Webeden Blog Archive Where Swine Flu meets Domain Names

Where Swine Flu meets Domain Names

9 Replies


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:


…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.

  • http://www.butecrafts.webeden.co.uk Alison Cross

    *tut tut* so they have bought these websites, very naughty. And people are clicking away like billy-oh…….but how are they making lots of money out of it?

    Explain how they make money off the advertising ;-) Or, if you’ve already done that, point me in the direction of the relevant blog.


  • admin

    Well for those websites with a lead capture form, they basically capture the person’s emails, and then sell that email data to someone.

    So for all those people who are registering their interest in Tamilflu, it might be the site owner that they can sell that list to Tamiflu competitors. Or they might themselves just email the list with offers for other pharmaceuticals. If people click on the email and buy, then the person sending the email (the site owner) will make an affiliate commission.

    As for the advertising: Pretty much every time you click on an ad on Internet some money changes hands. Lets say someone searches for ‘swine flu’ and they arrive on the site with lots of ads on it. One or more of those ads might catch their eye – after all they are likely to be relevant to the original search. If they click on one of those ads, the site owner will make some money – anything up to around £1

    Does that make sense?

  • http://www.butecrafts.webeden.co.uk Alison Cross

    It did make sense…. this e-mail capture thing is interesting. If webeden offered a ‘sign up to this newsletter’ capture thing, then we webowners could amass e-mail addresses.

    Of course, it would only be used for sending out a lovely webeden-templated newsletter from our little websites…

    …but that’s got to be worth another fiver a month in revenue to webeden as an add on to your existing packages, has it not?!

    Can you tell I’m on a hunt for a low price newsletter thing and would like a capture box on my website *grin*


  • admin

    Without a doubt… and that’s a cracking idea.

    Can you make do with the forms? In case you didn’t know, if you go file manager and then library and then forms, and choose a contact form, might that be the capture you need?


  • http://www.portbannatynemarina.co.uk Alison Cross

    That’s what I use at the moment….

    Constant Contact is a commonly used newsletter outfit and reasonably priced. But I think webeden could come up with something better and more point and click :-)


  • admin

    Consider it on the list. But Alison, you know what our lists are like ;-)

  • Bill Reynolds

    Does ‘Alison Cross’ actually exist or did you make up the name so to show your getting feed back!!?

  • admin

    I almost feel like I should let her answer that ;-)

  • http://www.buteweddings.webeden.co.uk Alison Cross

    Hey Bill – I’m a real person ;-)

    Just ask anyone who works in the Customer Services section of webeden and you’ll hear a lot of groaning and possibly see some facial ticks.

    I like replying to Ken’s blog because if the business that I use is making an effort to get information out there to us end users using a lot of different platforms, I want to make sure that it is a dialogue, a proper conversation. Without feedback, webeden have no idea whether their efforts are failing us or exceeding our expectations.

    I’m real :-D