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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?
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.
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.
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... ;)
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...
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.
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.