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Private domain registration influencing rankings

Penalty because Google can't see the whois info?

   
10:06 am on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I have been thinking about this issue for a while: would registering a domain name through a private registration service (such as Domains By Proxy) possibly have a negative influence on search ranks?

Reasons why I would not consider this impossible:

- Google cannot track when a domain name is transferred to another party, missing a certain part of their search algorithm
- Because your info is private, Google may be suspicious about your site's content (why would you hide your contact info if you're legit?)

More idealistic: Google's mission is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful", therefore if you decide to intentionally hide information that is normally visible, Google would not support your behavior since it's blocking their mission.

What do you guys think?

12:23 pm on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



While I cannot say it's impossible, I see no evidence to say that it's happening, and your arguments sound a little tin foil to me.

Also, I changed *all* my whois to anonymous about two years ago, and it had zero effect on my rankings, so far as I can tell.

I suspect Google has enough to do with the day job.

2:36 pm on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Personally I wouldn't take the chance. I feel safer with a reputable domain registration service than these fly-by-night spam infesting cheap services.

You have to keep in mind that your web site will likely be sharing an IP address with every other web site that the service deals with. These become your neighbours in a way, in an IP neighbourhood. So try to look around the web servers and see if you are comfortable being amongst the others there.

3:04 pm on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I feel safer with a reputable domain registration service than these fly-by-night spam infesting cheap services.

Most reputable hosts offer an anonymous option; anonymity and spam infesting cheap services are very different issues, though, granted, they may coincide.

7:28 pm on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member caveman is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This is a question that has been discussed a lot.

Google (and I think the other SE's) have in the past essentially said that:
1) Making that info private does not count against you in the algo's, but,
2) In the event of a manual review of your site, if the site has other traits that cause it to seem dubious, private WHOIS may contribute to the perception that the site has something to hide, and that is not a positive.

I personally find that POV to be a bit excessive since there are all sorts of good reasons to keep WHOIS private. But that's just me. :)

Essentially, if one runs a site that the engines might regard as spammy, private WHOIS won't help you in a manual review and might hurt. If OTOH your site is clean and magnificent, private WHOIS should not hurt you at all.

4:53 pm on Jan 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



You have to keep in mind that your web site will likely be sharing an IP address with every other web site that the service deals with

AFAIK using a "private"/proxy domain registration doesn't necessarily anything to do with the ip address(es) used for the hosts/servers in that domain.

I have several domains with private registration which have dedicated ip addresses for their websites.

 

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