Why Search Engines are Your Friend for Finding the Website You're Actually Looking For
As you may have heard, the Internet is about to get flooded with thousands of new domain extensions. In fact, the first batch of new TLDs have already been released to the public and there are many more to come (and if you clicked through you'll see there are almost 70 TLDs from one registry alone). All of these new domain extensions will very likely cause some confusion, especially in the beginning. Was the website TheirName.plumbing or TheirName.plumber? Or was it simply TheirNamePlumber.com?
This can be a problem if you are directly typing what you think is the correct web address into your browser's URL bar. Doing this not only often brings you to the wrong website, but it also opens you up to spammers and scammers. This is especially true if the website you're typing in is easy to misspell. This is because spammers and scammers use typos to their advantage. In a recent article on PC World titled, "Typos Online Aren't Just a Hassle, They're a Hazard," they featured a study on the typos of well-known anti-virus domains. The study found that out of their list of 946 typo domains, there were 385 fake domains that were passing themselves off as the real ones - and over 40% were fraudulent.
Luckily there is an easy way to avoid all of this confusion and fraudulence. After all this is why we have search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and more. Unless you are absolutely sure of the domain name you need to visit (and pay attention while typing it), you should always use a search engine to ensure you will find the correct website. Even if you type it in wrong in the search engine, in most cases it will either correct you and show the results you actually wanted or ask if you meant something else. For example, I typed "mcaffee" into Google and it simply gave me results for "mcafee," which is the correct spelling.
Another great thing about search engines is as you type they also give you suggestions, which in many cases just happens to be the correct spelling of what you're looking for:
This even works for small local businesses such as nearby Sharona's Chocolate Shop, which is one of our favorite places to stop for a Friday treat:
Whether you're looking for a highly established .COM website, a local small business on a country code domain such as .US, or even a brand new website on .BIKE, which is one of the new TLDs, a search engine is your friend. Using a search engine will help you ensure you're finding the right website and not one that will scam you. Tired of always typing in the same few websites you visit all the time? Take advantage of your browser's bookmarks and once you know you're on the right website, save it, so it's only a click away in the future!
On a side note, right after posting this an article about misleading campaign websites caught my eye. Apparently Republicans set up a few websites that look like they are in support of several Democratic candidates, but actually are in support of defeating those candidates. They used clever domain names, i.e. their site is located at Contribute.SinkForCongress2014.com and the real candidate's website is actually at AlexForCongress.com, and they also used the same color scheme as the real website. I decided to try typing in "Alex Sink for Congress" to Google and was happy to see her actual website come up first and the fake website was nowhere to be found on the first page. Again, double check yourself with a search engine and read the fine print on the page to be sure it's the right one!
So, don't forget to 'brows' the Internet with your favorite search engine to make sure you land on the correct website like this cute little guy!
Post by Robyn Norgan