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Terrible story about people who are taking advantage of an expired domain and Google to profit from the name and death of a young female golfer.
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from Feydakin 1528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This really isn't an SEO issue, it's a domaining and adsense issue.. But yes, it is quite discouraging to see friend's that have passed have their domains scopped up and turned in to MFA sites..



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from jasonm 1526 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I disagree that this isn't an SEO issue; granted it's not entirely tied to SEO, but  it's pretty compelling evidence that Google's algorithm is currently over-weighting off-page factors, particularly legacy links and keywords in domain, and under-weighting on-page factors



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from dannysullivan 1526 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This is interesting (and sad).

First, you've got Sedo getting some of the profits. It's a parked the domain, as noted at the bottom of the page, and Sedo itself is putting up the ads:

"This page provided to the domain owner free by Sedo's Domain Parking."

Google, of course, it the ad provider that Sedo is using.

Meanwhile, Google is listing this site like this:

Erica Blasberg Official Website www.ericablasberg.com

That title tag isn't on the site. It's not coming from the Open Directory. So what's up?

Google's probably looking at links from across the web and incorrectly guessing that this is still her official site based on link text -- a real goof, because it's not.

In fact, Bing doesn't list this at all. Neither does the Internet Archive, because the site has a robots.txt block preventing it from being listed.

Google, of course, will still list a link to a site that's been blocked. Sometimes, that's a good thing. But certainly not here.




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from crashingflwrgrl 1526 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This is absolutely disgusting, and, as much as I hate to admit it, Google simply relies way to heavily on links.

Being a link builder, I'm in the link trenches day in and day out and I can attest to how much weight is given to them when it comes to Google. I've personally seen a lot of sites ranking for terms they shouldn't be and one only has to examine their backlinks and anchor text to see precisely why.

I have no doubt that Google will disasociate the ericablasberg url with the golfer's persona after they get wind of this however provisions must be put in place to prevent this type of profiteering from even happening.



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from kevinspence 1526 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I've let a number of domains expire in the last few months, and they'll often hang around for a month or more in the SERPs with the same title tag and the same rankings before Google finally drops them.

I'd imagine that this is done so people don't get completely screwed when they accidentally let their domains expire, which is a good gesture in my opinion -- but of course, there are exceptions like this one where the behavior is rather unintended.



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from kevinspence 1526 Days ago #
Votes: 0

And let me add this thought:

If the number one result in Google was a news article with ads plastered all over it, isn't that fundamentally the same?

I'd say yes, and it's one of the main reasons I stopped working for a news company last year -- when your main job is to get stories about tragedy ranking as well as they can, it wears on you. But I'd suspect that most people wouldn't bat an eye at a news story with 8 ads around it -- we have accepted that certain agencies will capitalize on death, but haven't come around to accepting others.



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from MattMcGee 1526 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I wonder how much exposure it will take for Google to look at this (if they haven't already) and decide that the site no longer deserves to rank for her name. Moved to the home page as an Editor's Choice.



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from MattCutts 1526 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I actually got an email about this a couple hours ago, but I've been traveling today. It sounds like it we can take action (no need to have a parked domain in our index), and we'll check on why we didn't detect it ourselves.



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from MattCutts 1526 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Okay, I left a comment over on the original story (although it's waiting for approval, I think).



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from seobro 1525 Days ago #
Votes: 0

What can I say, this is worse than MFA. An MFA or made for adsense site has some content, but this one has zero. It is suppose to the the "official website" for the lady golfer, but instead is a cybersquatter that has a banner farm -  so 90's, of colorful ads and no useful information at all. Google should label this as ad spam.



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from azanmi 1522 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I invest in many domains and do spend time developing most. This kind of stuff gives domain investors a bad name. It's reminiscent of the enormous amount of Michael Jackson domains that were registered after his death. In fact, if you search for them at Ebay, you'll still find people peddling them.



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from cosmiccarl 1522 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Friends, this is so sad, but true all the same. These vultures are road kill chasers and then some.



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