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Where Swine Flu meets Domain Names

Swine flu and domain names are two things which don’t often come up in the same sentence. But as reported over on the domain name wire, some quick thinking individuals have seen profit whilst the rest of us were seeing panic.

The story here is another one of cybersquatting. The domain names:

swineflutamiflu.com
tamifluswineflu.com
swine-flu-tamiflu.com
tamiflu-swine-flu.com

…have been snapped up by a couple of individuals. A website has been placed on each domain. One has lots of ads for flu related products, and the other has a form inviting people to leave their details if they’re interested in getting more information about Tamiflu. Both of these are an opportunity for the domain registrants to be able to make a fast buck,

These domain names are riding on the back of interest and concern about swine flu, which has resulted in people searching for swine flu and tamilflu online. And as any person who has been reading our Search Engine Optimisation guide (SEO) will know, it’s easier to rank highly for a keyword if that word is in your domain name.

Roche, the manufacturer of Tamiflu, are using the domain arbitration system to recover the domain names. Until that time, there’s no doubt that the current owners of these domains are clearing some major cash.

For a few years now, Google have mapped the spread of flu across the USA by analysing where and when people are searching for flu symptoms online. The outbreak of swineflu has caused a real spike in flu related searches.

Here’s a graph from Google insights for ‘swine flu’


And ‘tamiflu’

What do you think of these domain buyers? Quick thinkers or a cybersquatting menace? Leave us a comment below.

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