Friday, April 28, 2006

Google gets Goggled

This is interesting. I was working in Gmail this morning but when I switched between accounts, suddenly Gmail was unreachable. My browser just told me that the page I was looking for wasn't available.

Curious, I tried to go to and instead of landing on Google's Home page, I was redirected to a page that warned me my computer was probably infected with Spyware and I'd better go ahead and download this important program. Since I work on a Mac, I was pretty sure that I didn't have spyware. So I took a screen shot of the page, which you can see here (click on the pic for a larger view).

Look closely and you'll see the URL I typed in is really, not

I've run into this sort of thing before. It's a good reason for companies to try to grab all the domain names that are close to their own, but spelled slightly different. Similar rules apply to .ca, .com, .org domains. Your customers might end up with a surprise like this. And if the page they're redirected to is a bad one, they might not bother coming back to your real site.

So it appears that Gmail being down and my ending up at this site were unrelated. However, as of this posting, Gmail is still down. Perhaps another caution that putting your life online with a web service has some serious caveats.

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