Why Is Traffic From a .Com Typo OK, But Traffic From a .CM Is Not?

As you know, over the last few weeks, I have been reporting on the rollout of the .CM ccTLD, and not a post goes by, where I haven’t gotten at least one, and usually several comments from domainers, to the effect that, all that the .cm extension is for, is to serve as a typo of a .com,  and its only value is from misdirected traffic.


For years I have seen .com typos and misspells,  sell for thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars and not once did I hear anyone comment negatively on it.

Take the domain qoute.com currently at auction at Godaddy.com.  The domain is a clear typo for quote.com, already has 32 bids with a high bid of $755.  The domain according to Godaddy is expected to get over 1,000 visitors a month.

I would venture to say that no domainer has a problem with anyone bidding on this domain and owning it, although its only value lies in the traffic it receives from being a typo of quote.com.

Isn’t this the same industry that applauded the sale of the typo of Voyuer.com for $112K a few years ago?

Isn’t this the same industry that had several bidders, at a live TRAFFIC auction, bid up the price of the typo domain mortage.com to $242,000?

Assuming no trademark issues, why is a misspell of a generic.com fine with everyone but a generic .cm viewed in a negative light?

I personally see no fundamental difference between a typo .com domain and a .cm.

I think you either have to be in favor or both or against both.

Any other position is inconsistent.


  1. says

    Personally I don’t really care either way, as I don’t mess with typos. But in regards to your question, one difference I can see is that a typo of a high traffic name is one thing, geared to ‘one’ market/field etc. And if some want to pay big bucks, or small bucks, for that type of traffic, that is their call and risk. But with a typo of .com to be .cm, then that opens up ‘any url’ to being a prospect of a typo, and a whole larger market to target and ‘capitalize’ on. And that will bring in a whole bunch of new ‘squatters’, that will try and to exploite that style of domaining. It’s kinda of a no-brainer for typo lovers. ..Sad, but reality.

  2. Johnny says

    All this talk of typos will one day be moot as you can count on the browsers and plug-ins will make sure nobody makes mistakes, even if they do mistype.

    I don’t have a problem with .cm, but it does make one wonder how much more open the door is now for typos. Did it add 20% more inventory for typos? 30%? 5%? Who knows.

    Generally speaking, typos convert at a lower rate than correctly spelled domains, so there is another reason not to invest in them. Educated people on a whole don’t make spelling errors like uneducated people do. And educated people usually make more money, so they are more apt to buy, therefore higher conversions. .cm may be a good short term investment, but long term? I doubt it.

    You know, some of this animosity over .cm domains might be that many domainers are broke right now and would love to buy some, but they are excluded by default due to an empty bank account.

  3. says


    I agree. A typo domain is a typo domain. Typo traffic is typo traffic. How anyone can like one kind and hate the other is not very rational to me either.

    I personally am not a fan of either typo .com’s or the dotCM’s for huge prices. I’ve hand registered typo .com’s but I won’t pay much more than that for them. I’m also not a fan of paying $350 for 2 yrs for .cm’s.

    I think the whole Kevin Ham/wildcarding of the .CM registry may have unfairly put a negative bent on .CM domains in some domainers’ minds. Otherwise, besides the huge renewal fees, I don’t get the bias either. :)

  4. Helder says

    I think that typos are a shot in the dark, they can have traffic or not, it’s always a risk, i wouldn’t give a cent for any typo.

    Now about what you say, i think there’s a difference, when you talk about typos in the .com tld, you’re talking about some domains that are a very small percentage among all the .com domains that exist.

    When you talk about .cm you don’t talk about some domains, but you talk about an whole tld that is meant only and only to become a typo of another tld, the .com

    IMO that makes all the difference, creating an extension to become a typo is not the same as registering some typo domains in other extensions.

    It’s trying to make money from spelling errors people make typing, simply that, it’s a bad image IMO, it gives nothing to no one, it doesn’t add value to anyone except to the domain owners of .cm

  5. MHB says


    “creating an extension to become a typo is not the same as registering some typo domains in other extensions.”

    Just to be clear this extension was not “created” by anyone. It is the country code given to Cameramen long ago, before anyone knew what .com’s would be.

    Every country has a sovereign right to use its country code as it wants.

    I still see no difference philosophically to owning mortage.com which mean nothing if not as a typo of the correct spelling or mortgage.cm.

    I’m not saying you can’t be against both, I’m saying you can’t justify just being against one of the two

  6. MHB says


    The entry you site does refer to trademark law and common law trademarks.

    Passing off can be applied as easily to mortage.com and mortgage.cm, however establishing a right to a trademark common law or otherwise in a highly generic term such as mortgage is going to be a tough go.

  7. says

    **I still see no difference philosophically to owning mortage.com which mean nothing if not as a typo of the correct spelling or mortgage.cm**

    Philosophically, and in this instance, no there isn’t. But, what about the many mortgage (any industry) sites, that don’t have ‘mortgage’ traffic, (whereby it’s worth paying big bucks for a typo), but have considerable traffic whether thru their domain, marketing efforts, reputation etc., that one can now go out and spend a few dollars to get their ‘extension typo’, to convert to parking etc. money?? Sites that may not get 200,000+ hits a month, but get 10,000-50,000 are now ‘typo’ targets. And as not every website or business is TM’d, or will be, those teeth are out of that defense. And something that may not be too common now, can easily explode too! And that is for ‘.cm’ typo gamers, to start cloning all the sites they buy in the .cm extension, with their own money making links!! Is there a WWW ‘law’ whereby one can’t copy anothers site? Ethical or not? Think about it this way Mike, what if someone regged and built a duplicate site on MostWantedDomains.cm? Would it still be ‘philosophically’ ok?

  8. MHB says


    Mostwanteddomains is not a generic term (trademark is pending BTW) domains is.

    All I’m saying if the industry had no problem with someone spending $242K on a typo of mortgage.com, the same industry can’t beat someone up for buying mortgage.cm

  9. Helder says

    MHB just to clarify, i’m not trying to justify, i’m against typos wherever they come from, i believe it’s a way of deceiving and a way of taking advantage from other people.

    And yes i know .cm belongs to Cameroon, and i don’t question their right to have it. So it’s my fault i didn’t explain myself well. What i meant to say with an extension “created” to be a typo, is that the extension is not being used as a cctld, and everyone or almost everyone who is investing in .cm, is investing with the expectation of receiving traffic from people who mispell .com

    I remember once reading an article where someone was praising Kevin Ham, because he was very smart to have found a hole (i think that was the expression used) of 300 million dollars. It was related to .cm

    I don’t think that’s the right way to go, but each person chooses how to be in business and Life.

  10. MHB says


    Thanks for the clarification.

    I have no problem with your position and agree that “each person chooses how to be in business and Life.”

  11. Patrick McDermott says

    “Educated people on a whole don’t make spelling errors like uneducated people do. ”


    Spelling errors and typing errors are not the same thing.

    You can know how to spell a word but still mistype it.

    “Just to be clear this extension was not “created” by anyone. It is the country code given to Cameramen long ago, before anyone knew what .com’s would be.”


    I agree with your position there’s “no fundamental difference between a typo .com domain and a .cm.”

    However the “value” of .CM is not as a country code.

    It’s “value” is solely as a typo of .COM.

    Anyone going to reg a double typo like Mortage.cm?

  12. says



    Passing off is the end run tactic when using trademark law to assert intellectual property rights may not be enough to get the job done. If a generic domain name is registered as an established, operating website (not parked) and the business plan of the typo site owner is to divert this traffic by selling competitive products and services or redirecting site visitors elsewhere for commercial gain of the typo owner, legal counsel should be lined up in advance of the potential fallout.

    If a website is even moderately successful, return traffic is expected to develop over time. When this traffic ends up at a typo site as the foreseeable result of a calculated, third party business decision, there’s the potential for trouble – no matter what the TLD.

    What’s more, you get that kind of bad domain vibe going on and what are the chances it might embolden action on the part of cash strapped municipalities to find legal theories for asserting IP ownership rights in high profile geo domains that generate the kind of income that would pay to keep a few more police officers on the streets?

    IMO, the perception of the domain industry as a whole has broad and lasting implications that extend well beyond the issues raised by typo domain websites.

    The above comments are based on opinion and speculation about the future. It’s NOT intended as legal advice. Check with a trademark lawyer for legal issues pertaining to your specific circumstances.

  13. D says

    “browsers and plug-ins will make sure nobody makes mistakes, even if they do mistype.”

    Hm, would be interesting browser making sure to replace flickr.com (typo) with flicker.com haha

  14. says

    “Educated people on a whole don’t make spelling errors like uneducated people do. ”

    A lot of educated people are dyslectic .. not that I am of corse :)

    Talking of intelligence, what if the search engines recognized a typo “or at least a parked domain” by ascertaining that it was parked, based on the nameservers, parked.com, sedoparking.com, trafficz.com etc.. Is this in place already?

  15. says

    People how made a big thing about CM are deluding themselves. All the good traffic typos in CM are still in Kevin Ham’s pocket. Just do some real research and you’ll see that these “premium generic typos” won’t bring more than a few hundred hits a month. If we presume * 10% clickthrough * .20 cents a click – we’d be around $250 valuation for the best of the best.

    Now add the fact that typos like this will be corrected by browsers – and more traffic every day comes from search engines and portals, not type-in urls, and you’ve got declining revenue.

  16. says

    also on the other side of the coin, contrary to your beliefs and educational level are those domains which are .us.com .im etc…., which may very well carry a high value one day if not already ie;, business.us.com and you are downplaying these domains cutting your own stupid nose off despite your face! A premium name for all the foolish skeptics here is WHATEVER the buyer considers it thus by way of supply and demand causing others with similar interests to job on board etc.. All of you CLOWNS who claim this domain extension or that one isn’t good and this and that BS only .com .com yeah DUH .com not .cm or .us.com is the trick will end up if not already but DEFINITELY over this decade losing out MAJOR league when the real intelligent domainers think outside of the box and get all those domains your putting down like FOOLS you are putting it lightly of course!

  17. says

    @Ed Muller

    “All the good traffic typos in CM are still in Kevin Ham’s pocket.” – not correct. I wouldn’t make such statement if I were you if you cannot prove it.

    “Just do some real research and you’ll see that these “premium generic typos” won’t bring more than a few hundred hits a month.” – also not really correct. I have seen the traffic stats for many of the .CM domains. Some of the generics have over 1K visitors per day.

  18. says

    I did plenty of research, every domain I went into an auction for was “rejected” and each of those domains is still redirecting, instead of sold to any bidders. Feel free to look for the CM post on my blog. Argue as much as you like but the facts in research outweigh the “proof” that no one’s ever seen.

  19. guy says

    John… your theory on typos being ‘fixed’ by some auto system is flawed… i.e. spot, spat, spit.. which one is the typo?? or what if the typo is actually five letters? sport, spate, spite ??

    agree with D also.. flickr is the source site… now flicker which is the typo gets chosen??hmm??

    also.. we were one of the few that actually tested the .cm space while they were still trying to figure out what to do with it.. and let me tell you, the traffic is certainly not the great big money spinner that everyone thinks it is cracked up to be…

  20. says

    Well that’s it then, I’m glad I didn’t bid on any of them.. twas/is a fools game .. especially when no one is prepared to shout out the stats, got to be a reason why….

  21. says

    Some domainer which bought at TRAFFIC Amsterdam and in the Rick Latona online auction, have bought domains in this NameJet auction, I assume they know what they are doing, but maybe I am wrong.

  22. says

    It’s perfectly OK to register mortgage.cm, in my opinion. But it is not OK to purchase Coke.cm etc. The problem with the .CM TLD is that it’s mostly used by squatters who want to capitalize on trademark typos. After all, the large brands and websites receive the highest traffic.

    I’ve got no problem with anybody registering generic .CM domains, and I agree with what you wrote in your post, Mike. It’s just that we all know why Cameroon’s TLD is so popular and what it is mostly used for.

    I don’t have any sympathy for squatters holding trademark typos or exact trademark terms, no matter what domain extension they’re using.

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