Viewpoint: Investigating web data for brand protection purposes

The World Wide Web is the perfect place for “hijacking” manufacturers, largely as a result of the web world has seen so little formal policing. According to the Chamber of Ecommerce, counterfeit gross sales immediately symbolize 5 to 7 per cent of whole world commerce in merchandise. The injury inflicted to rightful brand house owners goes properly past income and income: it additionally threatens nationwide safety and human rights. Due to the Internet’s fast progress—together with prompt international attain and anonymity— this example has considerably escalated. 

The variety of on-line areas out there for taking unfair benefit of professional manufacturers retains rising: engines like google, social networking, eCommerce, public sale and commerce board websites, electronic mail, blogs, and microblogs. As a end result, the web world requires ever nearer monitoring and investigation.  

In common, by investigation we imply makes an attempt to search out correlations between varied items of data that can be capable of deliver us some priceless conclusion or perception. 

Correlation is a vital phrase right here, for the reason that actuality of on-line investigations, as many people know, are usually not at all times conclusive. Most of the time, such makes an attempt solely uncover commonalities, for instance, linkages between objects that may be flagged as anomalies. Then it a lot is dependent upon a person’s skill to analyse and piece collectively bits of knowledge, with a view to achieve actual worth.

Fortunately, brand house owners can undertake their very own confirmed finest practices to efficiently combat on-line counterfeit gross sales. Technology exists for figuring out and quantifying worldwide on-line counterfeiting exercise—for each promotion and distribution. If brand house owners are armed with the appropriate instruments, data and efficient methods – counterfeiters will be defeated.

Good observe for such endeavours on-line will be listed within the following steps:

  • Global Monitoring
  • Connecting the dots
  • Legal Enforcement

Step 1: Global Monitoring

Before preventing on-line scams referring to your brand, you could be made conscious that they exist after which monitor their actions ongoing. Unfortunately, it’s fairly onerous to make use of atypical engines like google for that job for a number of causes together with rating and geolocation. To be introduced with a world overview, a search also needs to embrace websites which are non-indexed on Google. 

A doable reply to these challenges could possibly be scanning the HTML content material of websites. HTML or meta tags are snippets of textual content that describe a web page’s content material; the meta tags don’t seem on the web page itself, however solely within the web page’s supply code. HTML data consists of meta description, meta key phrases, H1 titles and so forth. In easy phrases, this data displays as much as 90% of the content material of the web site’s entrance web page.

Using instruments that assist you to look via the HTML data, it is doable to view key phrases counterfeiters are utilizing to focus on your brand. It can also be vital to view the historic change data and whether or not every other manufacturers are talked about alongside yours.  

Perhaps crucial factor right here is that this methodology permits brand protection specialists to extend the effectivity of their work making it doable to scan extra websites faster and in much less time.

Step 2: Connecting the dots

Once an entity benefiting from your brand has been recognized, additional investigations can reveal whether or not every other websites are related to it with a view to join the dots. 

It is vital to attach websites that presumably belong to the identical proprietor so you possibly can see the larger image.

DNS data, particularly data on IP addresses, makes it doable to search out web sites that belong to 1 proprietor or interconnected web sites.

This shouldn’t be at all times correct nonetheless– shared internet hosting hundreds of internet sites that belong to totally different house owners can have the identical IP deal with. Nevertheless, typically websites which have the identical IP deal with belong to a single proprietor, particularly if there are usually not a lot of them.

Another good indicator is a shared Name Server. The mixture of these two issues – shared IP deal with and Name Server – can considerably slim the search.

To examine even deeper it’s doable to verify WHOIS historical past to get a abstract of key data concerning the area that comes from the WHOIS document itself serves because the jumping-off level for every kind of investigations. Of course, details about the proprietor of the area within the WHOIS data may be unavailable for most websites because of using the WHOIS protection service by the area proprietor. However, it’s doable to get the information on the registrar, creation and expiration dates which is publicly out there.

This data can inform danger assessments, assist profile attackers, information on-line fraud investigations, and map cyber exercise to attacker infrastructure.

Step 3: Legal Enforcement

After narrowing down the variety of websites to deal with, you possibly can then:

  • Take Actions in opposition to ONE web site and its different related websites, social media accounts, cost amenities, HP and/or Registrar. Clients can typically be a part of forces with different manufacturers concerned.
  • Take motion collectively in opposition to quite a few non-connected websites hosted on the identical IP.
  • Instigate authorized motion to grab domains in bulk plus seize belongings (i.e., court docket requests to freeze all PayPal or Mastercard accounts.)
  • Request Google to deindex all domains with excessive or low visibility when it is not doable to connect with syndicates.
  • Take motion at purchasing carts degree, i.e., request Magento to dam e-commerce providers for all websites flagged as promoting counterfeit product.


Online counterfeiting can closely affect any firm, affecting revenues, channel relationships, buyer expertise, advertising effectiveness, authorized legal responsibility and extra. Ignoring it—or simply hoping for one of the best—merely isn’t good enterprise. Fortunately, taking direct motion will be pretty easy. Implementing finest practices as mentioned right here doesn’t need to contain advanced organizational modifications or in depth hiring efforts, as data know-how suppliers may help take the time environment friendly and complement inside groups. 

Which actions, practices, routines might we propose with a view to assist brand house owners to guard themselves? There are many. Generally, we’d recommend following guidelines for instance: 

  • Understand and know what you’re looking for. What do counterfeiting websites seem like? What extent is your brand being impacted?
  • Use HTML instruments & data to determine suspect profiles. 
  • Target domains which have hidden a brand’s identify within the HTML.  
  • Investigate additional with WHOIS and DNS document checks. 
  • Identify area possession, and monitor it over time, revealing which different domains are associated to the identical proprietor. Do this with the assistance of IP deal with look ups, Name servers and so forth. 
  • Take motion to close down offending websites implementing authorized steps. 

The returns—in revenues, income, and long-term brand worth—will definitely take the time worthwhile.

Alona Borzhemska is chief industrial officer of DomainCrawler, whereas Volodymyr Holovash is the corporate’s advertising supervisor.

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