I’ve been doing this a while but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Fortune 500 company do something this shady when it comes to online presence. Dex Media knew they were in trouble. The millions per city that they were getting for the Yellow Pages was drying up. It was something I was glad to see as I felt I had been taken hostage by all the Yellow pages and been charged tens of thousands of dollars for spots I really had no choice but to buy. If you wanted to be found you had to be in the book….and stand out which of course cost even more. But along comes the Internet and I don’t need them anymore nor does anyone else.
Dex has wisely changed direction and started to work on SEO for companies. Setting up an online presence, getting top placements for certain categories and selling them. I obviously don’t need them and originally tell them to screw off. But our company still tried them. Why? Because I wanted to be able to see how they worked. I get all their stats and lead data and I can tell what sites they use and what keywords they were getting and passing along. It was worth a few thousand to get an inside look. Then I saw one of their methods. They registered a domain that is a typo of mine. Not really a typo but a version of mine. We own CountryArbors.com and we purchased CountryArborsNursery.com to keep squatters away but they went and registeredCountryArborsNurseryInc.com. Yes, Dex Media took the liberty to register my company name and build a little informational site on it without our permission. They are hoping to rank hire and then sell the leads back to me. That is fine and dandy but using a site that appears the same as our own URL is wrong in my opinion. I’m not a lawyer but I would think I could file a WIPO case against them. Whether I can or not I still feel its unethical and method that shouldn’t be used.
This method has and will change if I have anything to do about it. This isn’t a guy trying to make a little typo money. This is a Fortune 500 company trying to outrank their own customers using domains that pose as the real company in the eyes of Google. Wrong, Shady, and Unethical.