I'm in a niche hobby, and recently there's been a very disgusting trend happening: webshops registering the domain names of other shops with only minor, but very common typos; or register a domain name of a very known persona (such as a Youtuber or other content creator) that they have no affiliation with.

A hypothetical example would be: Pepsi Cola buying cocacola.com and redirecting it to pepsi.com, while the real website is coca-cola.com

I've been pointing this out in our community, and discouraging people from buying from shops who pull these kind of unethical practices, but I've been lacking the correct naming for it.

What is this practice called?

Some candidates would be:

  • Domain squatting: this one doesn't fit the glove because the main purpose when domain poaching is not to redirect it to your own website, but to sell it to someone who wants the domain for a higher price (e.g. pizza.com being sold for millions back in the days)

  • Domain hijacking: This one isn't correct either, because with hijacking the domain would already be in the possession of the rightful owner, but would then be "stolen" by a third party (something that happened to Google.com a while ago)

  • Domain poaching: I thought this was the correct term (and have used it in the past), but if I Google the term, I get no relevant hits.

  • 1
    Wikipedia has Typosquatting for misspelt domain names, but that's not quite it. It could be a type of phishing, if it's for malicious purposes rather than just stealing web traffic, but that's not really specific.
    – Stuart F
    Mar 7, 2022 at 9:48
  • @StuartF That term is indeed not what we're looking for, but your Wikipedia pages gives some synonyms that are very relevant. URL hijacking/sting site/brandjacking sounds like the terms we're looking for. Feel free to write an answer based on that (since you provided the golden link :) ). Unless you'd like me to write one instead.
    – Opifex
    Mar 7, 2022 at 10:06


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