Is it unethical to take advantage of a competitor's mistake?

by garyv 117 replies
I was doing my usual competitor scouting on google to check out the competition, and I noticed an adwords ad, where they had mis-typed their url. Example - they had put widget-big.com, instead of big-widget.com. I look at the adwords link and it goes nowhere. So then I do a search, and find that the url is not registered. I register the url and have a website up in about 15 minutes. Now I'm getting free traffic from a url mistype.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #advantage #competitor #mistake #unethical
  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
    LMAO - unethical, no!

    Smart, yes.
    • Profile picture of the author CmdrStidd
      ROFL - That has got to hurt the other guy. How long before he realizes that he is getting all these click throughs on the ad but is not making any sales? I am sure he would check the ad to see he had it right and will notice his misspelled URL.

      Please let us know how long you get free traffic from his typo. I want to see how long this poor schlep takes to figure out his mistake. lol
  • Profile picture of the author Clyde Dennis
    One word... Nope! I agree w/Jeremy - very smart.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I call it a lucky break and good that you noticed it. Capitalizing on mistakes isn't unethical in my book.
  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    I'm sure it won't last for too long, but I couldn't resist. That sort of mistake pays for a domain registration usually in less than an hour.

    What's really fun is to find an unregistered url that was mis-spoken on TV. I've done that before as well. Free money, you gotta love it!
    • Profile picture of the author ~Davor Debrecin~
      Originally Posted by garyv View Post

      What's really fun is to find an unregistered url that was mis-spoken on TV. I've done that before as well. Free money, you gotta love it!
      Hm, just curious - how do you actually find out if a URL is mis-spoken on TV? Do you check every URL you see on TV?

      If you do, you really have an interesting habit.

      If you do check every URL shown on TV, could you share with us the "mis-spoken conversion rate" haha? If it's one in a 100, boy, I'd hire someone to watch TV all day..



      Take care,

      ~Davor
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  • Profile picture of the author Pete223
    That's hilarious!!!!!!

    Unethical, absolutely not... opportunist is what comes to my mind!!!!!

    Cheers, Pete
  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    I would say it's fair. I wonder, however, how long before the Google Adwords algo uncovers this problem and suspends the ad due to a QS of 0. You may need to act fast.
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  • Profile picture of the author pretter
    lucky dude I must say.

    Not unethical for me, but I understand your little guilt feeling, I would feel the same way too, because I'd want to contact the guy about his URl
    • Profile picture of the author garyv
      Originally Posted by pretter View Post

      lucky dude I must say.

      Not unethical for me, but I understand your little guilt feeling, I would feel the same way too, because I'd want to contact the guy about his URl
      I was actually going to do that first, but his original url had a private whois - so, oh well. At least I tried.
  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    As the others have stated, no. Luck is when opportunity and preparedness meet. This was your lucky day for sure. I doubt it will last very long. But Google is going to take the money no matter what. At least this way someone benefits from it. You have to feel sorry for the guy that is paying for it though. Such is life.
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    Tim Pears

  • Profile picture of the author Jon Steel
    His mistake...What can I say? I would do it -

    js
  • Profile picture of the author BurgerBoy
    I would do the same thing you did. I just wish I had thought about it before you did.
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