Everybody mistypes web addresses. I know I certainly do.
So what happens when you enter the wrong URL?
Sometimes you land on an error page saying there’s no page at that address and suggesting alternatives. Sometimes you simply go to another legitimate website that happens to have the name you mistyped.
But since Internet traffic is valuable, very often you go to a less-than-legit website that is set up solely to capture all the traffic that comes from misspellings of a popular site. Often these sites are just a bunch of ads for random products or products related to the site you originally wanted. In the worst cases, these sites are promoting scams. That’s what Google has been fighting.
As reported by Tech Crunch, Google – the Internet search leader – had filed a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum to try to get control of the domain names goggle.com, goggle.net and goggle.org from a little-known (and possibly shady) company called Goggle.com Inc. This complaint was dismissed yesterday.
Google’s complaint was that the domain names – Google.com and Goggle.com – are confusingly similar and that Goggle.com is intentionally trying to profit off that confusion.
The Goggle (not Google) sites even appear to be operating some kind of phisher or other scam, so we advise you not to visit them. (Visit our support.earthlink.net site for more information about phisher scams.)
Google is likely to take the case to a federal court. In the meantime, what, if anything, should you do?
To avoid this specific Google issue, EarthLink members can always search with the Google search engine at the top of their myEarthLink Start Page.
But whenever you find yourself at a website that doesn’t look like what you were expecting, double-check the address in your browser. If you’re in the wrong place, simply re-type the address and leave. You’ll be much safer if you don’t interact at all with the page at the misspelled address.
We’ll keep you posted if there’s any more Google/Goggle news.