Thursday, November 30, 2006

Stupid website

From time to time someone points out to us they typed our website address with .com at the end instead of .org and were surpised by what came up.


I'm not even going to link to the site. It deserves no traffic.

What comes up is a site that claims it is 'Anti Nestlé' but then has links to Nestlé infant formula promotions, promotions by other baby milk companies and recipés using Nestlé products. It claims these are 'sponsored results'.

Well, as someone said pointing this out today: "You are doing a great job if they have taken that action".

But is this really Nestlé trying to gain a bit of business from people making a mistake with our website address?

A quick bit of net-detecting shows the domain is registered to a company called Nameview, based in Vancouver, Canada. This handles domain names in bulk on behalf of other companies.

Now, it could be the domain name has been snapped up by a cyber-squatter, hoping to earn a bit of cash by selling it on to us or someone else. Perhaps the formula advertisements are meant to make us so angry we pay through the nose to be able to close it down and save any possible confusion with our good name.

Nameview does not help people track down who owns the domain, saying on its website there is no point in even asking: "These domains belong to our customers, not to us. Any such inquiries will be discarded unanswered. Please contact the domain owner directly using the information provided by whois."

But if you use the whois service on a site such as INTERNIC, you find there is no clue as to who owns it. The domain name is tagged as "client Transfer Prohibited", meaning it is not for sale. This does not suggest it is a cyber-squatter.

The contact form on the site did not work when I tried it, again suggesting this is not someone looking to sell the domain name. Possibly it is someone looking to harvest email addresses so it can send spam to them. Alternatively the page could just be there to make it look like a legitimate site.

Should we care that this site exists?

Well, if someone was looking for us they are not going to believe the site has anything to do with us. Everyone who contacts us about it is does so to warn us of its existence, not to question why we appear to be advertising Nestlé formula.

If they came across it because they were searching for formula, they will probably have found the Nestlé 'Very Best Baby' formula site higher up the same search list. So they are already in trouble.

We're certainly not going to fork out cash to buy the domain name. And even if we wanted to, it is not for sale.

We just have to spend a bit of time every now and then responding to emails when this comes up.

So part of the reason for this blog is to have a quick explanation to direct people to.

If you come across the site, please don't post the link on newsgroups or send it on in emails for people to take a look. That will just help move it up the search engine listings as a popular site. Send them the link to this blog instead. (Yes! Move this blog up the search engines!). Use the link

In summary, the site has nothing to do with us. Possibly a baby food company is behind it, possibly not. Best thing to do is just ignore it. Don't visit it. Don't encourage others to visit it.

Another purpose of this entry is to try to bring this blog onto search engine listings should somebody accidently search for us using the .com domain instead of .org

I will have to mention the name so, hopefully, it will be picked up by the search engine spiders that crawl the web. The following text is just for the benefit of the spiders and is intended to appear on the listing: Whoever set up is a stupid idiot and should be ignored. Visit instead.

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