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Whois harvesting makes startup websites PR 0. pre-launch

Not kidding.

1:28 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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5+ Year Member

joined:Aug 28, 2006
votes: 0

Perhaps this can be an interesting case study for startup sites, I'm not sure.

Well, yes I did make a mistake. By thinking that by simply not publishing the link to our new domain would mean that no one on earth knows that the domain has been set up on the server, except some datacenters. Registration is one thing, but a site's launch is another.

Of course I was wrong with this. A site which I won't name seems to be catching the whois info of freshly registered domains, generating an information page for them and putting up a LINK to the URL.

If you have bought the domain, set up the server but didn't upload the site just yet... this might happen. Waiting for some last minute changes, as in our case can have its consequences.

Google has crawled the whois harvesting site twice that week. Or who knows how many times, but our serverside stats show that there were two visits by Googlebot within days the domain was registered. Referrer list makes the source crystal clear, that's how I know what happened. The otherwise unpublished site was indexed. There was nothing there but the server's admin login page, which was of course completely irrelevant and looks more or less like a domain parking or scam page. It's not, and our domain wasn't penalized... I think...

But when two weeks later we uploaded the site, and put up some links to it... ( have some pages that are crawled regularly ) along with submitting the URL... I was like "what the hell? It's in Google..." for the site was already indexed.

With the admin panel in the cache. PR 0. Not undecided, but 0.
Still is.

Two and a half months later... with like ten static and relevant links to the site... with all pages indexed in google for at least twice since launch it still is. We come up for some searches that others simply don't have a relevant page for. Yeah, the pages have been indexed. Which I don't really get either, all of them have been indexed since then, at least once. Static HTMLs by the way.

So all in all...
If you buy a domain and set up the server...
And do not upload the site before Googlebot crawls the whois harvesting site that already published a link to you... follows the link to the page that is not a pageholder ( why would it be, no one should have seen it )... then... You're done for?

Okay, NOW I know that simply NOT setting up the server before the site is on it may cancel this out. Now that the damage is done.

Finally my questions.

Does anyone know if Google would be willing to STOP indexing a site that harvests whois info and makes content pages of it? PR 7 by the way, and according to our stats even this brand new page they made for us ( so glad ) was crawled and its links followed four times within two weeks.

Whether there's even a point to try to contact either Google or the harvesting company with what happened?

Why I haven't seen not one post on this on not one site or forum regarding Google Search before, and why it was modded out at another place when I asked what they thought of it?

All I'm looking for is either some help... some ideas or just... a pat on the head that "it's allright, such things happen, not often enough to become interesting for most people so... just... get over it... and register a new domain name."

Or something.

4:36 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 10, 2006
votes: 0

I've made few new sites today - google AND yahoo showed up a couple of hours after the registartion - on the logs it says from the whois crawler...

I was aware of them doing this - and always pre-make my sites on the test server (not accessble from the Internet) and then upload the whole thing - ready to be spydered.

I don't think that there is way you can tell them not to do this. In my personal opinion I actually like it - saves me the whole lot of work...

5:00 am on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:June 10, 2005
votes: 0

If your registrar points a domain after it is registered to a link farm page (until you change the dns settings) as mine does they want people to know it's there.

I would assume they have some way of getting the word out like submitting it to google or they have some third party that does it for them.

On a somewhat related note. I recently bought a domain which was pointing at a link farm let's say the name was greenwidgets.com. The link farm page was unrealated to green widgets just generic links and the title of the page was Green Widgets - greenwidgets.com The site was 18th on google for the term green widgets and 11th for greenwidgets.

So I add the excellent original 12 pages of green widget content to the site all nicely optimized following all the rules so it's not overly optimized or spammy.... it's excellent informative content.

Google comes along and spiders it and bang it dissapears, did I meantion the parking page had google adwords on it.

The site had no page rank in a medium competitive field and had no right to have those rankings so I'm not complaining about the drop and I didn't buy the name based on that, in fact I didn't realize it had any position until after I bought it.

I'm sure the serps will come back as the page earns the right to good positioning but I would like to know why it had those positions in the first place.... something smells fishy, or at a minimum it's a sad commentary on google that a holding page gets good positioning and solid content results in a loss in serps.