How Google Handles Parked Domain Placeholder Pages

Oct 20, 2009 • 8:36 am | comments (0) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A Google Webmaster Help thread has one webmaster who was trying to figure out why his site was not coming up for a search on its own name.

After some review, Googler, JohnMu, said the site has recently shown a placeholder page from a web hosting company or domain name registrar. These are also known as parked domains, where a domain is purchased but there is currently no web site on that domain. Many registrars or hosting companies place placeholder pages on those new domains.

Clearly, when a search engine finds such a domain is showing a placeholder page, they figure the site is being moved or changed drastically. JohnMu from Google said:

It looks like your site may have been showing a domain parking / hosting placeholder page (or something similar) for a short while there. In general, for the long term, this is not a problem. It can however confuse our systems a bit when we get something completely different like that, so it's probably just a matter of a short while until things settle back down.

You can still see that in some places, for example with:

The next time Googlebot visits the site, it may figure out the issue was temporary and return the site's rankings fairly quickly. So be careful with not letting your domain expire and try to understand how Google handles expired domains.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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