Venturebeat.com just wrote a post about A study released today by a UC Berkeley project called Netalyzr, which revealed that some Internet users on some ISPs, who search for a word or term are being redirect the user to websites rather than to a page or search results about the keyword in question.
“The Berkeley project, called Netalyzr, was created to measure DNS behavior. However, over the past few months, the Netalyzr team noticed some unexplained and unexpected redirections across at least 12 ISPs in the United States.”
“The affected ISPs use services provided by a company called Paxfire to monetize certain web search requests. Paxfire’s main line of business is DNS-error traffic monetization, i.e., the practice of presenting advertisements and search results to users who mistyped a website’s address in their browser.”
“In addition, some ISPs employ an optional, unadvertised Paxfire feature that redirects the entire stream of affected customers’ web search requests to Bing, Google and Yahoo via HTTP proxies operated by Paxfire.”
“The research team found that around 170 specific, brand-related keywords would trigger interference by the HTTP proxies, causing users to be redirected to affiliate marketing landing pages. “In the process, the ISPs and Paxfire presumably earn commission payments for the redirected flows,” the researchers wrote.”
“Some of the ISPs involved are, according to data presented by multiple organizations involved in the investigation, Cavalier, Cincinnati Bell, Cogent, DirecPC, Frontier, Fuse, Hughes, IBBS, Insight Broadband, Megapath, Paetec, RCN, Wide Open West and XO Communication.”
“While it’s likely that ISPs had at least some knowledge of at least some of the DNS redirection, if not search traffic redirection, it’s less likely that the brands themselves were involved in the scheme.”
Its an interesting article and you should check it out in full
The beauty of .xxx is that virtually every .com (TM or generic) will buy .xxx – mostly for defensive purposes – but who cares why – that is a really really lot of money
Thanx for putting a spotlight on this! Before reading the article, I wasn’t aware the ISPs would go that far to deliver a page based on entering a search term, although Charter, mentioned, is my service provider . . . Lots of nerve of Paxfire to tangle with Google.
Blogger Andrew Payne, Google security engineer Damian Menscher, Netalyzr, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation did a great job to expose this . . .
Stephen Douglas says
@ Brian Wick,
I don’t recall seeing anything about the new ext. XXX. I see an indepth and important article on certain ISP’s hijacking traffic and getting clickrev on them.
So Brian, do you got a dog in the XXX game?
Dub-A, you should cull your comments for obvious spams (unless they ask your permission, of course).
David Harry says
Over here in Australia our largest Telco & ISP is Telstra and they quite a few months ago launched a service that displayed a search result page, looking very similar to Google, which seeks to help users who have typed in the wrong web address and they have paid search results also. The search results come from Yahoo!
Exactly – wrong thread
– however, I suppose you could draw a dotted line that if an isp can hijack search traffic – nothing would stop them from “blocking” .xxx.
In any event I buy very few defensive domains anymore – and that is exactly what .xxx is
@ David Harry, We have that over here for a long time. I don’t like it, and close the tab. Therefore, it doesn’t offend like performing research in Google, and instead of a list of results, you get a page you didn’t click on!
HornJacker.com is going VIRAL says
From virtually zero to 2 million hits in one week.
This is a very interesting subject…
Years ago, when ‘MSMlive’ search was Microsoft’s main search engine, they would redirect anything miss typed in their IE browser…to an MSMlive landing page, with mostly ads etc.. on it.
Firefox browser, for years (still do I think) have a revenue sharing contract to redirect anything miss typed into their browser to a Google landing page of ads…now that just changed a bit…as it goes directly to a goggle search page instead.
This went on for almost 2 years, before the “ISP’s” finally caught on…so what they figured out is that they could…”redirect’ the typeO traffic etc, before the browsers could get a chance to ‘redirect’ the traffic.
I have had, ‘Verizion FIOS” for 4 years or so…. and at first, they ‘redirect’ this type traffic to a ‘PPC” ads landing page, powered by Yahoo…page header would just say “Verizon.net”
Then they changed to…”ASK.com” ppc ads landing page….same type a deal, then it was a ppc ads landing page from ‘yellow pages’.
Now both my browsers go to a ‘Google’ search page….for any type of typeO etc..
My default setting for both browsers is ‘Goggle’ (have not tried this with setting it to “Bing”…to see what happens)
Now, what is somewhat ‘weird’, is that now: (just changed recently)
Using…IE7, if I type into my browser say: ksgdt….(no extension)…it changes briefly to: http://ksgdt/ (no extension)….and then goes to the Google search page, with “ksgdt” in the search box…just as if I would have typed it in at the search box, on Google’s home page.
Using….Firefox, it does the exact same thing…except, it does NOT briefly change to the: http://ksgdt/
So in summary….It would appear at least for my ISP….Verizon FIOS has cut a ‘deal’ with both MS & Firefox…to redirect all miss typed traffic to Google search pages.
It would be interesting to see if some that reads this, has both browsers…and has “Bing” as their home page default setting…and is using ‘Verizon FIOS’ as their ISP….and would do the same ‘test’ that I did above, to see what happens.
BTW: .Verizon FIOS is probably the largest ISP in the US….if not, pretty close.
Correction to my post above…
“Verizon FIOS has cut a ‘deal’ with both MS & Firefox”
Verizon FIOS has cut a ‘deal’ with Google…to ‘redirect’ all the typeO’s & misspelling’s, to Google search pages.
My bad…. 😉
I just noticed after making my first post on this….that if directly type in:
Firefox…takes me to a “Verizon” landing page, “powered by Yahoo”
If I do the same thing using MS IE7….it just takes me to a “non resolved’ page.
Interesting IMHO…but strange 😉
That takes me to a non-resolving page on firefox
ISP redirects are breaches of state and federal law. Let the class action lawsuits commence against all the ISPs using paxfire: