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Interesting that JohnMu's most recent hangout had more questions about domains…

Posted in: General by Richard Hearne on November 6, 2013
Internet Marketing Ireland

Interesting that JohnMu's most recent hangout had more questions about domains than anything else.

When they launched Penguin I said that domains were going to be a major problem, and over time as more penalised domains get recycled there's going to be more and more problems for innocent webmasters.

Sadly John's suggestion that webmasters should really try to clean up the legacy issues is unhelpful.  Many sites hit by original Penguin are still unable to free themselves after 2 years of penalisation.

Google needs to offer a better way to migrate to an new domain without the penalty.  They also need to be much more transparent about the disavow tool and how it works/doesn't work.

Finally, I think every domain owner should have the option to reset the backlinks of a verified domain.  A simple tool that instructs Google to ignore all backlinks discovered prior to the reset date would alleviate all the problems of buying/migrating to a tainted domain, and give site owners a second chance to recover from Penguin-like penalties and start again.  I can see no downside, but Google wont offer this of course, because it's not in their interest sadly.

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  1. I don't see how offering a reset option isn't in everyone's interest Richard.

    If you buy a domain and it is penalised (which you won't necessarily know), being able to reset is very important as we've discussed at length before on DSQ.

    For a legitimate business owner who unknowingly gets penalised it offers a last bastion of salvation without having to start over on a new domain which for some businesses with a lot of branding sitting behind their domain would be a very bad outcome for them.

    If you're a spammer and reset, who cares in the grand scheme of things – they need to start over. If anyone thinks that $9 to register a new domain is going to set a spammer back they are dreaming – in which case I say they should let them burn the same domain to the ground over and over – what do I care.

    As a mechanism to avoid people resetting and trying to work out where the limit is in the algorithm, you might only allow 1 reset per domain per rolling 12 month window. Then again, that is probably a mute point as well, per the $9 comment above – if you're spamming to work out what the limit is – you'll be more than prepared to keep spending $9 on a domain to reverse engineer the algorithms so they aren't really helping themselves in that scenario I don't think.


    Comment by Alistair Lattimore — November 6, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

  2. I think you are both absolutely right and what you say makes logical sense, Alistair but I can't imagine anything being done about this fiasco.

    It might be that they do not recognise the inherent immorality of their method of dealing with the issue.

    Comment by Jim Munro — November 6, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

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