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An example of this could be shown on every .tk domain that doesn't exist,
just write www.givemeacookie.tk or something, you get into a fake search engine/index

Now these things are all over, I use to always ignore it because it was obvious just a fake template, but it's everywhere.

I was wondering, where is it originated (here it's searchmagnified, but in their website it's also something generic) ? Is there a proper name for these type of websites?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

That's a "parked" domain. Look in the footer. Ostensibly, this is a service the host is offering to domain owners who haven't actually built out a site yet. In truth, they're really squatting on the domain, they'll probably never do anything with it and this is just a money grab.

Hover over any of those links. It's all advertising and affiliate links. If somebody happens to click one of them, they make a little money. Multiply by them probably owning hundreds or thousands, and it adds up.

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still wondering who are the big fishes in this scam, should be an easy way to create a filter for all those websites... If I can recognize them quickly, so can a machine –  Asaf Feb 26 '11 at 11:20
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@asaf - the problem is, they're not really technically doing anything horribly wrong. Sure, it's a cheap and dirty way to get ad impressions... but unless they're occupying a legitimate domain, I don't think we can fault them for anything but being uncreative. –  Jacob Hume Feb 26 '11 at 13:33
    
CIRA (The Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the organization that manages the .CA domain space on behalf of all Canadians) was entertaining the notion of banning this practice. –  msanford Feb 27 '11 at 5:20
    
@Jacob Hume: How is it not wrong? Domain squatting is a major problem for those actually interested in developing useful websites. It's the reason why good domains are hard to get (and usually cost thousands of dollars), and it creates an overabundance of spam on the web. These websites are essentially single-page spam sites. If domain squatting isn't wrong, then neither is spamming or running pyramid schemes. Anything detrimental to society is wrong. –  Lèse majesté Mar 1 '11 at 12:54
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@Lèse majesté: While I agree that more spam is never a good thing, I still don't believe that it's something wrong, at least not to the point of warranting illegality, UNLESS they have occupied a legitimate domain, ie: previously registered or trademarked. They're spam pages, which is not good, but they're opt-in. Forcing you to pay thousands of dollars to relinquish that domain is another issue, however. –  Jacob Hume Mar 1 '11 at 18:26
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The top-level domains for many countries are essentially up for grabs - the highest bidder can lobby a country's government to acquire "parking rights" for all the domains which have yet to be registered.

The .cm TLD is probably the best example of this dubious practice, though you may want to check to ensure that the page which is being served up is not coming from your ISP or possibly even adware installed on your web browser, as non-existent domains appear to be the target of many opportunists.

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a really interesting answer, thanks for the references. –  Asaf Feb 26 '11 at 13:56
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+1 for mentioning .cm; notably, OpenDNS will allow you to auto-correct .cm domains to .com as they are so widely seen to be scam typo-trawling .com wannabes. –  msanford Feb 27 '11 at 5:21
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When a domain expires but is still within the Grace period it will be parked on one of these PPC services for example Sedo. You will find that most registrars become the official owner of the domain but might still allow the registrant to renew it (there is no contractual obligation to do so!).

This period also allows the registrar to test the domain for traffic and revenue by putting up PPC (pay per click) ads on the domain.

For more info see this great article: http://www.dailydomainer.com/2007124-expired-but-not-gone.html

and an example of one of these domain parking companies

http://www.sedo.com/uk/park-domains/how-parking-works/?tracked=&partnerid=20293&language=e

regards,

Hedley Phillips Digital Essence Web Design & Hosting

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