Wedding Registries Being Indexed Causing Fraudulent Registry Orders

Mar 9, 2006 • 2:39 pm | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

My finance calls me, she is all nervous, she says people are placing fake orders on our registry. She starts listing off names of people and their location. I never heard of any of the people she lists off. The list of people are names of people who have placed orders on our various gift registries but we have never received any of those items. What is even more out of the ordinary is that some of the items in the registries have order quantities of 10 or more, when we only request one. So I ask some of my SEO buddies what they think...

Oilman told me that what is likely happening is that the registry is being indexed by a search engine or two. People are searching for product, finding our registry and ordering the items, without knowing it is from a registry. The issue is, my finance now needs to zero out all the 'fraudulent' gift orders. This way people who think we have 10 items know we really have none and can buy it for us. Yea, she is pretty upset with me about this.

I wonder if the 220 others from Crate & Barrel and 800 others from Bed Bath & Beyond in my position are being scolded for this as well?

Forum discussion at Search Engine Roundtable Forums.

If you are a digger, try to dig this story.

Previous story: Is Your Site One of the "Chosen Ones?"


Todd Mintz

03/09/2006 08:28 pm

You might want to remove the "Digg" button from this story...if it gets "Dug", your nightmare has just begun. Of course, you can always register for lots more stuff:.)


03/09/2006 08:45 pm

now, now Barry. I understand getting married is expensive, but that still doesn't give you the right to refer to your fiance as your "finance". :)

Chris Beasley

03/09/2006 10:28 pm

Many places keep registries private (unless you can provide personal information about the Bride & Groom) to stop malicious use of them. This isn't really malicious, but the end result is the same. I suppose the companies in question were just a little too greedy in their pursuit of traffic.

Barry Schwartz

03/09/2006 10:37 pm

To be fair, by default you need to search on the name of the people. But I linked to the page directly, after searching on the page and the direct link worked.


03/10/2006 01:21 pm

>> Yea, she is pretty upset with me about this. Why is she upset with you? Did you tell her that you control all global crawling and indexing again? :)

Barry Schwartz

03/10/2006 01:27 pm

I was kidding about her being upset with me. She is just upset with the added work, but she is cool with me. :)

Michael Cottam

03/10/2006 10:10 pm

This is a very interesting case...I'm one of the founders of, a honeymoon gift registry. While we block the spiders from find ing links to couples' registry pages on our site, it's entirely true that you could create a wedding website, put a link to the registry on the wedding website, then put a link to that on your blog (that would be a natural thing to do), then the spiders would of course find it via your blog. Time for a wee bit of cloaking to make sure spiders don't see any content at all on registry pages... Michael

elisabeth osmeloski

03/11/2006 07:09 pm

hey barry - glad i spotted this before getting to the point of adding in my registry stuff on my own wedding website. (I still have a ways to go - we're not getting married until OCT 07). I personally wasn't planning on publicizing our URL to the SEO world, so i'm not worried too much about it getting indexed - but in your case, it was certainly appropriate. first question, why not at least put in "NO FOLLOW" tags for those links? second, did you not think about using AFF links to those registries? ;) (terribly poor taste, i know, but most people will never know) and Michael from TheBigDay- thanks for turning me onto your site - I knew they existed, and was thinking about using a honeymoon gift registry as well, but hadn't spent the time yet looking into them.

Barry Schwartz

03/12/2006 09:20 pm

Elis, I didn't think to nofollow the links. Who does? :)

blog comments powered by Disqus