We have all bumped into pay-per-click sites while looking for actually useful information. You know these sites. You type in a domain name, fully expecting to find a useful website, and all you find is a sponsored link generic page.
The Periplaneta Americana of the Internet
Up until I was about 26, my primary form of transportation was always a motorcycle. However, I never owned a bike that cost more than $600. In high school and college, I drooled over the Moto Guzzis that I would see from time to time that were hopelessly out of my financial reach. As soon as my bonus came in this year, I resolved to spend it on a Moto Guzzi.
I figured that Moto Guzzi would be at http://www.motoguzzi.com. No such luck. Let’s try http://www.motoguzzi.us. As you can see by clicking the image above, you don’t exactly wind up at Moto Guzzi’s website. (www.motoguzzi.com used to resolve to a pay-per-click site too, but it has since gone down)
These pay-per-click pages and their operators are the parasites of the internet. I love when they put some goddamned phrase at the top like “find something interesting” or “helping you find what you need.”
Far from “helping you find what you need,” these sites do nothing except divert traffic from its intended destination. Trying to wipe them out is like playing whack-a-mole. Go find your favorite website. Lets presume that it is “The Drudge Report.” Now type in http://wwwdrudgereport.com/ (note that I forgot the period). Click it and see where you wind up – certainly no where near the Drudge Report. You can do this all day long — and you’ll find these crappy and annoying pages everywhere. I suspect that they outnumber “legitimate” websites at this point.
These pay-per-click sites are truly the Periplaneta americana of the internet.
Under the UDRP – these kinds of pages are usually considered to be bad-faith use — even when the registrant claims that the page was automatically generated.
Under the ACPA (15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)), this kind of parasitic behavior can subject the pay-per-click domain owner to up to $100,000 in damages as well as forfeiture of the domain name, and possibly an attorneys’ fees award.