A new report done by two Harvard scientists reveals that Google may earn up to 500 million dollars a year because of typosquatting.
Typosquatting is what they call it when somebody on purpose registers a domain that looks a lot like something else, like Googel.com (notice the misspelling). So if you go to googel.com because you happen to switch two letters, you will end up at a website most likely with Google AdSense on it. Now, don’t even bother testing googel.com as it just redirects to the real google.com, but there are many other domains out there that does not redirect.
Typosquatters often use Google AdSense to put ads on such domains, just to earn a quick buck. When they earn money from the ads, Google gets a cut. And that cut, is estimated to earn Google up to $500 million a year.
The two Harvard scientist, Tyler Moore and Benjamin Edelman, estimates that each of the 3,264 most popular domains have around 280 misspelled domains, where one or more letters are wrong. They also estimates that up to 68 million Internet users, each day, ends up at such a misspelled domain name, from which 60% of the domains run ads from Google AdSense/AdWords.
Google will not comment on the report but they emphasize that they do remove their ads from misspelled websites if they receive complaints over it.
It’s not only Google making money on this, but also other providers of ad networks such as Yahoo and Ask.com.