Web Traffic Aggregation

Web Traffic Aggregation

Robert S. Owen (Texas A&M University—Texarkana, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 5
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-799-7.ch199
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One reason for registering domain names is for use in funneling Web traffic to a particular destination. Procter & Gamble (P&G) owns many domain names based on generic words that can be used to funnel visitors toward P&G brands. Cough.com, germs.com, and sinus.com all currently bring visitors to a page that takes United States visitors to the single Web site, vicks.com. Vicks.com in turn promotes P&G’s Vicks-branded line of products that are associated with cough, germ, and sinus remedies. Gooogle.com, gogle.com, goolge.com, googel.com, and foofle.com are all owned by Google, used to redirect, or automatically take, visitors to a single Web site, google.com. In this way, Google is aggregating Web traffic, generated from all people who type these misspellings, to a single Web site. Unfortunately, such traffic aggregation is sometimes used in ways that can create victims. A child who uses the URL (uniform resource locator) whitehouse.com with the intention to research a school assignment on the American White House (at http://whitehouse.gov) will be taken to a Web site with adult content. Someone who believes that he or she is using the URL of a Web site devoted to gun control could end up at a Web site with a threatening message by an opposing group (cf. “Hacker Intercepts,” 2000; Montgomery, 2000). Someone who types what is thought to be the name of a popular children’s Web site might be taken to a site that tricks people into downloading malicious software (cf. Happy Trails Computer Club, 2004; “IIS Exploit,” 2004; MIT IS&T, n.d.; Spector, 2002). People might click on an index link or a personal bookmark to visit a school or church Web site, not knowing that the organization is using a new Web address, and be taken to a Web site with adult content (Markovich, 2001; cf.Bryant, 2001; Hardy, 2001).

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