Here is some advice about Mistyped Domain Names, this is relevant to Affiliates, Merchants and Networks, in fact anyone who owns a website.
Here Is Why You Should Be Interested
Last week I typed in our favourite Affiliate Forums URL but used .co.uk instead of .com. Now I have Google Toolbar installed on IE (also happens in Google Chrome browser) so it warned me that not only did the .co.uk go no place â€œOops! This link appears to be broken.â€ but also gave me a choice as to what it thinks I am looking for with statement â€œDid you mean:â€ and then a choice of URLs.
Now it got it right in this occasion but what if it showed your competitors site via a Domain Name that you own, you would be kicking yourself for sending them free traffic right? Well probably not, because you wonâ€™t have a clue thatâ€™s happen. However your competitor could be rubbing their hands thanking you for all the lovely type in traffic from a domain name they donâ€™t own. However this mostly happens only with sites that share common keywords in their domains, so for example if you owned a domain name but didnâ€™t redirect it any place, someone could just add â€œtheâ€ to the start of the domain on the same extension, get a few links to it and Google could be tricked in to thinking did you mean this URL instead of the one with the correct extension.
What You Can Do
I am going to break it down into action steps.
- Audit your main sites, what extensions have you bought .co.uk, .org.uk, .com, .net, .org etc make a list and check what they do when you type them into different browsers.
- Have all additional domain names pointing to your main site. Make sure you 301 redirect them to your main site so donâ€™t end up with duplicate content across different domain extensions.
- What common misspellings do you own, redirect them also. If you donâ€™t have any misspelt domains and are running a popular site, think about covering the bases on this, you donâ€™t need to bother if your sites low traffic, no ones going to bother.
Remember some users will give up if the domain name they think it is didnâ€™t work most likely heading off to do a search either for you if your lucky or the product/service they are thinking about buying if your not. Not all browsers are helpful and some toolbars are actually very damaging to your traffic by diverting users to a competitor if your URL fails to work.
Now to just get round to checking all the sites I own, it could be a while 😉
Remember you can follow me on Twitter @ClarkeDuncan