–Dan Kelly, Attorney

I have previously attempted to sound the alarm about why companies should be concerned about direct navigation on the Internet (here here here and here), but I learned this week from The FairWinds Blog that not only does Yahoo! Inc. (operator of the photo sharing website Flickr and owner of the FLICKR registered trademark and brand) not own the domain name at flicker.com, but the owner of that domain, Ashantiplc Limited out of Hong Kong, uses the website (which has been registered since 1998) simply to publicize its own traffic statistics.

Ashanti claims that flicker.com receives 3.6 million unique visits each year, more than ninety-five percent of which come from type-in traffic, i.e., users who directly navigate to the site by literally typing “www.flicker.com” in the address bar of a browser window.  (This site suggests that it is currently more like one million a year, and Compete.com suggests that it has been somewhere between 600k and 700k over the past year.  Good article here about verifying domain traffic stats.)

Anybody know the going rate for even 600,000 annual impressions?

A commonly heard objection is, “well people looking for Flickr will get there eventually anyway.”  Perhaps.  But if you owned a brick and mortar store, and knew that a significant number of your customers consistently took a confusing wrong turn in driving to your store, wouldn’t you eventually try to warn them or put up a sign in a strategic location to help them out?  Why should it be any different on the Internet?