Google Using Whois Data For Keyword Matching?

May 12, 2010 • 8:26 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

The question of how Google may use whois data in ranking or spam detection has been discussed over the years time and time again. There are many ways Google could use the data, from checking who owns which web sites, checking site age, checking transfer of ownership of domains, and possibly for some sort of keyword relevancy factor.

The keyword relevancy factor is now being discussed at a WebmasterWorld. One person said that when he Google'd his name, a site that he owned but had no mention of his name on and no links pointing to the site with his name as the anchor text, came up. Thus, he suspected Google used whois data, the registration data, to match the site with his name and show it as a keyword match in the search results.

He said:

I just Googled my own name and found an interesting result in position #3 organics was my 10 year old website. The interesting thing is that there is no reference to me at all anywhere on the site. The result was the index page and of course there was no highlighted text that matched my name search. It's a pretty strong indication of whois influencing search results I think. I wonder if they can and do use whois to track those who would flirt with the dark side...

Do you think Google would use whois data for keyword relevancy matching? Does it make sense to do it this way?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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05/12/2010 12:58 pm

Being that Google is also a registrar, I wonder if the "ID Protect" you can buy from some registrars will protect your identity from another registrar with access to whois?


05/12/2010 01:22 pm

^Google isn't a registrar. They piggyback off GoDaddy's reg services. Private data is private to everyone except those keeping the record.

Kevin Mullett

05/12/2010 02:15 pm

I was able to find a Google SERP on page 10 that appears only possible via a whois search for a name of my freelance company name. The kicker is that the site isn't even published. Hence the SERP result is just a listing to a TLD and hosting info. It is currently only 301p redirected to another site that also does not have any links back or mentions to the company name that was used in the search query.


05/12/2010 02:46 pm

Colin, Squid is correct. Google has been a domain name registrar since 2005, they are ID 895. Have a look Google just doesn't sell etc domain itself under it's own ID.

Michael Martinez

05/12/2010 05:44 pm

And how does this genius know there are no links associated with his name pointing to the site?

No Name

05/12/2010 08:17 pm

Domain age has long been known to be a factor in where pages rank. And it makes perfect sense. If, for example, known spammer #1 owns site,, and and then brings up, and, it becomes highly likely that they're spammy sites too.


05/13/2010 02:12 pm

Is it possibile because whois uses Ads by Google?

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