What Does Typosquatting Mean?

Typosquatting is a questionable technique used by a cybersquatter to attract website traffic by redirecting common typos of popular search terms or major websites to their own sites.


Cybersquatters may try to sell products, install malware on a user's machine or even make an opposing political statement. The extreme version of typosquatting is similar to phishing, where an impostor website mimics a real site, thus providing the user with a false impression that he or she has accessed the correct web page.

Typosquatting is also referred to as URL hijacking.

Techopedia Explains Typosquatting

An example of this is when Google is misspelled as "Goggle.com" or "Googlee.com." In either instance, the user clearly wants to get to Google, not the typosquatter's website.

Domain names that are proper nouns such as people's or company names are often misspelled and are therefore also often exploited by typosquatters. In order to sue, those who own the real website must prove that the similar domain name is being used in bad faith.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.