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Changing from public to private registration - effect on ranking?

     
12:31 am on Sep 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have a few older sites (from 4-10 years old) whose domain names were registered using a public registration. They rank fairly well and are doing pretty good overall.

However, for years now, I've wanted to switch to a private registration to A) limit spam, and B) protect my privacy.

But, I've been a little scared to mess with anything considering the sites rank so well for various important terms.

So I guess what I'm asking is, is there ANY chance that switching domain whois info from public to private (after years of being public) can have any negative effect on rankings?

Thanks.
3:11 am on Sept 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I don't think so, an insane number of domains are in private, including many of mine that increased traffic even with Panda.
6:37 am on Sept 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I very much doubt it. Here in the UK business website owners must divulge their contact details if they are trading. Only non trading individuals may opt not to have their details displayed.
7:45 am on Sept 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I switched all my sites to private registration and there was zero impact

YMMV
10:41 am on Sept 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I read on another thread that Google wants everybody to use their real name, and will give higher rankings to articles written by individuals who have good reputations regardless of where the article is published..

But some people have good reasons to use private registration- for example, some webmasters of sites that address controversial social or political issues get hate mail and even threats. I hope that Google is aware of this.
1:25 pm on Sept 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the replies everyone.

And it's not private registration itself that I'm worried about... I have a few domains like that ranking just fine.

It's the switch from 4-10 years of being public to suddenly becoming private that always scared me.