Internet authorities of Cameroon have found that they are getting millions web requests daily as a result of people typing mistakes. People who type in a domain name sometimes miss a letter “o” and are geting “.cm” at the end of the domain instead of “.com”. When you would multiply this to billions of .com requests daily you would understand how many requests land in Cameroon.
So what do you think they have done? They made one template for all non-existent “.cm” domains and now all such requests end at a “search engine” alike webpage. All the clicks on this page are redirected to a search results of a “Pay-Per-Click” search engine Overture. You can try yourself if you want. Just type in any famous domain name but make it “.cm” not “.com”.
For example: google.cm or msn.cm
Now you can see yourself. The profits from such activities can exceed $10 million a month and probably is a good addition to Cameroon’s budget. Of course if internet authorities do share the profits with the goverment.
Some while ago Verisign managed to give a surfer page that belonged to Verisign and also contained some ads if he typed in the unexistent domain name. At that time ICANN came into play and abolished such activities. But in Cameroon situation it’s not likely that ICANN can influence the interested Cameroon party.
Also we can afraid of some other fraudlent type of use of this “feature”. If someone gets a right for a domain name looking like “paypal.cm” or “yourfavouriteonlinebanking.cm” then one day you can typing that .com in a hurry from somewhere not at your computer (which fills in all the domain names for you) can be phished off. Just to be sure this won’t happen check always if it’s “.com” or “.cm” when entering some vital information.
What would you do if you had such a possibility of earning millions of absolutely passive income? They don’t even try to analyze the request and give more relevant ads – the template is one for any mistyped domain name. Would you also do it in a such way if you were on their place? Or would you put a social warning sign instead explaining to a surfer that he missed that letter “o” and now is trespassing through Cameroonet?