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Scammy Surveys Will Bring Renewed Attention to Cybersquatting

Expect a broad crack down thanks to cybersquatters pushing the edge.

Domain parking of trademark domain names and typos pisses off trademark holders.

Scammy, misleading surveys really piss them off.

Google just filed a complaint with WIPO over the domain name YouTube.ph, and you can’t blame the company. If you go to this domain name you’ll be forwarded to VideoRewardCentral.com and a landing page that looks like this:

Whereas a parked page merely includes links to video sites, sites like YouTube.ph are created to trick internet users into thinking there’s a brand endorsement or the person is on the brand’s actual site. They create significant bad will for the company.

In the above example, after completing a “survey”, you can pick your prize if you complete any number of offers from advertisers.

This is part of the reason Facebook recently filed a massive anticybersquatting lawsuit. Some of the domains were pointing to misleading survey sites such as the above.

Believe me, if you think the domain industry got a bad name with ppc parking, you can expect this type of practice to rev it up a notch. That would be bad for the legitimate people in the industry.

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  1. Adam

    “That would be bad for the legitimate people in the industry.”

    Rick Schwartz said something on Berkens blog a few days back about people protecting or turning a blind eye on others in the industry doing shady business ( I assume he meant this sort of thing) . I don’t see anyone, including Rick, naming names though. I’m sure it’s not hard to figure out, right Andrew ?

    Interesting choice of words John.

  2. Answers

    It’s someone who has a presence in the AFFILIATE space… He or she has a great keyword match domain for their affiliate business… These new shady landers are the result of a new business venture.

    And yes, this kind of thing only damages the domain industry. And yes, when the person responsible gets handed some massive judgement via lawsuit, he or she will simply fold up and leave the parking industry. But domain owners foolish enough to participate, they won’t be so lucky.

  3. WebsiteToSell

    It’s very clear that this is abuse. But, generic domain names get caught up in these trademark issues, too. Please continue to shine light on those cases also.

  4. John Berryhill

    “Interesting choice of words John.”

    No sane person in their right mind would think this kind of thing is a good idea.

    It’s one thing to argue about economic utility of things like PPC, including the use of PPC by ISP’s that hi-jack non-existent domain queries and so forth. That stuff is just small potatoes, and at the end of the day the human toll is not on the order of stuff like “famous brand owner” BP dumping tons of crude in the Gulf of Mexico or “famous brand owner” Verizon screwing their union workers (all those folks they show following their customer in the tv ads) for the sake of zillion dollar executive packages.

    I don’t think it would be an “interesting choice of words” to characterize phishing as criminal behavior, and there is only the thinnest crack of daylight between that and this, if any.

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