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Blocking "free hosting" sites as an option?
Anyone from Google listening? Consider this suggestion.
digitalv

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 23027 posted 8:35 pm on Mar 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm curious about what the rest of the Webmasterworld.com community (and Google themselves if anyone from Google is reading) think about this suggestion.

I've heard conflicting stories about whether customers of certain "free hosting" companies are allowed/disallowed in the Google index and had an idea that would really be a GREAT move for Google:

A "Filter Free Hosting Sites" option in the "Preferences" area where a user can optionally INCLUDE or EXCLUDE results from pages that are hosted at known free hosting sites like Geocities, Tripod, and all of the thousands of other free hosting companies out there. This could also apply to affiliate things like "affiliatename.thelatestmlm.com" or "www.thelatestmlm.com/johndoe/"

When I'm looking to buy a PRODUCT I find it annoying to have to sort through "free hosting" pages - even though they may be 100% relevant and carry the product I'm looking for, I would NEVER buy a product from one of those sites. And on top of that, free hosting pages are notorious for popups, redirects, and all of the other crap no one wants to see.

Alternatively, if I was looking for non-commercial material such as information on Alien abductions, how to build your own light saber, etc. I've found that the free pages can often be MORE useful than "yourname.com" sites because more often people hosting information like that on a real domain are selling something, not just giving out the information I'm looking for.

Google could easily differentiate between known "free hosting" sites, and regular sites, and give everyone the option to omit the freebies from search results. Obviously from a business standpoint, showing the free results would be ON by default so as not to change their current directory in any way. But for those of us who want to omit it, it would be nice to be able to go into preferences and exclude those results.

What do you guys think?

 

idoc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 23027 posted 7:03 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

"if I was looking for non-commercial material such as information on Alien abductions, how to build your own light saber, etc"

ROTF, That about nails it for me. If someone doesn't have $9 for a domain name and $100 a year (or less) for an actual hosted site to put into the thing, I really don't want to look at it either... unless I am killing idle time.

I remember a thread a short time back when people were complaining that their tripod sites weren't getting indexed and GG (I think) told them there would be a fix for it soon. Now I am seeing apparently that if a page redirects to your content... it is spidered as belonging to the site that redirected. I can't help but wonder if the different treatment of 301's isn't the result of trying to index these free sites to begin with.

At any rate, these subdomain free sites are usually just spam and junk IMHO.

anime_otaku

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 23027 posted 7:34 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

it's quite ridiculous how much free site spam there is for a certain male enhancement pill. There will always be affiliate spam looking for an easy dollar.

pmkpmk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 23027 posted 7:36 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

A lot of political grassroots movements, ecologist movements, clubs and grassroots associations use free webhosters as well.

If you have the CHOICE to select/deselect them, I'm all for it! But shutting them out in the first place doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

Noximus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 23027 posted 7:53 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

"If you have the CHOICE to select/deselect them, I'm all for it! But shutting them out in the first place doesn't sound like a good idea to me.
"
I agree with you. "select/deselect" is quite a useful option I think.

EliteWeb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member eliteweb us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 23027 posted 8:20 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Free hosts are great, they allow people to put up their websites. Many of which offer WSISWIG editors and web-based functionality that allows a web surfer to take steps into becoming a webmaster. I host many sites on free services for the fact they are sites that don't need their own domains. I'm not going to pay someone hosting fees to host my sites if I don't have to. :) There are so many valuable sites on free hosting services, and if theyre showing up in the serps then people are linken to them and the sites are being found by the spiders.

Many of my bookmarks are free sites. I learn all about the sorpranos episodes from a geocities site, the guy updating it does it faster than the 'i got my own .com' websites. :)

Theres more spam pages out there with .com then there is on freebie sites that I have seen myself. So i don't know what good a filter for free hosting sites would do except make things more commercialized. ;)

Tired of advertiments, then use ad blocking software :) Always another solution. And as far as not trusting or not buyikng from a site that is on a freebie host, thats all up to the consumer, it kinda goes into preference and do you buy from ugly sites vs nice clean ones... ;)

richlowe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 23027 posted 8:36 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

A "Filter Free Hosting Sites" option in the "Preferences" area where a user can optionally INCLUDE or EXCLUDE results from pages that are hosted at known free hosting sites like Geocities, Tripod, and all of the thousands of other free hosting companies out there.

I can think of all kinds of reasons why this would be a bad idea.

But I would love to see the ability to create a list of domains or pages that should never, ever show up in a search result. You could then add tripod.com and, viola, no tripod sites would show up. I would like that a lot better than having someone decide for me...

Richard Lowe

Jakpot

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 23027 posted 1:07 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

"What do you guys think?"

Not a good idea. Select/deselect ok.

MikeBeverley

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 23027 posted 9:40 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Personally I think that this would be dangerous/non-cost-effective territory to get into. If Google allowed you to filter Free Hosted sites what will they have to add next?

Filter Websites on Shared Servers
Filter Websites from the same IP address
Filter Websites from Third World Countries

IF Google started to pander to people who 'Don't like to shop in the poorer parts of town' then they would disappear overnight.
I started my business on geocities because I was penniless, now I have dedicated servers in five different countries. My services aren't any more viable just because I've got expensive hosting.

steve40

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 23027 posted 10:38 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

In some ways I agree that some of the stuff delivered through free hosting is absolute c### but remember lots of little mom and pop bed and breakfast etc etc is the only way they have to have a presence on the net
steve

MrSpeed

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 23027 posted 12:33 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Bad idea to treat free hosting different. In many areas of interest the best sites are on free hosts.

Besides it far easier to generate 10000 doorway pages, use redirects, cloaks, download spyware etc on a paid host.

mfishy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 23027 posted 12:34 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

It probably isn't a good idea for a few reasons but I would love the option myself. I would also like to be able to filter out all .biz, .info, and .us sites as well.

Auteuil

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 23027 posted 12:49 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Many people are just looking for information on the net, so the option of filtering out all pages with either links to shopping carts or affiliate links would make more sense than such a broad brush approach.

Dayo_UK

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 23027 posted 1:54 pm on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>>>Many people are just looking for information on the net, so the option of filtering out all pages with either links to shopping carts or affiliate links would make more sense than such a broad brush approach.

Lol - Google in lots of people opinion is already doing this, and surely this is also just as "broad brush" :)

Filter out free hosts?

No problem with having more advanced preferences that filter out certain sites.

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