Google tweaks algorithm to kick parked domains out of its index

Algorithm change designed to push parked domains out of index.

Google released an update on new changes made to its algorithm today, and one of them is bad news for anyone who still manages to get their parked domain names in the search index.

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.

It used to be that many parking pages got indexed and this delivered a lot of extra traffic to domain owners beyond just type-in traffic and old links. Google has gotten smarter about this in recent years, and it looks like this latest move may be the nail in the coffin.

Although Google hasn’t disclosed how it determines that a page is parked, it’s not that hard to do. It could even do this based on a combination of page structure and nameservers.

Update: As you’ll see if you try it, if you type in an actual parked domain name to Google it will still show it. I suspect they have just heavily demoted them.


  1. says


    “Do No Evil” went out the door 10 minutes after they came up with the ‘motto’.

    They are worried about “SOPA/Protect IP Act”…Censoring content they have index, but have no problem Censoring ‘legal’ websites or landing pages.


    Example below ~ ‘This’ ~ After: Google’s “Eric Schmidt” had said this:


    It’s taken a while, but Google has finally caved in to pressure from the entertainment industries including the MPAA and RIAA. The search engine now actively censors terms including BitTorrent, torrent, utorrent, RapidShare and Megaupload from its instant and autocomplete services. The reactions from affected companies and services are not mild, with BitTorrent Inc., RapidShare and Vodo all speaking out against this act of commercial censorship.

    The entertainment industries’ quest to root out piracy on the Internet has yet again resulted in commercial censorship. A few weeks ago Google announced that it would start filtering “piracy related” terms from its ‘Autocomplete‘ and ‘Instant‘ services and today they quietly rolled out this questionable feature.

    Without a public notice Google has compiled a seemingly arbitrary list of keywords for which auto-complete is no longer available. Although the impact of this decision does not currently affect full search results, it does send out a strong signal that Google is willing to censor its services proactively, and to an extent that is far greater than many expected.

    Among the list of forbidden keywords are “uTorrent”, a hugely popular piece of entirely legal software and “BitTorrent”, a file transfer protocol and the name of San Fransisco based company BitTorrent Inc. As of today, these keywords will no longer be suggested by Google when you type in the first letter, nor will they show up in Google Instant.

    All combinations of the word “torrent” are also completely banned. This means that “Ubuntu torrent” will not be suggested as a user types in Ubuntu, and the same happens to every other combination ending in the word torrent. This of course includes the titles of popular films and music albums, which is the purpose of Google’s banlist. ”


  2. Mike says

    Talk about the kettle calling the pot black.

    Basically, a Google search results page is not much different than a parked page except they have organic results also. parked pages with both ads and organic search results are no different than a Google results page. Who do they think they are? Acting as if they provides something better.

    If parked pages are bad, are all directories bad then also?

    Google does not like directories and parked pages simply because we compete with them. They stamped out directories years ago, even before parked pages.

    So I say, “Fu*k you Google!” and your campaign against domain traffic and parked pages”

    I always bought domains with traffic they could not take away knowing good and well they’d try. I never went after regular old domains with expired traffic. That’s a sucker’s trap to a large degree.

    The truth is, it’s Google and Company, with their crazy standards on what can be shown on a parked page, and deliberately showing unrelated ads on parked pages to make them look bad is what has given parked pages a bad reputation.

    Parked pages could be much more useful if they were not being purposefully held down. Everything from templates to links are micromanaged and approved/disapproved by Google, so they control the success/failure of parked pages to a large degree, being the monopoly they basically are on parking now.

  3. says

    It has (already had?) a pretty big effect on recently-expired domains. I’ve seen a bunch of parked names that were indexed lose 70%+ of their traffic.

    Also, if you let the domain for a real site go past its expiration date and the registrar parks it at expiry, you’ll now get de-indexed asap! I’d bet it will take a while to get back to the top of the rankings after getting dropped like that.

    • says

      @ Russ – Several years ago Google started monitoring expirations to “reset” domains in its index. It was partly foiled by “direct transfer” expired domains at SnapNames and NameJet.`

  4. says

    This is a good thing. It improves the internet experience for web users. Why would an internet user want to find a parked domain in the results? They have little to no information.

    Good riddance to rubbish I say.

  5. says

    @ Mike

    ” Basically, a Google search results page is not much different than a parked page except they have organic results also.”

    NO truer words were ever said…


    When are the going to get rid of “Wikipedia” in the top two of most results… and pages that are basically out dated for the given subject matter…from 2002 – 2007?


  6. says

    Because typing in the SEARCH bar is more useful than typing it in the URL bar.

    Google has made it clear, they are in the business of search. And the best way to drive search is to REMOVE direct navigation.

    I have been preaching this for years, and it’s too late. Now with all of these NONSENSE TLDs Google will benefit from consumer confusion.

    Generic domains that use a parked page are actually useful to consumers. Sometimes people want to navigate to a niche targeted website, but the only way to get their is by typing in a generic term.

    So Google understands this, and they want you to type the generic term in to your search bar.

    Google is undermining the entire internet, and we are helpless to their evil.

  7. Tim Davids says

    @Troy…A parked page is better than a google results page where the BIG brands paid to be in your face instead of the most relevant thing showing up.

  8. says

    Parked pages shouldn’t rank at all anyways so why is this such a big deal? I would think that with the last few algorithmic changes being focused on quality so much that to expect a parked domain to rank would be foolish.

    Sounds like a reasonable move by Google. Hopefully they’re now on to cleaning up Google Places for business, the most easily hijacked and manipulated business listing platform ever created. Sad. If I had a nickel for Google Places listing that is nothing but a leased local phone number with a fictitious address that strategically located near the city center then I would have a lot of nickels.

  9. says


    They want to start on ‘de-listing’ something, they can start on the 75%+ of their own “Blogspot” blogs, most that are really no use to most anyone, except people running Google’s “ad-sense” on them.

    Basically…”blog parking landing pages”


  10. says

    This is major news. Another strike against parking domain names. I can’t believe that people are still going into this segment and starting parking companies. I just don’t understand why those would enter into a dead business.

  11. says

    I made great money back years ago but parking isn’t making me anything. I had a directory at a Christmas-related domain and I didn’t have time to deal with it so I switched to parking when it first started. I had all these pages indexed google and it took a few months to get de-listed back then. I made $70K in 6 weeks from one parked domain.

    However, I hate when I get parking pages when I search and I don’t think advertisers (in most cases) are getting the value from the clicks so I am glad to see them go from the search results. I think in the long run it is the best thing for domainers to be forced to develop.

  12. SF says

    It is sickening, saddening (or insert word here) to see One single company acquire Soooo much Power and Soooo much Control over So much of the Internet.

    Seems like the only option is to run your business as Google dictates, or try to do your own thing and suffer the consequences.

    It doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. You can bet your ass it’s only going to get worse.

    Therefore, there’s no use bitching about it. So, that ends part A.

    No for part B.

    For several years, we’ve seen this coming. I guess some parking companies did not want to believe it was all coming to an end. And, other parking companies had no option but to ride the wave until it petered all the way out.

    Many domain investors have No desire to become developers.
    Many domain investors not have the resources to become developers.

    Even for those who want to develop, how scalable is that?

    For those parking companies that thought mini sites or “thin development” (as Google might call it) was going to work, this news is certainly a kick in the balls.

    But, what if a parking company took submissions from domainers and chose certain domains to actually develop into full blown websites that could be monetized in many different ways from many different sources?

    If they could develop and maintain these sites with fresh and unique content, surely web surfers would find these “parked sites” more useful than the old parked page.

    But, the question remains: Would Google decide even that was unacceptable?

  13. JR says

    It is the wrong move. IF you type in the google search box, you are looking for that precise site. In the case of many parked domains, google will show domainTools’s whois and many other before it actually shows the that you typed for. In many cases, people actually want to go directly to the domain and see what’s there.

  14. bernard says

    An interesting question is whether or not an unindexed domain for parking reason will get quickly reindexed if not more parked.

    • says

      @ Bernard

      “An interesting question is whether or not an unindexed domain for parking reason will get quickly reindexed if not more parked.”

      This has typically been the case. After all, just about every new domain registration is parked at first (by the registrar), but quickly gets indexed when you develop it.

  15. james says

    So here is my question: is Google going to “delist” domains that are parked OR keep them from showing in a search? If they are delisted then ALL domainers should move their domains away from parking. If they are only omitting them from a search I do not see the big deal. If I type into Google and my parked domain is not found, then this is a problem and I will move all domains away from parking. Can someone elaborate on this for me. Thanks

  16. says

    FYI – Google is NOT a search company. They are an advertising business. Period.

    Improve the search, make more money. Search is the road, not the destination.

  17. says

    I believe Google is a de-facto monopoly, an overriding controling force within an oligopoly. It may be better for us all if it is forcibly fragmented.
    No company will ever deal honestly (as Google has not) when simultaneously paying for, and getting paid for, a self-same service.
    We all see how little is paid out to advertisers in the name of quality, which Google solely defines, when compared to how much it charges for those same ads in the name of quality, again which it solely defines to its sole benefit.
    This includes Google’s parking service, which will no doubt remain unaffected. Surprise, surprise.

  18. says

    This news shouldn’t be a big blow to anyone, it makes sense that parked domains shouldn’t show up in search engine results. In fact I already thought this was standard. If you’ve been getting your parked domains showing up in any search results it was just a bonus that wasn’t going to last anyway. I don’t think this is a strike against parking domains, just that they shouldn’t show up in a search result. Only pages and sites with content should show up, people aren’t searching for pages with only a bunch of ad links on them.

  19. says

    @ Stuart,

    “FYI – Google is NOT a search company. They are an advertising business. Period.
    Improve the search, make more money. Search is the road, not the destination.”


    Your 100% right, Advertising & a “Tech Company”.

    They are now doing what “MS” was doing back before ‘Bing’…they are trying to become everything to everyone.

    Anyone remember the Billion plus dollars, “MS” pumped into ‘MS live search’, trying to become everything to everyone?

    The Google Search Engine…for the the last 2+ years, has become nothing more than their “personal piggy bank”…to fund anything and everything OTHER than having a great search engine…their search engine advertising platform(s) has and is becoming nothing but a tool to do this.

    And it is quite obvious, they only want big business and well known ‘brands’ in the top of their search results.

    Hence…they do not care who they have to/want to de-list or ban…

    They have crushed thousands of good small business (white hat)…caught up in their “Panda’ updates over the past 6-12 months.


  20. says, can anyone explain why shows up in search results then? because whatever they have masquerading as content there is a joke. yet they are on top of so much long-tail search its ridiculous. its the 180th most trafficked website according to alexa, and its nothing but a giant adsense farm. conflict of interest i say

  21. says

    Google will make a mistake using nameservers to determine parked pages. There are many WhyPark sites that are of quality. Not all WP members use rotating articles.

    Google must be fair with which parking sites they choose to de rank or to remove altogether. They’re asking for problems if all WP sites are de ranked again. It takes a long time to restore ranking and traffic again. It’s unfair competition to evaluate the nameserver instead of the content.

  22. says

    Don’t see how ehow is ranked above experts. IMHO, the two work together to make money due to the heavy traffic. Ehow tries to buy their writers’ articles for pennies. Pathetic. Reward amateurs and hold down experts.

  23. RED says

    This is the best thing Google have done for a long time, most parked domains are just a bunch of links with no content.

    Take the likes of Sedo, they have templates, so how many websites are out there with the same template.

  24. says


    @ Arrgo

    Frank does not need or rely Google search results for the success of “Internet Traffic”.

    So, you will be ‘hoping’ for a very long time…IMO



    This discussion is not just about domain parking pages’ getting ranked in Google.

    Even, going back to the boom of domain parking days, from 2004 – 2008, very few or any domain parking pages ranked high or at all in Google.


    The problem with Google is that they want it both ways.

    They do not want the “SOPA/Protect IP act pass into law, as it would force them to censor and de-list sites, they do not want to, at the same time they are “censoring” and de-listing legitimate websites.

    And when they do this…there is a lot of unattended consequences for legitimate online small business.

    November 23, 2011


    During the month of October, a reported 11.2 billion searches were conducted on Google. The company announced that less than 1 percent of domains will be affected by the new update. “End Quote”

    They say this, like 1.2 million domains & websites…is nothing.

    We will call it 1%, that is 1.12 million websites…do you think these are all ‘parking pages’?


    I for one hope that EVERY ‘adsense’ user switches over to this new:

    “Facebbook Wordads”

    That would put a nice little ‘dent’ into Google’s little advertising ‘piggy bank’.


    The only thing Google will ensure, is that it almost single handily created the “SEO” industry.

    And one thing is for sure, it will keep this industry thriving for years to come, as long as everyone, day in and day out continues to willing “jump through Google’s hoops”

    The Wales, Seals and Dolphins have to jump through ‘Less Hoops’ in a year at Sea World…than webmasters and “SEO” Experts have to do in a week…through “Google Hoops”


  25. Richard St Cyr says

    I can’t stand Google they are too much like big brother and I sure and hell can’t stand big brother.
    Maybe some day somebody will come up with an idea and take them down to size. Just a wish
    but sometimes they come true. Now they want to compete with Amazon they want to rule the world.
    Tonight i am changing my search box to BING

    Audios Google

  26. says


    While Google was busy doing “no evil” the last few days…They took a “WP” blog I have had online since 2007, all ‘white hat’…made every post myself.

    For the past 4 years it has averaged 200 – 600+ unique’s from Google on any given day. Last two days. 40 & 55 visitors.


  27. says

    Google is evil.

    That said, this was a natural progression, they don’t want competition, how dare someone else show surfers where to find good sites instead of them?

    And directories are next btw.

  28. says

    I have 5 domains under my primary hosting account, and would like to add two more domains for a new business I am starting this month. In my Cpanel it shows all of these domains as parked and also add-on domains. Now I’m concerned that my two new business websites will not get listed in Google if I set them up this way. Any ideas on the best economically feasible way to do this? Do I need to buy separate hosting for each website I own now? Thanks for any information anyone may have.

  29. says

    @ Andrew Allemann – Thanks for the quick reply, Andrew. When I check my parked/add-on URLs in Google Search they are all still coming up with the pages for each of them indexed, although they seem to have a decrease in traffic lately. Guess that’s why I’m concerned about the parked domain classifier, and whether I should consider buying separate hosting for the new business sites are not. Always something….

  30. says


    @Tracey, just to be on the safe side, I would ask your current host to add an extra “IP Address” on a different “C-Block”…to your current hosting account.

    Depending on your host, this should just cost you about an extra $10.00 a year…and put your ‘real business’ website(s) on that new “IP” address.

    I have seen them (Google) in the past, Take down many people’s ‘mini sites’, like 50 -100+ using them for Google ‘adsnese’. All beacuse, they were to easy to detect on the same”IP” address.

    And they were all very well made 5 – 20 page websites or blogs.

    They went to bed, making $200 – 700+ a day for months if not years…only to wake up one morning to discover now they are making $20 -$60 a day.

    I hope that makes sense.


  31. says

    @ Dan – Thanks so much for the information about the different IP address on the C Block, Dan. I have sent what you wrote directly to my new hosting company so we will see what they say.

    Any ideas on what to do about Google blacklisting the word Lesbian as pornographic? I have a client whose nonpornographic website was number one in the world for women coming out for many years, and then it dropped ranking right after Google did this little doozy in the Fall of 2010, and I really have no idea what to do about it…

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