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Google'd my name - I see Whois influence in the results

 5:14 am on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just Googled my own name and found an interesting result in position #3 organics was my 10 year old website. The interesting thing is that there is no reference to me at all anywhere on the site. The result was the index page and of course there was no highlighted text that matched my name search. It's a pretty strong indication of whois influencing search results I think. I wonder if they can and do use whois to track those who would flirt with the dark side...



 5:28 am on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Interesting. Is there a cached page? And if so, is there some note in the top frame about the fact that the query term is not on the page?


 6:08 am on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is what I found on the cached page - "My name" is not a page either.

These terms only appear in links pointing to this page:"my name"


 6:37 am on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Have you checked inbound links to see if anyone is linking to the site with your name?


 6:51 am on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

No thats not it...


 7:00 am on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

If this 10 year old website is on its own domain, then there are domain services (whois services) that list the website's information and include a link to the domain.

If that's what's going on, then it really would be a linking page where your name appears. so it wouldn't be just the registration, but the fact that the registration generates a web page with a link.


 7:20 am on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I ran some searches with quotes and found 7 results with my name, only a couple had links to the site in question no matching link anchor text so don't think its link anchor that causes the result....


 7:32 am on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

You're probably right - except that I've seen Google be a bit loose with the phrase "appears in links". It can also be the case that the query terms just appear on the linking page somewhere, not literally in the anchor text.

At any rate, you're also right that Whois information is used by Google. They have a partnership with one of the premier "domain intelligence" services - Domain Tools, LLC. You can purchase quite a depth of information from that business.

brotherhood of LAN

 7:38 am on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

just appear on the linking page somewhere

I wonder if it could be "$website submitted by $name" text on the backlink pages, perhaps near the backlink.


 8:01 am on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've seen Google be a bit loose with the phrase "appears in links".

Me too. They seem to use it as a catch all.


 12:36 pm on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Does your gmail account resemble your name?
Have you visited your site while logged into your gmail account?

To me, that's a side effect of Google collecting info about user behavior, and factoring it into the SERPs.

A few years ago, one of my sons created a site in a free host (site.freehost.com), and put it at good standings with Google.

More recently, I registered a site to my younger son (six year old), called hisname.com; the older brother helped the younger develop the site.

Now, the funny thing: for a while, when I searched for [his name], which is a rare name, Google presented site.freehost.com on the first page!

After hisname.com gained some maturity, then it replaced the other site.

The only connection I can see between the two sites is that a user with an account hisname@gmail.com was a regular visitor of both sites.


 10:56 pm on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

The site in question has adsense running which is of course linked to me but I don't think that is the connection because I have a few sites running adsense and none of those are showing. It does make you wonder if your whois gets a score however. If for example my whois data was a major brand like Pepsi would I score higher?


 1:49 pm on May 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

i know someone used to put fake info on whois, appearing as a very authoritative domain registrant. no idea if it really works/worked, though.

however, it may be that the page linking to the domain are linked with your name as anchor?
i think it's something about link more than about whois...


 5:28 pm on May 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm testing this on various domains to see if I can spot a pattern. So far, the only option I can prove is one of the whois services listing sites and appearing in Google's index.


 9:11 pm on May 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I noticed today searching my name search brings my site in at position #9 now, whatever is driving it has some decent weight because its outranking plenty of major sites - facebook, Linkedin and they actually mention my name and its highlighted in the results.


 10:39 pm on May 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't get anything for my name, although several others with the same name are listed.

On the other hand, my oft-used username I (also) use on WebmasterWorld gets me one entry in the top ten that I'm not happy with: my WebmasterWorld profile. What business is that of anyone outside of WebmasterWorld? Especially my IP.


 11:01 pm on May 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is Google caching your profile page with the IP addresses included?

As far as I know, the IP address list is only visible to the member. For example, if I go to any member's profile page - even as an administrator, I don't see the IP list. I only see it on my own profile pagw. So Google should not be getting that information.


 12:51 am on May 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's not cached at all, but there is quite a bit of info in the serps and a clear link to my profile, where the IP is shown...

You're correct, of course: there is a note that I missed saying "for your eyes only" sort of thing. I don't keep a lot of info in the profile but if I did there would be a fair amount of it shown on the serps.

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