What You Need, When You Need It

…is by far the most annoying thing to find on the Internet when you’re in an honest search for something. This “tagline” is part of a fake “search engine portal” used by the world’s largest cybersquatter, information.com, and this article aims to outline just how they “get away” with these registrations while gaining the audience and revenue they were really seeking all along.

Cybersquatting via “type-in traffic”

“Type-in traffic” refers to traffic gained by people who type stuff in directly into the address bar, usually preceded by the subdomain “www” and the TLD “com” (belligerence intended). While this is genuinely useful for very specific corporate names, e.g. Microsoft, it is a cybersquatter’s paradise for common words (examples below).

Try it: just type in a common, ideally non-pornographic or non-possibly-pornographic phrase into the address bar followed by a common TLD and see if you land on a cybersquatter’s page. Here’s some by information.com we found just screwing around before writing this article: bang.com, those.com, cool.com, chink.com, poop.com, spik.com, etc.

“What you need, when you need it” – The all-important tagline

The “what you need…” tagline is just one of many that popular cybersquatters use on their landing pages. “Your source for virtually anything!” and others in the same vein all aim to accomplish the same thing: “fool” the casual, brain-dead web surfer into believing that this is a real page.

And what does this “landing page” accomplish, exactly? A quick highlight:

The typical cybersquatter landing page, with highlights

I highlighted the search bar, the link directory, and the fake navigation bar. All of these are related to the domain name (bullet.com in this case), and are also all ads. So, when a cybersquatter purchases a domain name, they populate it with an ad-filled landing page containing a tagline, a link directory, an “ad-engine”, and a host of other links in the hopes users click them and earn them money.

Want that name? Tough.

Even if they’re willing to sell the name they’re sitting on (9/10 times they are), it is going to cost you an arm and a leg. They basically want to charge you such an amount that they earn back the lost ad revenue from the newly-sold domain name, and so they can use the money to buy more names.

What’s sad is that the web’s unregistered common-TLD domain names are slowly being eaten away by these squatters. Web 3.0 websites all use odd TLDs like .fm or .ly, so I forsee a new web with more of a service-based emphasis using newer, hip TLDs instead of the dated .com (while it still retains its proper place, of course).

But that’s a different article, or in our case, a whole topic named “Web Darwinism“.

How they get away with it

If it is not trademarked, it is fair-game. Bullet is not trademarked, so it is OK to sit on without valid legal threat from a bullet manufacturer. Xerox, Microsoft, or Google on the other hand are all trademarked corporate names and therefore cannot be squatted via domain name.

There have been multiple precedents set this in regards to both cyber- and typo-squatting.

A few years ago, however, Tom Cruise raised a big stir about a cybersquatter using tomcruise.com, and actually won it back from them. No trademark. Nothing. Just a name.

So it just goes to show how cybersquatters are taking a risk when it comes to non-common or non-dictionary words, and it has come back to bite a few of them in the past.

But, it won’t stop them from doing this, so we as users just have to learn to use a reputable search engine when looking for something instead of typing it in ourselves. And if you land on a cybersquatter page anyways, don’t click anything to bring them in revenue. They’re going to hate me for posting this, but oh well.

Of course, just the fact that you’re reading this article shows that you probably know better than to fall for this anyways, but informing the general population of these practices will bring further awareness to this fact and slowly allow the squatters to die off with a newfound lack of incoming revenue (hopefully).

Twitter-friendly URL: http://bit.ly/26nk1Q

Stephen

Stephen (last name kept private) is currently a student at the University of South Carolina with a major in computer science. He is very knowledgeable when it comes to current as well as up-and-coming software technologies, and is renown for his intuitive reviews of software products and services.

More Posts

16 Comments

  1. Pissed Off Mofo August 21, 2011

    Hey thanks for getting the word out on this. I am SOOOOO sick of people squatting on domains. There was one day a while back I typed in 20 random domains that had useful names and would have been useful sites. But EVERY one of them was a “what you need when you need it” B.S. useless site. It should be forbidden to buy a domain unless you have a previously-existing verifiable business associated with it. Squatter sites should be considered “Browsing Spam” and should be shut down. As far as I’m concerned, the whole internet has become a toilet thanks to greedy people (and No, a site of ad links is not the least bit useful, anyone trying to defend such a site probably owns one). I am middle aged and have never had a “mission” or “life purpose”. But cleaning this crap off the face of the earth shall be mine, henceforth.

  2. ÀñGRY ÑÔÔß February 24, 2011

    @jojo

    How can you call someone retarded while thinking a two year old can have a credit card? Perhaps you aren’t aware of these things called “laws”.

    Or maybe you’re the “retarded” one.

  3. To the first person who left a comment: 2 year olds can register domain names, have credit cards, and are able to use the computer proficiently that way? Are you RETARDED?!

  4. Squatters Suck Dick October 14, 2010

    Well “Domainer” I don’t care if you think its a legitimate business its not supposed to be a business your not supposed to make money with out work that a 2 year old with a computer can do. This is Why more people need to graduate high school so they don’t become a squatter they ruin out internet and nobody really cares for them eventually i hope people will use that back button and stop revenues from coming in for em that and i hope they never make a dime from it it takes away from what is supposed to be the “people place” for us to use for our purposes not to make money by buying all the domain names people don’t have and accidentally type in and putting adds to make money off of on them

  5. Domainer (aka cybersquatter): Registering domain names and parking them to generate ad revenue is as legitimate as any extortion scheme. Any existing small business probably has its name squatted. Any new business with a name that even vaguely represents its service or products probably has its name squatted.

    Oh, they’re “available” for a price, the squatter will say. “If you want your customers to find you, then pay me, or else I will siphon your customers looking for your name away from you.” Squatters have created a problem and now demand money to cure it. That’s the definition of extortion. There’s good money in it, as Al Capone demonstrated when he did the same thing – and also called his organization a “legitimate business!”

  6. Breanna October 4, 2010

    Thank you for the article! I have a question… you mention trademarking in your article. So, if there is a website out there that lands on one of these pages and the name is not trademarked, what happens if you start a business and trademark the name? Can you then get the website back?

  7. Domainer July 26, 2010

    Registering domain names and parking them to generate ad revenue is a perfectly legitimate business venture.

    Just because they are ads doesn’t make the links on the parked domain any less useful to someone browsing the site.

    Google search result pages display ads. So do you avoid using Google because someone may be earning revenue by posting ads there?

  8. Ignorant June 18, 2010

    This is just ignorant.

    “I went to biotechnology.org and guess what I found.
    They wrote that they want to sell it for $90,000.
    As far as I know, a .org domain worths about $10.”

    You are right that .org domains are of less value than .com, but such a generic term as bio technology which gets over 200,000 exact searches per month has value because of that. Let us valuate and compare it to the .com:

    BioTechnology.com – 576,000$
    BioTechnology.org – 6500$

    He might have overpriced BioTechnology.org, but with the right buyer he may even get 90k.

  9. I daresay that since this web page mentions the dreaded “what you need, when you need it” tagline more than once (whoops, there we go again, tick!) -or perhaps not within a HTML HEAD clause, that a certain search algorithm ranks it upward.
    Great info BTW Stephen, thanks for your service to web surfers everywhere.

  10. Mark McGrath February 16, 2010

    © I created that slogan, its not trademarked so email me if you want to accuse me of cyber squatting. I would like to know who is profiting from this. If you know, please do email the aforementioned address. •

  11. This is the #1 Google search result for “What you need when you need it” – it seems almost like a victory over the domain squatters in and of itself

    Congratulations

  12. Mohammad January 21, 2010

    They should change it to “What you don’t need, When you don’t need it.”

  13. Mohammad January 20, 2010

    I went to biotechnology.org and guess what I found.
    They wrote that they want to sell it for $90,000.
    As far as I know, a .org domain worths about $10. That’s terrible! How can they ever do this? It must be stopped.

  14. Mohammad January 20, 2010

    You’re right. I have seen this tagline so many times that I really hate it. In your opinion, Can we do anything to stop this big problem?

  15. You are definitely right: These “What you need, when you need it” websites are crawling all over the Web. They attract those bored Internet surfers easily and get lots of money over it. This is really an interesting result you get from Googling “What you need, when you need it.”

  16. cheap rs gold September 7, 2009

    Thank you very much. I am wonderring if I can share your article in the bookmarks of society,Then more friends can talk about this problem.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*