Domain names that get type-in traffic are among the most valuable on the resale market. To calculate the number of type-ins a domain name receives, domain buyers use the Overture inventory tool. By typing in a domain name (including the extension, e.g. domainnamewire.com), people can see how many times people searched for the domain name the previous month. If 50 people typed the domain+extension in a search engine by accident, many more must have typed in in their browser’s address bar.
With people paying $1,000s for domains with high “OVT+Ext” counts, it was only a matter of time before people would find a way to manipulate these numbers. I got this idea from a forum posting in which someone said a domain with over 1,000 OVT+Ext got virtually no traffic.
How easy is it to manipulate this number? All someone needs to do is create a script that makes queries at search engines Overture places ads on (e.g. Yahoo). To make it more sophisticated, this script could make queries from multiple IP addresses. So a conman could buy a domain, send out the script for a month, and then try to sell it the next month when Overture shows a high search count.
It’s a shame that such a good tool for evaluating type-in traffic could be made worthless by dishonest people.