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Browser Address Bar Hijacking? -Not! Or IS it?

I love FireFox.  It works much quicker than anything else and is much more reliable.  And there are all those neat little plug-in add-ons that really increase its convenience, versatility & effectiveness.  There are many great and useful little add-ons that I have used reliably and loyally. Until now, when I just noticed that something has hijacked my browser’s address bar!

It must be one of those great little FF add-ons that has hijacked my FireFox browser’s address bar, and I find that extremely annoying and a bit troublesome.  Especially since I have now uninstalled every single add-on that I have ever installed, including things like the Norton security toolbar, except for the few web designer/developer add-ons that I have found to be trusted tools.  Still, the error persists.

Or is it MY MISTAKE?  I bet it is.  Yup, it is.  Heck, the same thing happens in IE.

What is happening is that I am entering a typo when I search and I am getting Search.com results for my typo.  What is the typo?  Any name, with an extra dot com.

For instance, let’s say that you are at your home page.  Then you decide to go somewhere else, but instead of following a link on your home page or selecting a bookmark from the menu, you know the address and so you use the address bar.  Let’s just say that your home page is a dot com (.com) tld (Top Level Domain).  So in order to save typing, you just select the sometextstring in http://www.sometextstring.com/ and with that text selected, you simply start typing in the domain’s actual name where you want to visit.  But, if you also type in the extension of .com out of habit, you wind-up with the address of  http://www.foosite.com.com/.

Although http://www.foosite.com.com/ is very obviously a typo domain, c|net was smart enough to grab the domain.  So now they get all this typo traffic,  which is significant.  So obviously this is what confused me, because then c|net uses the domain at search.com to interpret the referring URL into a search term, and it looks like some search engine has hyjacked my browser address bar via some toolbar or plug-in.  So I went and uninstalled nearly all of them.

But c|net doesn’t mention any of this on their Search.com site (that I can tell in my search, using their own engine).    Instead, they seem to blame this deliberate action on a malicious software, toolbar or add-on.  VERY DECEPTIVE, c|net.  This lack of honesty and these type of deceptive business practices is exactly what I hate about corporations.  It is not immoral to do this, it is actually smart.  But if you are hassling us by deceiving us as we land there and blaming other crap over the stunt you pulled on us, you are quite simply railroading us with lies, c|net.

One has to wonder why “com” was not a reserved word in the first place, like domain (you can not register “domain” in any tld or country code domain extension).  There are simply a few words that are reserved because of such mistakes on their authority or perceived use.  Why wasn’t “com” one of those, this all seems perfectly ridiculous to have overlooked it.

One also has to wonder why c|net, usually a pretty smart cookie, can’t treat it’s visitors and patrons with any sort of respect.  I had nothing but admiration for them before now.  Now it sticks as a craw in my butt that they cannot treat me with respect and offer me the very url I am seeking.  Instead, they offer advertiser crap that I don’t want and has nothing to do with the original intended URL.  Search engines are supposed to be helpful utilities, not deceptive ad engines.  Clearly, they are making gobs on the traffic they are getting, but they could make a great deal more by treating us respectfully and honoring our intentions, which is exactly what a real search engine does.

Where is the ethics department at c|net now, in the toilet?  Don’t they understand what is considered ill-will can be hurtful to them as well as their patrons?

I am absolutely astonished that c|net has stooped so low.  Not because they did this, but because they hid it and were not honest, open and forthright about it.  They could have been seen as saints, and instead they are seen as thieves and scum spammers.

Grow up and get real, c|net.

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July 15, 2009 - Posted by | Computing, Google, Internet, Search | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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