homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.225.1.70
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member
Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Domain Names
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: buckworks & webwork

Domain Names Forum

    
Assumed TLD if URL is missing one?
W/o a TLD, how does a partial domain get resolved?
EJHonda




msg:3644404
 2:55 am on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm trying to resolve a small mystery, and I'm finding it difficult digging up information.

I'm trying to figure out how a domain name that is missing a TLD (ex. '.com', or '.net', etc.) gets resolved and delivers a user to a pay-per-click web page.

For example, if you type a word colour into the address box of a browser (I tried this with FF and IE), it will automatically prepend on the front of that the "http://", and appending a slash, resulting in "http://thecolor/".

Firefox shows that the URL "http://www.example.com" is being referred, as well as some other info that flashes by too fast in the status area (the lower left corner of the browser window). But the value in the address area at the top of the browser remains "http://the color/".

Eventually a web page displays, titled "Coming Soon..." to site .com. It's a typically pay-per-click placeholder web page, but if you look at the page source, you can see that a reference to "http://www.another site .com/?dn=" is made. The links available are vaguely related to the color.

What forces are at work that direct a simple word in place of a proper domain to the site .com placeholder pages?

[edited by: engine at 9:17 am (utc) on May 8, 2008]
[edit reason] examplified [/edit]

 

rocknbil




msg:3645283
 10:53 pm on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

It hasn't even been 24 hours. Your post was edited because you didn't notice #13 in the TOS [webmasterworld.com].

Beyond that, welcome aboard!

It's impossible to say what causes redirection without a .tld. It begins in the browser, and the browser's settings. Most often, if the browser's settings are at default, it will refer the request to the search engine in the settings (MSN Live for IE, Google for FF.)

With these off, it then steps up to the service provider. For the longest time, MY satellite provider would hijack my "not found" requests to their own special monetized parking page, with or without a .TLD.

In the absence of all browser settings or your service provider mucking about with your requests, I'm pretty sure the browser would return a "page not found" message.

Using your example, with Live HTTP Headers on in FF, when I type "thecolor" into the address bar, Here is what I get. Note that my default search engine in FF is Google.

Status bar says "looking up thecolor" . . .
Status bar says "waiting for www.google.com . . . "
I am presented with Google's most appropriate selection for this address.

Results from live headers (exemplified:)

h t tp ://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=thecolor

GET /search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=thecolor HTTP/1.1
Host: www.google.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.14) Gecko/20080404 Firefox/2.0.0.14
Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5
Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Keep-Alive: 300
Connection: keep-alive
Cookie: [EXAMPLIFIED]; adsenseReferralSubId=ww-en-et-gaia; rememberme=false; NID=[EXAMPLIFIED]

HTTP/1.x 302 Found
Location: http://www.example.com/
Cache-Control: private
Set-Cookie: [EXAMPLIFIED]; path=/search
Date: Thu, 08 May 2008 22:44:59 GMT
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Server: gws
Connection: Keep-Alive
Keep-Alive: timeout=3
Content-Length: 221
----------------------------------------------------------
http://www.example.com/

GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: www.EXAMPLE.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.14) Gecko/20080404 Firefox/2.0.0.14
Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5
Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Keep-Alive: 300
Connection: keep-alive
Cookie: [EXAMPLIFIED];

HTTP/1.x 200 OK
Date: Thu, 08 May 2008 22:45:00 GMT
Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0
X-Powered-By: ASP.NET
Content-Length: 22501
Content-Type: text/html
Connection: Keep-Alive
Keep-Alive: timeout=3
Cache-Control: private

There were more entries after this, related to affiliate ad partner sites. But you can clearly see, my request for "thecolor" went to Google via my browser settings, who sent me to what they thought was the most appropriate site.

EJHonda




msg:3645388
 2:08 am on May 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just saw the actions you described while connected to my work VPN - Google takes over and performs a search on the word I typed in the address bar ("purple"). Really odd thing is, when I'm at work on our network, or here at home, I get the "Coming Soon" pay-per-view placeholder page vaguely related to the word "purple" - no Google search. All of it from my work laptop, so the browser is constant in all of this.

I can understand that something - the ISP, or ISPs in this case, since I'm Earthlink/TWC at home and ATT at work - are hijacking 404s, but we began this investigation because a server in our DMZ attempting to reach out to an unknown URI on port 1521 (Oracle SQLnet) ended up getting directed to the same IP address that the pay-per-click web page is hosted on (our FW stopped them from going out, but the FW logs say that's where they were headed). I was surprised a non-HTTP port would also end up getting hijacked. It's discomforting to think that communication attempts can be forwarded out of your network without your intent.

[edited by: Webwork at 3:24 am (utc) on May 9, 2008]
[edit reason] Please see WebmasterWorld TOS #24 regarding comments about moderation [/edit]

rocknbil




msg:3645859
 4:22 pm on May 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

For the longest time . . .

I have the exact same problem with my provider. I thought it went away, but discovered today that the exception is it has to have the .tld to trigger the hijack. I complained to high heaven, that's really your only recourse, not that they'll do anything.

You could get to the root of it by finding out who owns the domain that you're landed on when you get the "coming soon" FFA page.

draggar




msg:3646249
 11:14 pm on May 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm doing a test right now with Firefox. I'm typing a generic keyword into the address bar, no http:// and no TLD. Here are the results:

Keyword1 (generic term for an industry) - Took me to a Google search for Keyword1
Keyword2 (common piece of computer equipment) - Took me to the Wikipedia page for that item
Keyword3 (common pet) - Took me to a Google search page for that keyword
Keyword4 (common piece of electronics) - Google search for that keyword.

It seems that it defaults to a Google search. One interesting thing though, it seemed to take me to an adsense based Google search page (you can see more information in the URL, like an adsense ID) which makes me believe that if I type in a keyword and no TLD, my ISP sends me to their Google search result page as if I had typed it into a search box attached to their Adsense ID (interesting little revenue stream).

Most likely where the browser takes you after you type in the keyword depends on the network you're on (DNS settings?).

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Domain Names
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved