDRP action, and whether the domainer can or can’t be sued, is kind of irrelevant here.

No it isn't.  It was in response to

implicitly agreeing that there’s no defense for typosquat squeegee domains.

John’s point is that the guy who came to a site after he either typo’d a domain name or typed in a generic name like stocks and added .com to it, certainly didnt ask for the service that he’s being offered.  Any more than the guy in the car asked for his windshield to be wiped over with a dirty rag.

How is it any different from me clicking on a search engine result?  I clicked on something that sounded like what I wanted versus typed it into a browser bar and added .com to it?  If I don't like the search result I go somewhere else.  The same principle applies to typing in a domain name.  Trademark infringements are certainly a valid criticism, however, my problem is lumping all domains using parking services and those infringing on trademarks (typos and trademarks have large overlaps, I do not have a problem with typos in general, just those that infringe on the rights of others).  As far as asking for the service, sure you did.  YOU sent a request to THEIR webserver ASKING for that webpage.  That webpage didn't magically pop up on your computer screen like spyware/malware.  You initiated the request, not the other way around.  That is an important distinction.  Just because you don't like what you requested doesn't mean it's inherently wrong.

His other point, like mine, is that those domains are overvalued, and you’re certainly not going to get the sort of inflated prices these domains change hands for, in actual revenue from ppc traffic or whatever other source of income those domains can have.

If someone is willing to buy at a price and the seller sell at that price it seems to be valued just right to me.  Isn't that basic economics?

Re: Squeegee Domains Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Jun 25, 2007 11:04 AM PDT

Kevin Ohashi said:

How is it any different from me clicking on a search engine result?  I clicked on something that sounded like what I wanted versus typed it into a browser bar and added .com to it?

"Informed Consent"

Walking into a shopping mall, or clicking a search engine result, that has a preview of the content (and, presumably, some filtering against keyword stuffing and other SEO tricks) .. you have some idea of what you are getting into.

Not so typo'd traffic where I want to reach a specific airline's website, typo a single line in it and get directed to a page that offers me various bogus looking searches for air ticket booking, chances to win a roundtrip to hawaii and make $$$ on a sweep, etc.

So that disposes of the typo traffic types, that John was talking about.

The rest of the market is overheated, and domains are selling for orders of magnitude over their actual value (the $10 or whatever was paid for the registration, and whatever actual revenue is obtained from traffic that wanders in)

If someone is willing to buy at a price and the seller sell at that price it seems to be valued just right to me.  Isn't that basic economics?

Keynes' "Castle in the Air" paradigm dates back to the 1920, the south sea bubble and the tulip craze date back to a few centuries before that.  Probably a tad above what's taught in economics 101, but still worth studying, I assure you.

Re: Squeegee Domains Kevin Ohashi  –  Jun 25, 2007 11:27 AM PDT

Suresh,
Again, you miss the context of arguments.

The First part is in response to the stocks.com example, a generic name.  I am not talking about typos here.  I wrote 'Trademark infringements are certainly a valid criticism.' They are a separate from generic names (stocks.com).

I am glad you have such a great value model.  After middle men take their cuts (generally 2 middle men between advertisers and domain holder, 1 for large holders), basing value off PPC revenue isn't indicative of the value of a domain name to an advertiser at all.  Now factor in what time frame?  If I sell stocks.com to a financial company that has been around for a century and plans to be around many more, should I factor in 100 years of revenue?  Any price is a multiple of PPC value as long as ppc revenue >0.  What about growth?  Online advertising has been increasing constantly over the past years and in all likelihood will continue to increase, should I factor that in as well? 

As far as studying is concerned, maybe you should stick with what you know?

Re: Squeegee Domains Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Jun 25, 2007 11:39 AM PDT

Notional values assigned to any good - like for example all the "ifs" in your reply over there - have a nasty way of disappearing, suddenly. Or turning out to be much less than you think they're worth.

Re: Squeegee Domains Snoopy  –  Jun 26, 2007 7:32 AM PDT

I think the squeegee analogy isn't bad for typo domains, obviously though it is an over the top generalization the way John has used it.

The bitter tone of the post has me wondering though, in particular the reply below which suggests an undercurrent,

"if someone overpaid for a generic non-typosquat name like stocks.com"

John just couldn't help himself but suggest whoever bought stocks.com obviously overpaid, (whatever price they paid and whenever they bought it). John have you had some problems trying to buy a domain? Perhaps it was more than you could justify and was owned by a squeegee man? Or perhaps you missed the boat early on with domains? Am I on the right track here or is there another reason for your post?

Re: Squeegee Domains Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Jun 26, 2007 7:41 AM PDT

Snoopy said:

Or perhaps you missed the boat early on with domains? Am I on the right track here or is there another reason for your post?

John is one of the very few people in the world where I'd say his comments are purely based on altruism, not on personal loss, greed or any other motive you care to impute to him.

Re: Squeegee Domains John Levine  –  Jun 26, 2007 8:27 AM PDT

My goodness, the domainers sure are sensitive to any reference to the value-subtracted nature of what they do.

I've been registering domains since about 1990. (Look at the date on iecc.com, which was not my first domain.) I have all the domains I need, thanks.

Re: Squeegee Domains Hector Santos  –  Jun 26, 2007 10:47 AM PDT

Suresh Ramasubramanian said:

John's point is that the guy who came to a site after he either typo'd a domain name or typed in a generic name like stocks and added .com to it, certainly didnt ask for the service that he's being offered.  Any more than the guy in the car asked for his windshield to be wiped over with a dirty rag.

Well, it was a poor analogy since to make it correct, John was lost driving in the city.  In that case, he should be lucky it was just "squeegee men."

Ironically, back in 84 driving to thru the South Bronx to visit my old run down block, showing my frighten partner where I grew up, I got lost and at a stop light, a squeegee man came up the car and while he cleaned my windshield, I noticed he had what appeared to be maps in his coat pocket.  I asked for one and the bum sold me a STREET MAP of the CITY for a buck!

What a great service!

Re: Squeegee Domains Antony Van Couvering  –  Jun 26, 2007 1:13 PM PDT

Interestingly, if I just "typo" stocks.com by typing "stocks" in my browser, I end up at finance.yahoo.com.  Perhaps this Firefox/Yahoo arrangement, which must rival domain typos in volume, is respectable "non-squeegee" behavior — somehow.  I suppose a browser redirect is acceptable, while a domain resolution that accomplishes the exact same thing isn't — somehow. 

Whatever.

All these discussions about what is and isn't kosher break down when you try to find consistent distinctions between one type of domain name/search/browser activity and another.  The edge cases that attend any sort of systematization of "good" and "bad" are so numerous that they cannot be dismissed as exceptions. That's why the final (and often only) appeal is to trademark law, which by virtue of long long usage has some useful ways of looking at things, e.g. "confusingly similar" when used within the context of established law.

This post is off-the-cuff value judgment masquerading as critical thinking.  As a New Yorker, it rather reminds me of the people who sat in their luxury cars complaining about the dirty icky squeegee guys trying to earn a dollar or two.

Re: Squeegee Domains John Levine  –  Jun 26, 2007 3:38 PM PDT

Well, when I type "stocks" into my copy of Firefox, I get an error message saying that it can't find stocks.  Sounds like you have the Yahoo toolbar installed, so you chose to use whatever defaults your toolbar provides.

It should be obvious that the distinction here is that you control your browser, and if you want it to send you to Yahoo or whatever, you can set it up to do that.  But it's your choice.  Squeegee domains aren't your choice.

The well known quote from Upton Sinclair applies here, so I'll stop now.

Re: Squeegee Domains Snoopy  –  Jun 26, 2007 5:37 PM PDT

John Levine said:

I've been registering domains since about 1990. (Look at the date on iecc.com, which was not my first domain.) I have all the domains I need, thanks.

So instead of registering stocks.com (or anything of value I'm guessing) you picked up iecc.com, well done. Just looking at that page I can see where you are coming from...the year 1990. Were you one those guys who went around saying people should only have one domain and the net is becoming too commercialized?

Re: Squeegee Domains Hector Santos  –  Jun 26, 2007 6:20 PM PDT

Antony Van Couvering said:

Interestingly, if I just "typo" stocks.com by typing "stocks" in my browser, I end up at finance.yahoo.com.  Perhaps this Firefox/Yahoo arrangement, which must rival domain typos in volume, is respectable "non-squeegee" behavior — somehow.  I suppose a browser redirect is acceptable, while a domain resolution that accomplishes the exact same thing isn't — somehow. 

Interesting point. The domain people opened up Pandora's box.  The browsers have begun the practice "first choice" searching engines installations.  In fact, FireFox/Google is default and in 3.0/Alpha (Gran Paradiso) it is built-in. Firefox 3.0 will be pretty much Google's Browser, which Microsoft did complain about.  Today, you have Google filing secret (now public) anti-trust claims against Microsoft for having Google search trouble on Vista (by Microsoft admitted design).

So from domain people, to browsers, the practice is now at the OS level.

All these discussions about what is and isn't kosher break down when you try to find consistent distinctions between one type of domain name/search/browser activity and another.

And now its being done in the "name of security." Microsoft IE 7.0 has added the logic to filter all the URLS on a web page thru a "Phishing Filter site" at Microsoft - by default.

That's why the final (and often only) appeal is to trademark law, which by virtue of long long usage has some useful ways of looking at things, e.g. "confusingly similar" when used within the context of established law.

Good point, Goldman's article touches based with this with the case of UTUBE.COM vs YOUTUBE.COM.  UTUBE was here first and it is now paying for unsolicited bandwidth with no sales from mistaken visits to his site.

http://www.circleid.com/posts/utube_youtube_domain_names_case/

This post is off-the-cuff value judgment masquerading as critical thinking.

Obviously, he was bored. :-)

As a New Yorker, it rather reminds me of the people who sat in their luxury cars complaining about the dirty icky squeegee guys trying to earn a dollar or two.

Ha!

But John did raise a good issue, but IMO picked on the wrong people to blame with a poor "I invented it" analogy of a "Squeegee Men" term to express it.  It is no longer the domain people, the ISPs, the Feds, but the browsers and now the OS people. 

Nothing is sacred any more.

Re: Squeegee Domains Antony Van Couvering  –  Jun 26, 2007 6:30 PM PDT

John Levine said:

It should be obvious that the distinction here is that you control your browser, and if you want it to send you to Yahoo or whatever, you can set it up to do that.  But it's your choice.

I can control where I go when I type in a domain too.  I just have to type it correctly.  Only the operator can control operator error.

Re: Squeegee Domains Snoopy  –  Jun 26, 2007 6:51 PM PDT

Antony Van Couvering said:

Interestingly, if I just "typo" stocks.com by typing "stocks" in my browser, I end up at finance.yahoo.com.  Perhaps this Firefox/Yahoo arrangement, which must rival domain typos in volume, is respectable "non-squeegee" behavior — somehow.  I suppose a browser redirect is acceptable, while a domain resolution that accomplishes the exact same thing isn't — somehow. 

I don't think firefox has a deal with yahoo. I get a regular error in firefox.

Internet Explorer though sends me to live.com search.

Re: Squeegee Domains Hector Santos  –  Jun 26, 2007 6:55 PM PDT

Antony Van Couvering said:

John Levine said:

It should be obvious that the distinction here is that you control your browser, and if you want it to send you to Yahoo or whatever, you can set it up to do that.  But it's your choice.

I can control where I go when I type in a domain too.  I just have to type it correctly.  Only the operator can control operator error.

Actually, only software people can control it. :-)

The point is, there are new levels of filters here.  It is no longer the "Squeegee Man", but the cop at the corner watching you take a left and wanted to tell ya that you really wanted to make a right.  "No, I really wanted to make a left." And so enough, if not already, that GPS system in your car is going to dictate where you SHOULD go even if you had other ideas! "No, you don't want to go to the south bronx to visit your old pizzaria place!"

As a purist and ethical person, I was one that despised other "hidden" services that had no business in your intentions.  This type of design use to be an ENGINEERING TABOO.  At the very least, you had to get user permission to intrude in your business.

That is no longer the case, the "GOOD" has used the practice to evolved into untouchable areas in the name of providing the user new level of security and added-value services.  The problem, the "BAD" will follow it.

The irony is that now the user is left with a suite of options to turn on and off and for some things, he doesn't even have the option or know they exist!

So who are the real "Squeegee Men" here?

The software people! 

They are the ones who are now moving into areas that are borderline unethical, add the vendor preferential search and filter logic defining by whom, defining how and defining what are the fallback results.

Of late, there isn't a day that doesn't go by where I want to take the time to take FireFox source code to create a truly 100% secured, lighter browser without all the new vendor search/filter baloney.

Re: Squeegee Domains Snoopy  –  Jun 26, 2007 6:56 PM PDT

Actually just typing "stocks" does a google search and sends me to the top result in firefox, I wouldn't call that a typo though, I think most of the time to do that the person would be thinking the address bar is a search box. stockskjfglkjdslkgj.com gives me a regular error page in firefox.

Re: Squeegee Domains Snoopy  –  Jun 26, 2007 7:00 PM PDT

John Levine said:

It should be obvious that the distinction here is that you control your browser, and if you want it to send you to Yahoo or whatever, you can set it up to do that.  But it's your choice.  Squeegee domains aren't your choice.

The average internet user doesn't know how to adjust settings like this.

Re: Squeegee Domains Hector Santos  –  Jun 26, 2007 7:05 PM PDT

Snoopy said:

I don't think firefox has a deal with yahoo. I get a regular error in firefox.

Internet Explorer though sends me to live.com search.

Firefox defaults to Google. In fact, 3.0/alpha does not even allow you to remove the google "in the name of FireFox" search site - atleast I couldn't find where I can remove it. 

Software people know that, that in the end of the day, it will be those who control the frontend that will have new strategic advantages.  Google knows it, hence why it grabbed Mozillas as part of software development strategy.  Microsoft knows it and bitched about Google to the Feds being more involved with Mozilla.  But they have recinded that cry and MS has now took control of the search on the new Frontend called VISTA and ironically now Google has filed anti-trust claims!

So never mind the domain people - they are the least of our problems now. :-)

Re: Squeegee Domains Adam Strong  –  Jun 26, 2007 11:31 PM PDT

Ok we all get it by now. Domainers are scum bags. We know your opinions here guys. This isn't even a new post. It seems more like comment bait. I'll take it I guess. 

However, instead of resorting to name calling or analogies of how scummy domain monetizers are, how about contributing a more meaningufl post. How about telling us your theory on solving this "horrible problem" of people making money from domains. How should we have allocated domains so we could have stopped this plague?  How do we determine which domains are being used to monetize and which aren't so we can stop it now?  I'd like to see the "rules" that the techno-pinkos would like all of the internet to follow in this domaintopia. Please Suresh and John spare us the mud slinging . Why don't you guys gather together your brain power and put together something that solves the problem rather than continuing to point the finger at it. We get it. You don't like parking pages.  Marilyn Cade apparently has some "meaty" slides you can borrow too.

Re: Squeegee Domains Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Jun 26, 2007 11:38 PM PDT

Adam Strong said:

Why don't you guys gather together your brain power and put together something that solves the problem

To start with, perhaps, have ICANN get rid of Add Grace?

Re: Squeegee Domains Richard Golodner  –  Jun 27, 2007 12:31 AM PDT

For a perfect example, type stocks into your browser's addrss bar, hit return and see what happens...I think John and Sureesh have it right on the head.
Richard Golodner

Re: Squeegee Domains Adam Strong  –  Jun 27, 2007 1:26 AM PDT

You mean tasting ? Sure get rid of it. That's the best you can do?
Explain to us now what problem (relating to the topic at hand - 'squeegee' domainers and domain monetization) did you solve?  Stopping tasting makes it harder for a company to register domains in bulk, curbs abuse of trademarks, etc but if your problem is domain monetization, pesky 'cybersquatters', etc, stopping tasting does nothing to solve this problem.

It boggles my mind to see a second person who actually believes that solving the tasting problem is going to solve all the other "problems" that they see with domain monetization and 'cybersquatter' squeegeee men,etc.

Re: Squeegee Domains Hector Santos  –  Jun 27, 2007 3:44 AM PDT

Richard Golodner said:

For a perfect example, type stocks into your browser's addrss bar, hit return and see what happens...I think John and Sureesh have it right on the head.

Sorry Richard, I think they missed the mark - big time.  Valid concern, but blaming the wrong people.

Turn off the SEARCH option in the address bar and you get no results for "STOCKS". 

Turn it on, which is out of the box today for the popular browsers, and the BROWSER can behave in various ways.

IE has the options:

Search from the address bar
- when searching…
(_) Display results, and go to the most likely site,
(*) Do no search from the address bar,
(_) just display the results from the main window,
(_) just go to the most likely site

Set the option like I do to "Do not search from the address box" and you will not get any result. 

Set it to the first one or the last one, and it will do the gTLD extension search starting with STOCKS.COM, then STOCK.NET, STOCK.ORG, etc. and it will take you that site. 

Furthermore, the browsers, will also RECORD your search. IE will record it at MSN, then it will take you to STOCKS.COM.

But all this is 100% based on the DNS query returning NXDOMAIN (not found) and your user settings.

So what problem are they complaining about?

It is the BROWSERS who are intruding in your business and privacy much more than the domain parkers who only come into play if the user actually typed in an incorrect domain that happens to exist in DNS.  If it doesn't exist, the BROWSERS will complete the process for you of finding something for you.

Turn off the browser option to search if you don't want a incorrect domain you typed to take you to some "near domain."

Re: Squeegee Domains John Levine  –  Jun 27, 2007 7:12 AM PDT

Adam Strong said:

However, instead of resorting to name calling ...

... the techno-pinkos would like ...

My, we're touchier than ever.

Well, anyway, if I were king of the Internet, I'd solve the typosquat problem by persuading Google and Overture to stop paying for ads on pages with no content.  (If you believe that ads are content, which they aren't, then no content other than ads.) I have to lay a lot of the responsibility at their doorstep.

Re: Squeegee Domains Adam Strong  –  Jun 27, 2007 10:13 AM PDT

My, we’re touchier than ever.

Do we know each other?  I said I would take your bait didn't I. :)
I was using that as a term of endearment, believe me. :)

I’d solve the typosquat problem by persuading Google and Overture to stop paying for ads on pages with no content.  (If you believe that ads are content, which they aren’t, then no content other than ads.) I have to lay a lot of the responsibility at their doorstep.

Now we're talking about the typosquatting problem?  Woosh. this is like playing with a rubber ball.. . bouncy. bouncy. all over the place. I thought we were talking about domain monetization. Are you going to be the third person who thinks it's ok to lump domain tasting, squatting and monetizing a domain all into the same category?

Additionally, you may want to review some of the so called "no content" pages. The newest parking companies include content in addition to ads.  So, does that make it ok to you ?  Where do you draw the line? If I put an article next to ads on my domain, would that be ok in your eyes ?  I just want to clear up your position so I can understand where 'domaintopia' is (oh and while we're at it, you can credit me for coinging that term . . . too bad some "cybersquatters" already registered it ;) )

Marchex, as an example, has incredible domains that they mix up with ads and content. Check out videocameras.com, 90210.com or bayareahotels.com . I'm not going to guess wether this is acceptable to you or not because honestly I don't understand, but maybe you can shed some light. Is it ok now for them to monetize these domains since they put reviews (aka content) on the site?  Are they just another one of those "squeegee" guys or maybe it is ok for them to monetize a portfolio of domains since they are a public company ?

Re: Squeegee Domains Dave Zan  –  Jun 28, 2007 2:18 AM PDT

It occurs to me that domain “monetizers’’ are the Internet’s squeegee men. If I make a minor typing error entering a domain name, they run up and offer to sell a link to the place I wanted to go (well, they sell the place I wanted to go a click from me, but close enough.)

Well, you won't have to run into those sites if you "carefully" typed in the intended domain name in your browser correctly. And even if you did, you can always close that window, type in the correct one, click the link in your favorites, you've got choices.

Beyond that, this appears to be a gripe towards people who don't do what they're expected by others to do. Big deal.

But look on the bright side: at least those sites don't give you that menacing look to make you give them a tip. ;)

Re: Squeegee Domains Tia Wood  –  Jul 05, 2007 3:10 PM PDT

John Levine, you do realize that Microsoft, Yahoo, etc are actually the biggest cybersquatting "squeegee men", correct?

Re: Squeegee Domains John Levine  –  Jul 05, 2007 4:34 PM PDT

Tia Wood said:

John Levine, you do realize that Microsoft, Yahoo, etc are actually the biggest cybersquatting "squeegee men", correct?

There is a bizarre alternate reality inhabited by spammers in which Microsoft sends more spam than anyone else, users welcome all the spam they get, and anti-spam activists are really a front for the lumber cartel that is losing customers as advertisers switch from paper mail to spam.

I hadn't realized that domain speculators also have an alternate reality but now that I see it, it's a lot like the spammers'.  They have a lot in common, using a hard to fix technical quirk to force ads on people at other people's expense.

Re: Squeegee Domains Tia Wood  –  Jul 05, 2007 4:53 PM PDT

John Levine said:

They have a lot in common, using a hard to fix technical quirk to force ads on people at other people's expense.

Can you define "hard to fix technical quirk"? Are you referring to typo domains but not generic domain name holders? Or both?

Re: Squeegee Domains Tia Wood  –  Jul 05, 2007 4:55 PM PDT

Also, can you define what constitutes as "legit use" among generic domain holders that won't fall under what you call "squeegee domains".

Re: Squeegee Domains John Levine  –  Jul 05, 2007 5:01 PM PDT

Tia Wood said:

Can you define ...

Not in a way that would apply in the domain speculators' alternate reality, so I won't try.

Re: Squeegee Domains Snoopy  –  Jul 05, 2007 5:58 PM PDT

John Levine said:

I hadn't realized that domain speculators also have an alternate reality but now that I see it, it's a lot like the spammers'.  They have a lot in common, using a hard to fix technical quirk to force ads on people at other people's expense.

It is well known that search engines, browsers and ISP's are redirecting user typos to their own pages. I'm not sure what John is thinking, it isn't worth debating in my view.

Re: Squeegee Domains John Levine  –  Jul 05, 2007 6:25 PM PDT

It is well known that search engines, browsers and ISP's are redirecting user typos to their own pages.

That may well be the case in the domain speculators' alternate reality.  Here in the regular reality, if I type, say, bermduda into my address bar, since bermduda.com doesn't exist, it does what I've configured my browser to do, which is to hand mystery names to a Google search.

The salient point, which domain speculators can't afford to believe, is that it's my choice to use Google, not some random person squatting on a typo.

Re: Squeegee Domains Dave Zan  –  Jul 05, 2007 8:24 PM PDT

That may well be the case in the domain speculators’ alternate reality.

Uh...in this material world we all breathe, live and touch, what Snoopy said is realistically true nonetheless. What's so "alternate reality" about that?

And when you said this:

force ads on people at other people’s expense.

Whose expense are you referring to when you're not paying a dime to see those typos or what-not with ads? Unless you're referring to your ISP's bill.

Re: Squeegee Domains Snoopy  –  Jul 05, 2007 9:15 PM PDT

John Levine said:

That may well be the case in the domain speculators' alternate reality.  Here in the regular reality, if I type, say, bermduda into my address bar, since bermduda.com doesn't exist, it does what I've configured my browser to do, which is to hand mystery names to a Google search.

The salient point, which domain speculators can't afford to believe, is that it's my choice to use Google, not some random person squatting on a typo.

I think you are on a tangent of misinformation here. The fact is Microsoft, Google, many ISP's - all redirecting typos via the browser or via toolbars. Type any non registered domain into Internet Explorer and you will see, it goes to Microsoft live.com search.

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Related News

Topics

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

General Availability Period for New .RED Top-Level Domain Opens

General Availability Period for New .BLUE Top-Level Domain Opens

General Availability Period for New .PINK Top-Level Domain Opens

New Chinese "Mobile" Top-Level Domain Now Available

New .KIM Domain Goes Live

Welcome .SHIKSHA! General Availability Now Open

Adrian Kinderis Appointed as Chair of Domain Name Association

Internet Reaches 271 Million Domain Names in the Fourth Quarter of 2013

Why We Decided to Stop Offering Free Accounts

The Future of Chinese Domain Names (a Panel Discussion)

dotStrategy Selects Neustar's Registry Threat Mitigation Services for .BUZZ Registry

Tony Kirsch Announced As Head of Global Consulting of ARI Registry Services

24 Million Home Routers Expose ISPs to Massive DNS-Based DDoS Attacks

Afilias Chairman Appointed to Domain Name Association Board

.BUILD Enters Landrush with Support of ARI Registry Services

Dyn Acquires Managed DNS Provider Nettica

Radix Awards Contracts for .website, .host, .space, and .press to CentralNic plc

Afilias Welcomes "Dot Chinese Online" and "Dot Chinese Website" Top-Level Domains to the Internet

Afilias Welcomes .ONL and .RICH to the Internet

Why Managed DNS Means Secure DNS

Sponsored Topics