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Wednesday
Dec072011

Google Officially Drops Parked Domains from their Index

Now we know why Google demands that domain parking companies use nameservers to direct traffic to their services.  It makes it very easy for Google to detect and de-list parked domains. 

It always seemed like Google's intent to not index parked domains.  You've probably had it happen to you (although not recently).  You do a search and find a result that appears promising, only to land on a page full of ads.   It's not a good user experience.  On December first Google announced that they now officially remove parked domains from the index.  They are now being very explicit about at least some of the changes they are making.  Notice the third bullet point:

  • Related query results refinements: Sometimes we fetch results for queries that are similar to the actual search you type. This change makes it less likely that these results will rank highly if the original query had a rare word that was dropped in the alternate query. For example, if you are searching for [rare red widgets], you might not be as interested in a page that only mentions “red widgets.”
  • More comprehensive indexing: This change makes more long-tail documents available in our index, so they are more likely to rank for relevant queries.
  • New “parked domain” classifier: This is a new algorithm for automatically detecting parked domains. Parked domains are placeholder sites that are seldom useful and often filled with ads. They typically don’t have valuable content for our users, so in most cases we prefer not to show them.
  • More autocomplete predictions: With autocomplete, we try to strike a balance between coming up with flexible predictions and remaining true to your intentions. This change makes our prediction algorithm a little more flexible for certain queries, without losing your original intention.
  • Fresher and more complete blog search results: We made a change to our blog search index to get coverage that is both fresher and more comprehensive.
  • Original content: We added new signals to help us make better predictions about which of two similar web pages is the original one.
  • Live results for Major League Soccer and the Canadian Football League: This change displays the latest scores & schedules from these leagues along with quick access to game recaps and box scores.
  • Image result freshness: We made a change to how we determine image freshness for news queries. This will help us find the freshest images more often.
  • Layout on tablets: We made some minor color and layout changes to improve usability on tablet devices.
  • Top result selection code rewrite: This code handles extra processing on the top set of results. For example, it ensures that we don’t show too many results from one site (“host crowding”). We rewrote the code to make it easier to understand, simpler to maintain and more flexible for future extensions.

As new parking companies spring up, some of them will temporarily miss the "classifier" - but not for long.  If you want to be in Google, then you should consider building a site with some content.  

There are some unanswered questions.  Where do content-like "parking" services such as WhyPark fit in?  You can actually host unique content-driven sites on such services  

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