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Does your domain name prevent your website from getting high rankings?

The top level domain of your website can have an influence on your website rankings. Last week, many websites with a special top level domain were delisted from Google's search results.

No more visitors from Google. What has happened?

Last week, many webmasters observed that all of their websites with an .info domain name disappeared from Google's search results.

Some websites removed traffic drops from several hundreds of visitors per day to zero visitors per day. It seemed that all websites that used the .info top level domain had been removed from Google's index.

A few days later, the websites with the .info domains reappeared in Google's search results.

Why did this happen?

It looks as if Google updated its filters for special domain names and went a little too far. Earlier this year, the head of Google's anti-spam team made the following statement:

"A top-level domain (TLD registry) will offer domains for under $4. The result will be another TLD blighted by spammy domain registrations."

Domain names with a .info ending have been available for 99 Cent for some time. It's likely that very many .info domain names have been purchased for spamming purposes.

Google might have intended to block .info domains that spam and a bug in the algorithm wiped all .info domains from Google's results. Fortunately, Google's engineers fixed the bug within days.

What does this mean for your website?

Filtering all .info domains just because many of them are used for spamming is a very drastic measure. Although Google doesn't do this, it's clear that there is some kind of filter for these domains.

If you want to succeed with your online business, it might be better to use a .com domain or the local top level domain of your country instead of a .info domain.

In addition to your domain name, many more factors influence the position of your website in Google's search results. Analyze your website now to find out which elements of your website can cause problems with Google.

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June 2008 search engine articles