I do not own too many .info domain names, but a couple of them that I do own have quite solid link profiles. In spite of this, on May 23rd all of my .info websites (including search-marketing.info) disappeared from Google’s search results. And then the next day it returned. It may have just been a ranking glitch, but many other webmasters had the same issue… their .info domain names simply disappeared from Google.

Why would such a thing happen?

  • 2008 prediction from Matt Cutts“A top-level domain (TLD registry) will offer domains for under $4. The result will be another TLD blighted by spammy domain registrations.”
  • GoDaddy has a 99 cent sale on .info domain names.

Marcel Feenstra highlighted this issue on LockerGnome:

Filtering out all .info domains just because some of these domains are being abused is, of course, far too draconian a measure, and I don’t think it’s what Google intended. It would make much more sense if they filtered out, say, .info domains that had been registered less than a year ago and that didn’t have some minimum number of “trusted” backlinks.

Was the .info purge a glitch? Maybe, but Google never will accidentally filter out all .com domain names. This algorithmic tweak (especially when coupled with Matt Cutts’ prediction for 2008) shows an internal Google bias against .info domain names. While many .info domain names rank where they did just a few days ago, this does not bode well for the perceived value of .info domain names, especially for brand new domain names or parked pages.

Just one more example of how domain names play a big roll in SEO strategy.

More: continued here