Hargittai GS collects Website hits by imitating company page name
By JINYOUNG CHOI and MAYA ROCK
A Hungarian company might be a little annoyed with Eszter Hargittai
Hargittai discovered that MATAV a Hungarian phone company that
also owns the search engine Altavizsla had not bought a domain
name for the engine ending in .com. And so, being Internet-savvy
and enterprising, she decided to capitalize.
When Hargittai, a native Hungarian, bought the address www.altavizsla.com,
the company did not own the .org or the .net versions either.
Instead they used the suffix .hu, a lesser known but functional
The day the site went up I got a message from the a MATAV representative.
He said that the company was glad to see that the MATAV search
engines popularity has led to the creation of the .com version
of the site, Hargittai said.
Whether MATAV was glad or not, the companys quick collection
of the other domain names was of no consequence; Hargittai had
what she wanted.
Taking advantage of the fact that many people trying to use the
search engine likely would stumble upon her page, Hargittai put
links to pages about breast cancer self-examination, safe sex
and blood donation sites that I feel may not be able to afford
to advertise, she said.
Hargittai has met with success: The site has proven to be very
popular, receiving more than 30,000 hits.
Hargittai said she also provides a way to access search engines
directly and more efficiently. By entering search terms on the
altavizsla.com page, users are forwarded directly to one of five
search engines of their choice, making the search more efficient.
She said she has received many letters of support in response
to her search engine links.
Hargittai has already become somewhat of a celebrity in Hungary.
A national radio station interviewed her a few weeks ago and the
countrys biggest daily newspaper featured her site in its technology
section. The site has maintained its popularity, gaining support
even from the people who accidentally access it looking for the
MATAV search engine, according to Hargittai.
Much support also comes from people angry with MATAV itself, said
MATAV is a powerful monopoly in Hungary. People dont like them
because they keep their prices artificially high, said Hargittai.
Buying a domain name
A small industry has developed around the practice of buying popular
domain names. It is common to buy a domain name that a major company
would potentially want and then sell it for a profit, according
She bought the MATAV domain name from www.internic.net for $70
and gets to keep the name for two years, according to Hargittai.
Though she is open to selling her domain name, she said the has
yet to approach her. Until then, she is updating her site daily.
However, she said she does not plan to devote her life to it.
Being a graduate student in Princeton takes up a considerable
amount of my time as it is, said Hargittai, who is pursuing her
doctorate in sociology.