We’ve all done it before: typed in the web address of a site we want to visit and gotten a totally unfamiliar site, only to discover that what we typed into the browser was not quite the right address.
Regardless of personal folly, the page one arrives at is no accident. It is the result of a calculating individual who is counting on x-amount of people making the same mistake. It’s known in the world of domain hosting as “Passing-off,” or diverting traffic that is intended to go elsewhere—and technically it is illegal, if one can prove it.
Why do people set up these sites? Because there’s money to be made from it, of course. When someone happens upon one of these sites, advertising is delivered and the domain owner gets paid—simple as that.
Of course, it’s probably not the value advertising that the advertiser is hoping for. After all, once one has discovered that he has gotten the wrong site, how often does he actually stick around and click through?
The fact is, this sort of parasitic activity is extremely common. In a funny twist, upon mistakenly typing in “Televosa.com” instead of “Televisa.com,” we somehow ended up at “Univicion.com,” another aberration of a legitimate site. And in case you were wondering, Batango.com has nothing to do with social networking or web 2.0, and has everything to do with – you guessed it – Bay Area tango.