What If? Wot If? Misspelt Domain Names

We don’t get out of town terribly often due to sports and family commitments. When we do we often just catch up with friends at the Pauanui holiday home.

However this weekend we’re headed up north and needed to find somewhere to stay. Friends had talked enthusiastically about a site called “What If” so I thought I’d take a look. Hunts around on Google failed to turn the site up!

I tried What If and holiday hotel nz and found a great many sites but not the elusive What If. Finally I managed to find a site which linked to it and discovered that the name was infact Wot If.

Now that’s all cute and everything to have the misspelt domain name but they should have countered it within the site by having some internal links or keywords using the correct spelling so that they would appear in searches for people who have “heard” about the site but don’t have the actual domain.

Given the number of internal links and inbound links a site like this must have I wouldn’t have thought it would take much effort for them to rank for “What If“.


Recent Comments



  1. November 2, 2005

    Very interesting stuff.
    Word is a lot of people are having a hard time finding what they are looking for on certain search engines.
    I hope that you have a delightful holiday!

  2. November 2, 2005


    At the end of the day, if you are good at marketing and brand name building like they have, it
    doesn’t really matter if the name is spelt wrong as it becomes something people remember
    and explain to others when they refer the site.

    I agree it’s a little risky bu they are a success and I guess that counts for something.

    This website can be taken for various names which makes it fun I think. http://www.smorty.com

  3. November 5, 2005

    I noticed that you promote the site with the word ‘optimisation’ (the correct way to spell it, I might add).

    How do you think this is affecting your traffic, especially given that searching for that word will give a recommendation to change it to ‘optimization’?

  4. November 7, 2005

    I would think that google wold have a quick fix for this, or at least do something about it besided the “did you mean” link.

  5. November 7, 2005

    I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect Google to cater for every dialect of a language, even one as mainstream as English.

    That said one would imagine that when one searches on optimization it would offer up optimisation as an alternative. But it’s an American company so the American dialect is given priority.

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