Domain Typos Cost Brands Millions a Year, Frustrate Consumers

Jun 23, 2010, 13:55 ET from FairWinds Partners

WASHINGTON, June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a recent study by domain name strategy consultancy FairWinds Partners, the companies behind 250 of the most visited websites are, in aggregate, losing over 448 million impressions and $327 million per year through domains that are typos of those 250 websites (for example, is a common typo of These losses are due to a variety of unintended consequences including increased visitor acquisition costs, lost sales and lost impressions.

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Cybersquatting, the practice of registering domain names resembling a trademark with the purpose of exploiting that trademark, inflicts significant harm on both businesses and consumers. One form of cybersquatting is typosquatting, or the practice by which individuals look to monetize or otherwise benefit from the traffic generated when Internet users make spelling or keystroke errors when typing a domain name directly into the address bar. FairWinds Partners conducted a study to measure the acute effects of typosquatting on a cross-section of brands and the full extent of its economic impact on brands.

The study examined the top 250 websites that garner the most traffic from the U.S. and have at least six characters in their name – names with fewer than six characters could run the risk of being typo variations that are actually the correct name of another brand and thus were left out.

"Fortunately, not all typos are created equal," said FairWinds Managing Partner Josh Bourne. "Typically, less than one percent of typo variations of any brand are responsible for more than 50 percent of traffic diversion and risk to the brand's reputation. This means that by prioritizing the infringements that cause the most harm, brands will be able to see a significant return on investment by recovering the most important domains."

The study concludes that brands can benefit greatly from first recognizing that typosquatting poses a significant problem, and second, by understanding how to properly prioritize the recovery of infringements based on which ones cause the most harm and would contribute the greatest value if recovered.

"Eighty-eight percent of domains identified were not owned by the eponymous brand, which is evidence of the massive scale of the cybersquatting problem. However, of those 28,000 third-party owned domains, only 4,632 (or 16.5 percent) garner meaningful traffic – the trick is knowing how to identify what matters most," said FairWinds Managing Partner Phil Lodico.

FairWinds is the leading domain name strategy consulting firm, offering its clients authoritative knowledge on domain names, online trademark enforcement, domain name recovery and online traffic optimization.


Yvette Wojciechowski

(202) 223-9355

SOURCE FairWinds Partners