November 8, 2012
The head of Google's webspam team, Matt Cutts, has provided some valuable advice for registrants preparing to launch a web site under their domain name.
Some domain name registration services show pages consisting of ads or other boilerplate-type content until such time that the registrant has uploaded his or her own content. This is known as "domain name parking".
Matt Cutts says Google can detect such occurrences using its "parked domain detector" and usually won't list the domain until the registrant has published their own pages.
"Users don't like to see them and complain when they do see them," he says.
However, when real content is uploaded, it can then take some time before Google realises the domain is no longer parked - Mr. Cutts equates it to Google needing to do a "u-turn" during what he termed a "learning" phase.
He advises domain name registrants planning to launch a site should ensure default parked pages are no longer displaying around a month before launching the real site.
In the interim, a page should be published containing just a few paragraphs outlining the topic of the site to be launched. He advises against just having a blank page or one with just a couple of words on it.
"That small little bit of effort often will help to try and make sure that the launch goes smoothly, or that we are able to find the content relatively quickly".
With Google providing the majority of traffic for many web sites, it's advice worth heeding for those looking to benefit more rapidly from visitors the search engine can provide.
For those who have launched a site recently that may still be under the influence of the parked domain detector, it's also a little reassurance that the lack of Google traffic may not indicate a problem other than Google not yet having learned the domain is no longer "parked" - and all that is required is a little patience.
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