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Is domain privacy becoming a standard option?

     
12:15 am on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I just noticed that my registrar lets me "enable" domain privacy for no charge within my control panel. This is a new option within the last 6 months or so.

So I was wondering if this is becoming common among other registrars or if I just got lucky.

And is there any chance that SEs will penalize (or deem less trustworthy) websites with domain privacy enabled?

12:35 am on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It may be "free" as a function of what you are paying for other services, including the price of registrations, renewals, hosting, etc. It might also be a "loss leader". I can tell, with a quick search, that some of these offerings are part of package deals.

In my book all registrations ought to be automatically set to privacy - with the option to remove the private setting OR some part of the privacy settings - with the proviso that proof of defined wrongful acts voids the privacy setting (or you lose the domain).

All that aside it IS always nice to save a buck. ;)

(P.S. Let's not get into talking about specific registrars and their deals, please.)

[edited by: Webwork at 12:39 am (utc) on Oct. 27, 2006]

1:51 am on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In my book all registrations ought to be automatically set to privacy

I respectfully disagree, WebWork. Many business owners will want their domain names to display their business' contact details, and some might not appreciate the extra step (or hassle?) of manually turning it off after registration.

But...let the market decide. ;)

2:12 am on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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1 click in a HTML checkbox - for answering or setting a default for privacy - is too much work?

Have your servants been on strike recently, Mr. davezan? ;-P

4:02 am on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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All that aside it IS always nice to save a buck. ;)

Totally, I was so surprised I had to call the registrar to be sure it was really free. I'd only paid to register the domains nearly a year ago and nothing else. So it was nice to receive something without being nickel and dimed to death.

I also agree domain privacy should always be automatic and free. If nothing else, domain privacy might help save a few trees, because i wont get any junk snail male asking me to renew my domains for $30 EACH.

Webwork, what are your thoughts on the SE implications of using domain privacy?

4:06 am on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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j5, if the SEs view privacy - alone - as sufficient to withhold their love then they are doing evil since there are many instances where privacy is a wise choice. I can't speak for the ultimate judgment call in any one case. Check the SERPs and form your own judgment. ;)
4:22 am on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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As far as search engine penalties, I can't see any reason for any search engine caring whether or not someone's domain contact information is public or hidden.

Put your contact information on your site, and hide it from the people (or bots) that collect Whois data and use it to send spam supposedly offering to buy your domain (without making a specific offer, saying what they'd do with it, or even signing their name). I get a couple of these messages a week, and it's obvious that the people sending them have never even looked at the site that exists at the domain.

These days there are some highly-respected sites that have hidden their Whois contact information.

4:57 am on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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1 click in a HTML checkbox - for answering or setting a default for privacy - is too much work?

When you said "automatically", I literally thought domain names be placed in privacy without the option to choose before completing the registration. But with what you added, I'm amenable to that. :D

Dave Zan

5:02 am on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Webwork, Car_Guy, thanks for the info. I was just reading on some seo blog that domain privacy might be compared to a list of other factors and if a certain combination of flags are raised then there could be a penalty. But penalizing domain privacy alone does seem a bit evil.
11:23 am on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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But penalizing domain privacy alone does seem a bit evil.

No its logical - Its not evil its about trust

12:59 pm on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Domain privacy COULD be used in conjunction with other factors as a negative quality indicator. I.e., by itself, there would be no reason to rank a private domain lower. But, if a site showed indicators of copied content, spammy links, and keyword stuffing, I can imagine that concealed domain ownership could be another small weight on the scale.