Brand-approved typosquatting? Sort of.
A new domain name parking service promises to help people monetize brand related domain names, such as typos, in a way that brand owners support.
Protected Parking “enables domain owners to monetize brand related domains with the full knowledge and explicit agreement from the brand owner,” according to the company.
If you have typos or traffic domain names that include trademarks, the company will monetize them through the respective company’s affiliate program.
This idea isn’t entirely new. Typosquatting recovery firm CitizenHawk recovers typo domain names on behalf of companies and then monetizes them for a set period of time as payment.
Protected Parking, however, doesn’t facilitate the transfer of the domain names. In fact, it promises to keep the actual domain information confidential from the brand owner.
That a brand would pay for typo traffic might seem surprising. However, I’ve heard of many brands using zero click to acquire their typo traffic, preferring to pay a small amount rather than file UDRPs or file a lawsuit.
Hani Armstrong, Marketing Director for Protected Parking, explains that his company has worked with brand owners for a long time through its company Barefruit. Barefruit has worked with brands through their affiliate programs to monetize ISP error traffic intended for their websites.
“Brands, perhaps understandably, are not willing to work directly with domain owners as they feel it encourages registration of typos,” Armstrong wrote in response to a Domain Name Wire inquiry. “We act as an intermediary for brand owners to regain traffic lost to typo domains, thereby giving them back control of the customer journey but without the cost and hassle of pursuing the UDRP route to recover ownership of the domains.”
The company publishes a list of brands that it works with, and also has an upload tool to analyze your portfolio for matches.
Domain name owners should keep in mind that, while brand owners are paying for this traffic, they’d still prefer that their brands not be typosquatted. Although Protected Parking won’t disclose your domains to trademark holders, there’s nothing stopping a trademark holder from finding your domain through other means and filing a lawsuit or UDRP.