Various Types of Online Traffic Diversion

Online traffic diversion is the unauthorized use of a brand or trademark in order to divert web traffic to a competitive or illegitimate website so that the offender has an opportunity to generate revenue at the expense of the brand or trademark owner or their authorized dealers. Some of the more common schemes include:

Cybersquatting/Typosquatting

This scheme abuses trademarks within the web’s domain name system by using brand names (or purposely misspelled brand names) within a domain name to divert web traffic meant for a legitimate brand’s site to an illegitimate or competitor’s site.  This may be for purposes of customer diversion or stealing customer credentials.

Pay Per Click (PPC) Abuses

PPC abuse is the paid placement of web advertising which derives revenue when the ads are clicked by users.  These schemes often leverage a well-known brand name to entice users to click advertisements that lead to illicit websites not associated with the actual brand.

False Associations

This practice involves the use of a brand and/or its trademarks to falsely imply a relationship with a brand when no such relationship exists.

Social Media Diversion

In an attempt to divert traffic for sales, fraudsters will establish social media accounts designed to look like a legitimate brand.  In this way, they can divert users to illegitimate websites for commercial gain through the sale of either counterfeit, diverted, or competing products.

Bogus Review Websites

The use of seemingly neutral product reviews using a brand’s name/trademarks to capture a web user’s attention and direct the user to purchase competing products.

Keyword Advertising

Although legal in certain instances, this scheme involves the unauthorized use of a brand/trademark in consumer facing web-based advertising.

Association with Offensive Content

The use a brand’s name and/or trademark alongside offensive content such as pornography, hate speech, or otherwise objectionable material.

SEO Manipulation

The use of a brand’s name, trademarks, and/or slogans in visible text, hidden text, and meta tags in order to manipulate the search engine rankings so that the offending website receives favorable search engine placement at the expense of the legitimate brand.

Fraudulent Websites

The use of a brand’s name/trademark to create a fraudulent website in order to deceive users into providing sensitive personal information.

Online Defamation

Online defamation or libel is the publication of: (1) a false and defamatory statement; (2) published to at least one third party; (3) with fault of at least negligence on the part of the publisher. Vorys Internet Defamation Removal Attorneys can be very helpful in combating this issue.

Negative Brand Mention

Although negative events and mentions on social media platforms are in most instances not illegal, they are something that brands should be aware of and monitor closely.

As new sites and mobile apps come and go, brands often learn that they have problems with specific websites and/or apps such as Craigslist, OfferUp, Poshmark, Jet, etc.  Vorys can design a custom, affordable solution to monitor only the sites you, your distributors, or your customers care about, rather than wasting resources on sites that simply do not impact your business.