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Newbie questions about PR0 and other nasties
you've probably heard it all before *sigh*

 5:42 am on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've spent the last couple of months in a dark hole coding my site and not thinking too much about SEO.

Now that my site is up on the Web I've discovered to my horror that my domain name is an "expired domain".

What is doubly irritating is the fact that I didn't intentionally buy an expired domain for backlinks - it was just coincidental... *whimper*.

I registered the domain name about a year ago and I had early versions of the site up there for about the same time, so it should have at least a PR of 1, even if I hadn't done any SEO in that time.

To cut a long story short, here are my questions.

1.) I'm listed on DMOZ but not in the Google directory - is that because the domain could be banned or because I've only been on DMOZ about a month?

2.) In my search for reasons why my pagerank is 0 I've discovered some outbound links on my site that linked to pr0 pages - could THAT be the reason for my pr0 status?

3.) My site is being cached and updated by Google on a daily basis - Is being cached like this an indication that my site is indexed and
pageranked or is page ranking not related to being indexed?

4.) If the domain is indeed banned, what's the quickest way to fix it. I've thought possibly changing it from a dotcom to a dotcoza (my region) with the same name - what do you think?

5.) I've emailed Google about the issues above, but people here seem to think it's a timewaste. Has anyone here had any success with "reinclusion request" emails?

6.) Finally, does pr0 really matter? Some people here seem to think not. I think it does because pageranked pages are at the top in the Google directory and they come up top in searches.

Yours anxiously,



 8:38 pm on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Good questions! I'll tackle what I know:

1. I believe if you've only been in DMOZ for about a month, it's just that we haven't updated our directory recently enough to pick you up.

2. It's possible. I would be aware if the pages that you're linking to look spammy to you. But PR0 can also be because it's a new site or because there aren't that many links to a site, so I wouldn't worry about it too much if the pages seem fine to you.

3. Higher PageRank increases the chance of being crawled/indexed/cached. If we're crawling you each day, I wouldn't worry too much about what the PR bar says.

4. If you want to be safe, I'd feel free to do a reinclusion request by emailing webmaster [at] google.com with the subject line of "reinclusion request" and describing what you think might have affected things (e.g. if you see on archive.org that the domain looked spammy before it expired, or your webmaster put anything bad on the site like doorway pages, hidden text, sneaky redirects, etc).

5. reinclusion requests get batched up, so they can take a little time to get processed, but I do think it's worth if if your domain might have had problems in the past.

6. PR0 can be a penalty, but the vast majority of the time it's because a site is new, or there aren't that many links to a site, or there are a lot of links to a site but they're of lower quality and just don't count for much or any weight at all (machine-generated links, or guestbook links, or blog comment links, or links to a domain from before it expired, etc. etc.). If a site owner is looking to take shortcuts to get free or better link popularity, they shouldn't be too surprised if the shortcut that they hoped would help them doesn't really help much or at all, or if it helps for a short time but those links count for less over time. That doesn't sounds like that's the case with your site, but just thought I'd mention it.


 8:49 pm on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

links to a domain from before it expired

That makes sense, but never thought about it before.


 9:16 pm on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

GG, significant changes in the serps the past couple of days - not an update - but an algo tweak. Can you confirm?


 9:31 pm on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)


even though we are NOT talking adwords.

Its posts like yours above in response to a new members question that makes it so pleasurable to be a part of WebmasterWorld.

Thank You ...


troels nybo nielsen

 9:52 pm on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld, pr0purgatory

You may consider yourself to be a lucky new member. You get good answers from an authoritative source to your first post. As Shak says this is one of the great advantages with WebmasterWorld.

they're of lower quality and just don't count for much or any weight at all (machine-generated links, or guestbook links, or blog comment links, or links to a domain from before it expired, etc. etc.)

Nice with a quasi-official confirmation that guestbook links and blog comment links have little or no weight. ;)


 10:11 pm on Mar 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I recently designed a new website for a nonprofit organization. Their previous domain name had expired, and the selling price to get it back was exhorbitant. The organization decided to go with a new domain name.

They recently asked me if there was any way to get their former website listing removed from the search engines. The former website and domain name hasn't been active in almost two years, and it is only available in the archives.

How do I help them resolve this?


 3:55 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)


Thanks for the detailed reply to my questions.

One additional factor I forgot to mention was that the site has been running under a different domain name as well.

I had to change the domain name because the nature of the site changed from being IT specific to a being one of a generalist nature.

The "Googlecrime" I could be commiting is a Response.Redirect from the index page of the old domain name to the index page of the new domain name.

I removed the redirect page and I've noticed an interesting thing. My frequently cached index page on the current domain name that the redirect points to has disappeared.

I have now put it back to see if it magically re-appears.

If you do a search on my domain name minus the dotcom extension you'll see what I mean. The first result is the redirect page from the old domain name to the new one.

Perhaps I should remove that redirect and wait a while to see what happens with my PR0?


 5:36 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I was going to ask about the redirect, if that might have something to do with it, but I doubt it. My guess would be that that kind of redirect could only hurt you if the penalty was manually applied and the links I found pointing to the redirecting domain were not deceptive of the type that would cause that. Its relatively apparent that it was as you described above. I personally think you just need to wait. Google shows having 36 pages indexed, which at first glance seems to include most if not all of your spiderable content. I didn't see anything in the archives that would indicate spammy behaviour on the part of the previous owner, but it's hard to check on link relationships that existed two years ago.
Good Luck

or if it helps for a short time but those links count for less over time


 6:08 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Happy to try to help, pr0purgatory. I think we handle redirects well, but in a situation like this, I tend to fall back on programmer logic: if you can take out any factors that might muddy the water, then it helps with debugging to take it out.


 6:39 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ah, I just noticed that you left your email domain in your profile. If that's the domain, I can verify that there's no penalties or anything like that.

Sometimes people make it really hard. There's this one person who mailed us snail mail letters about once a month for at least two or three months. Each letter insisted that we weren't indexing their site like we should, and the letters got more and more strident. There was just one problem--they never included the name of the site! They didn't even include an email address. Not even a name, that I remember. I was getting ready to send a postcard to somewhere in Phoenix, I think, when finally the latest letter included the website name. So if you're out there any you provide, um, dates (of a sort) in Phoenix--thanks for telling us your site name this time.


 6:49 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)


Thanks for checking, but I think I' going to remove that redirect for a while to see what happens.


 6:52 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)


Yes, that is my domain, I didn't want to publish the domain in the forum as I see from other posts that it is considered to be advertising.

I'm going to leave the redirect in today just to see if my frequently updated cached page returns, but tomorrow I'll remove it permanently - I've just read too much bad stuff about redirects today to feel comfortable with having it there.


 7:13 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

webmaster [at] google.com with the subject line of "reinclusion request"
Now if you could just come up with "webmaster [at] directory.google.com with the subject line of "reinclusion request" ;)

 12:33 pm on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Oops, GoogleGuy, I didn't read your bit about no penalties on the domain...that's great news!

You know, I've been thinking... for a long time my index page was ENTIRELY dynamically created, there was in fact only ONE line of code on the actual .aspx page that went something like this:

<%@ Page inherits="MyClass" %>

That reads a dll file in my bin dir.

When I started using WebPosition Gold on the page to check my keyword weighting etc it couldn't read the page online...

Now I've gone back to an .aspx page with static HTML code and inline server code and WebPosition reads it just fine.

Possibly, just possibly the Google PageRank technology also gets confused by a page generated like this?


 4:44 am on Mar 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well well, I put the redirect back into the old domain and *voila*, my regularly cached page returns for my current domain.


 8:20 am on Mar 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hooray! I've just gone from PR0 to PR4!

(It helps to get listed in the Google directory *grin*)

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