Changing Domain Ownership
Posted 06 April 2006 - 11:22 PM
I am about to acquire an older domain, and was looking for some input as to the affects of ownership changes on ranking and sandbox.
My main assumption here is that by acquiring a domain and changing it's whois information, Google will (sort of) reset it's history record as if it was newly registered.
One option that I read about is to keep the original whois information, or gradually change it over a period of time, but then again, if a company relocates it is required to update it's whois info, so can you relocate without getting hurt?
Another option is to add privacy to the account, which is another legit thing a compane may do at one point of time or another, but then can that hurt me?
Lastly, I can just go the old way, and just change it to my name and (possible) bare the consequences.
Note that all my knowledge stems from reading and none is from actual trial. I am sure that domains change hands all the time, but am not sure how to go about it. I paid a pretty good amount for this domain and would like to (possibly) benefit from it's backlings and authority... Please help...
Thanks in advance,
Posted 06 April 2006 - 11:50 PM
I don't know if they are.
Should a site get penalized in rankings if the person named in the whois information leaves the company for one reason or another?
What if the change is because the company merged with another one, and the registered office moved?
And the name of the company changed because of the merger?
I would think that the change of the whois information by itself shouldn't be the only indicator that would cause a search engine to devalue the links leading to a site. There would have to be something more.
That something more could be something like different content on a site. Content that maybe wouldn't match well with the anchor text in the links that lead to the site before the change of the whois information.
The change of the content of the site, in relation to the anchor text in those links is probably a bigger indicator of changed ownership and purpose of a site.
So, if all of the whois information of the site changed, but the contents of the pages of the site remained relatively the same, I don't think that there would be a different treatment of links that were pointing to the site.
Since you've purchased the domain name likely with the intent to do something different than the previous owners of the site, your pages are going to change. Might the change in whois information flag the site for some type of review? Maybe.
But that patent application that describes changes to whois information, also describes a lot of other factors that might cause the search engines to look closer at a site. Things such as frequency of new links to a site, changes in the number of pages, of content on the site, and much more.
If Google is following much of that patent application, a change in how the site is used, and how it interacts with other pages on the web may cause some changes that influence pagerank of the site. It involves much more than just a change in whois information. That's only a small part of the bigger picture.
Posted 07 April 2006 - 09:49 AM
That was a while ago - things might be different now. It might also have something to do with the quality of links that you have coming into the site. If you have lots of trusted links then things might fare better.
If you paid a lot of money for this domain you might consider having a purchase agreement with the seller. My domain had changed hands before and my attorney constructed what would be similar to a chain of title done for real estate properties. The seller signed the domain over but officers of the company who owned the domain before were also asked to sign that the domain had been properly sold to the seller and that they had no claim on it. They were fully cooperative (-:
Now I have no worries about some company or some estate coming after my site a few years down the road after I have invested heavily in building it up.
Posted 07 April 2006 - 10:42 AM
What happens when SEW's domain name whois changes from Jupiter ownership to Incisive media? They did change all the footer info already...
Let's see what I can get from Google on it. We deserve to know!
Posted 07 April 2006 - 03:28 PM
Hmmm. Google will not comment. A no comment was sent to me.
Is that a "yes but we won't say so"? or a "that's a good idea, let's do it"?
I love those answers almost as much as when they tell you something but follow up with a "don't quote me, don't tell anyone"
Posted 07 April 2006 - 06:21 PM
I doubt it would be used when a new owner takes over one site. Of course the changes the new owner makes to the site would be taken into account through their algo, but other than that... I can't see them caring about change of ownership.
If you are suggesting it would be so they could combat the strategy of buying old domains... well you aren't going to buy it and leave it the same are you? You'd change where it links and the content, perhaps the entire topic or theme of the site?... This would be of more interest rather than whois info by my logic.
Posted 08 April 2006 - 06:27 AM
However, if I get a new phone number and decide to put it into my whois information, Google might pick that up as a change.
Somehow it doesn't make sense.... I bet more than 80-90% of the whois changes are with the same domain holder. Look at http://whois.sc/google.com -- 1224 changes in whois data since 2001! And I don't think I missed Google.com being sold
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