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How to Register a Domain Name in 2014 and Avoid any Google Penalty

One thing that is great about the online world is the constantly changing landscape! Enough has been written about Matt Cutts “stick a fork in it” post on low value Guest Posting over the last week I wont address it. But, to be clear, I 100% still believe high quality guest posting is highly effective and my strategy here has not changed as a result of his post.

In this post I want to tie together several pieces of information that have gotten my attention over the last month which has resulted in a change to the way that me and my team register domains names in 2014.

To be clear up front a lot of this is unproven and simply theory at this point but I believe there is enough information pointing in this direction to try and get in front of any search impact. But, there are somewhere around 200 search factors and below could conceivably cover only a handful so I don’t think it is important enough to go back and change all the domains I have ever registered. This is simply just a new practice I plan to implement moving forward.

Background on the Changing Search Importance of Domain Registration

In Googles attempts to continue to fight SPAM they are working very hard to verify/validate the authority of a domain owner and writer.

Here are 5 pieces of information that have had my attention over the last month(s) and resulted in the change I talk about at the bottom…

  1. Google Raises Quality Bar for Authorship Mark-up – Google has raised the bar on quality for displaying Authorship in search results. Now only authors they think deserve the mark-up in search results receives it.

How to Register a Domain Name in 2014 and Avoid any Google Penalty

(Decrease in low quality Google Authorship display in line with Matt Cutts speech at PubCon – Source)

  1. 2014 Google Predictions – The increasing importance of Google AuthorRank has been predicted since the introduction of Google Plus and the AuthorRank patent (here). However, in almost all SEO expert predictions there is an increasing level of confidence that Google Authorship/Author Rank will play an important role in 2014. Ultimately Google is looking to verify who is behind a websites content and their level of expertise.

“Establishing Google Authorship of your content, and tying it to your Google+ account. Authorship, which brings your body of content together, will play an important role in the SERPs as well as strengthening your Author Rank. (Search Engine Watch)”

“Authorship metrics had the second largest increase in ranking importance per MOZ.com’s 2013 Rankings” (2013 MOZ Ranking Factors)”

“Along with Google Authorship and Google AuthorRank, I believe we will begin to see more public adoption of Google Plus. SEOs will begin to realize they pretty much HAVE to be a player (SEM Rush 2014 Predictions)”

“If you aren’t using Google+ religiously to post new content and media, you’re missing out on a huge SEO opportunity. In 2014, G+ Pages and Hangouts will likely drive the popularity of both the network and its weight in the SERPs. You see, Google’s emphasis on author rank is quickly becoming an effective means of significantly increasing your credibility and reputation. Here’s how it works:” (Social Media Today 2014 SEO Predictions)

 

  1. ICANN has forced domain registrars to verify the email address of all new domain account – ICANN (standard setting group for domain registration) has required all registrars who comply with their standard to confirm the email registration of each domain they sell. This applies to new domains and renewals.
    • IMPORTANT – Make sure to have an active email address in the registration or change to an active email address!
    • GoDaddy Summary – Click Here
    • Iwantmyname Summary – Click Here

 

  1. Public vs Private Domain Registration – People have noticed privacy activated domains have not been performing as well recently. I have no data or personal experience to back this up but the guys at NoHatSEO have mentioned this as well.

 

  1. Match WhoIs Data to WebSite Contact/About and Anchor Text – This is relatively new and unproven but a theory that I was recently discussing talked about Google rewarding matching anchor text to your WhoIs information. Similarly, having WhoIs information, about page information and anchor text/backlinks all confirming the same “person” associated with the domain could increase the confidence in Googles eyes that the owner is who they say they are.

 

All 5 of the items above, even if some prove to not be reality, show a very clear trend towards transparency being rewarded online(no surprise there).

Doing the “funny look” test this all seems to make sense. I know the best sites I have made don’t always have privacy enabled and I am the most transparent about who is behind the site.

This provides a great opportunity as well as a logistical nightmare for me!

How am I Changing How I Register Domain Names in 2014?

Let me split this up into 2 parts…

    • Part 1 – Money Sites (my important money making sites inside my site portfolio)
    • Part 2 – Feeder Sites/Small Money Site Experiments

Part 1 – Money Site Domain Registration

  1. If you are going to create an alias for a Money Site (which I do) you need to go all in on that alias!
  2. Create a Gmail account and use it for everything associated with your new site. Your new social profiles etc.
  3. Build up a relevant Google + profile and use it or outsource it(15 minutes per day)
  4. Register a domain with the alias Gmail account
  5. Confirm ownership of the domain by clicking on the link
  6. Share your alias details publicly and consistently in all relevant locations
  7. Bonus – Get several backlinks with your name as the anchor text (comments where you leave your name for example)

Part 2 – Feeder Site Domain Registration

  1. Create multiple free email accounts (I use Gmail) with US Aliases (Fiver Task)
  2. Put the list in a spreadsheet to associate each email with a specific domain
  3. Forward all emails(how to here) to one central domain handling email (you could use your main email address) (this is a great task for a VA)
  4. Create a simple alias (using a new Gmail account for each domain)
  5. Register domain without Privacy Enabled using the alias information
  6. Confirmation email will be sent to the Gmail address, then if set up properly forwarded to your central email account,  click the link and now you have confirmed ownership of the domain and have allowed the registrar to comply with ICANN.
  7. Alias used to register the domain should be reflected on the about page – bonus points for including it in any anchor text

My Favourite Registrar is NameCheap by far! (affiliate link)

Do you think this is over-kill? Have you noticed any impact on Public vs Private Domain registration and your search rankings?

About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

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