Do you have Wikipedia bookmarked as one of your favourite websites, or do you just type its URL into your web browser?
Well, be careful if you’re a clumsy typist because advertisers may be trying to take advantage of you not having invested time in a “Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing” course.
Clu-blog reader Pete got in touch with me to tell me that he had accidentally visited http://en.wikpedia.org (note: there’s no “i” before “pedia”) when he really wanted to go to Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org.
And here’s what he saw:
A message pops up in the foreground with an iframe displaying the real Wikipedia website shaded out beneath. The message says that you need to fill in a survey to access the information on the site below (in this case, Wikipedia)
Users who accidentally type the wrong address might be fooled by this into thinking that the survey is in some way endorsed by Wikipedia, whereas clearly it isn’t. And the individuals behind the survey presumably make a few cents every time someone a survey is completed.
So how many innocent people will see this survey and may be tempted to complete it?
Well, according to the site analytics at compete.com, the site playing on poor spellers receives over 10,000 visits a month. Not a vast amount – but certainly not to be sniffed at either.