Friday, February 26, 2010

Google owes me $500 million!

That’s how much Google has made recently through ‘Typosquatting’. Well, it’s a guess, no one really knows for sure.

Typosquatting, what a vivid picture! It reminds me of things I’ve done on really long, lonely brevets in the high desert of the Columbia Plateau, where you can see cars coming long before you hear them, and all you can hear is the swish of sun cured grass, and the dried out false hellebore rattling in the wind (come on summer!)

Typosquatting is the practice of putting up a website with a title that replicates a common misspelling of a popular web address in the hope of capturing internet traffic. Not exactly hijacking per se, more like the social security adminstration keeping all those contributions that undocumented worlers make with thier phoney ssan's for the privilege of picking lettuce for us here in the USof A.

How is Big G involved? Google sells pay-per-click advertising and pays web users to place it on their websites. As the sites get traffic, Google gets revenue from the advertisers (which it shares with the typosquatters by the way).  In this case, thanks to the crappy typists among us (as you have doubtless noticed, that would be me) and the cunning of the typosquatters, Google’s share of ‘add revenue’ (legal term for kickback) is in the neighborhood of $500,000,000 per year. That 500 mill is just a drop in the bucket compared to their gross revenue of $1.25 billion ... per quarter.  All perfectly legal, move along, nothing to see here. And you thought Google was nothing more than that benign, friendly giant, with the whimsical logo font that helped you find the vendor for your custom made, carbon fiber, 110 mm, 6° Crumpton handle bar stems shims.

This by the way is part of why I have not ‘monetized’ TDCC. That, and I cringe at the thought of adds featuring ripped and tan bodies shilling for weight management strategies and dietary supplements. I see over at Fat Cyclist now that you not only get side bar adds but you get pop-ups for Sprint.  That’s the last straw for me. I loved Fat Cyclist, then he 'monetized', I still loved him, but not quite so much. but I really can’t abide pop-up adds. And also, we’re not anxious for TDCC to look so ‘pro’.  We want it to be painfully obvious that you are not in fact accidentally logged on to the Bicycling website. We’re mediocre here at TDCC and we like it that way!

$500,000,000? It boggles the mind doesn’t it? Like so many trivial pursuit facts these days, the numbers are just beyond my ability to comprehend. I have no idea how many custom made, carbon fiber, 110 mm, 6° Crumpton handle bar stem shims FIVE HUNDRED MILLION dollars buys. Hard to believe that my crappy typing is solely responsible for that much economic vitality in the cyberworld.

I’m not saying I want the whole five hundred mill. I fully understand that some 19 year old reformed cyberhacker had to spend probably a couple hours writing code that facilitated this business, and that Google had to absorb the cost of providing the ‘Dude’ with an unlimited supply of ‘Sumatran, double tall, no-foam, full caf, non fat, caramel Machiaotto with whip, and a dash of nutmeg’ coffee drinks, as well as the bottomless supply of ‘goat cheese, roasted red pepper, calmata olive, and soy bacon with gluten free, flatbread crust’, pizza in the lunch room. So sure, there are actual costs associated with this little kickback scheme and I don’t want to appear to be the biggest hog at the trough here. I just want my fair share, that’s all. We’ll settle for $400,000.000.

How’s YOUR day going? (Have another latte´!)


  1. Hey, now that you're rich, you got that $20 I loaned ya?

    Mike / Raleighwood, NC

  2. I'll tell you what Google told me: Check's in the mail.