Google’s Algorithm Change Against Parked Domains: Not a Big DealPosted: December 2, 2011 | |
The big domain news that happened yesterday was Google’s monthly report on algorithm changes. Among other updates, they indicated a new ability to classify parked domains. Why? To not show them in search results:
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.
Many domain sellers and investors park most if not all of their domains. This negative news could seem devastating to them on the surface. Much of the reaction to it has been that it will hurt the domain industry.
Is this really that big of a deal? No.
Domain parking has already been on its way out over the past few years. Parking payouts have plummeted over the past few years, and traffic to most parked domains has been drying up. Why? Because Google’s negativity towards parked domains had already started to develop.
Before then, parked domains could find their way to page 1 rankings on Google even for somewhat valuable keyword phrases. It didn’t happen on most of them, but I even experienced a #2 ranking for a 10,000+ monthly search term with a parked exact match domain, leading to several dollars a day in revenue over the course of a few months.
While exact match domains definitely still have rank-boosting power, they haven’t been able to rank well on valuable terms using parked pages for years now. Despite this new announcement, it’s not new that Google often delists parked pages entirely let alone penalizes them. It’s obvious why too – Google doesn’t like pages filled with only paid links or ads.
Simply put, the last 2 sentences in that update, the sentences that everyone has been focusing on, are both old news!
That said, some have been taking it to mean that if a parked domain is bought, the buyer will have a tough time getting it to rank. The update itself says absolutely nothing about that, so it’s pure speculation. We have seen in recent months that parked domains often have been delisted, and that getting them relisted once content is on them is not difficult.
Google has gotten much better about indexing new pages and websites fast, trying to avoid stale results. Once that domain has content on it and is no longer a parked domain, Google will see that rather quickly with a simple search submission, ping, or sitemap submission via Google Webmaster Tools.
So if you’re concerned about any inherited penalties of buying a parked domain to develop, don’t worry. Nothing has really changed in how Google treats parked domains, only that they’ll now be more likely to find out a domain is parked. Once your quality content is on the domain, Google will like the domain and happily index it.