Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Hemant Bhoi on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, August 24, 2017).

Private "Whois" is it good or bad for SEO?

Private "Whois" is it good or bad for SEO ?
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YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Bill Slawski: I`m sorry, Eric, but what he has written is very shady, and misleading.
  • Bill Slawski: I don`t respect that at all. I take my profession seriously, and try to help people. He makes a mockery of it.
  • Bill Slawski: That is really poor research behind private Whois as a ranking signal.
  • Bill Slawski: Here is what Matt Quoted: “…When I checked the whois on them, they all had “whois privacy protection service” on them. That’s relatively unusual. …Having whois privacy turned on isn’t automatically bad, but once you get several of these factors all together, you’re often talking about a very different type of webmaster than the fellow who just has a single site or so.” Not much in the way of critical thinking going on there. I question the application of the word "smart."
  • Bill Slawski: Brian Dean stole those from other people, he didn`t even think of most of them.
  • Benj Arriola: My reply here is... it does not matter. But I`ll prefer not private. Because based on what I know to buy a digital certificate and enable https, the requirements include the Whois info is consistent with the information submitted as the digital certificate owner, and they require to keep the information public.
  • Rob Watts: Good / but Google is also a tld registrar so could in theory see the private data anyway. But great to keep prying competitor eyes off your methods and domains. Knowledge is power etc.
  • Bill Slawski: It bothers me that someone claims to have spent a "whole 20 hours" researching a post on 200 ranking factors like the one Brian wrote. People rely upon research from people they believe are legitimate, and feed their families, and pay mortgages based upon those efforts, and 20 hours is next to no time at all, when it comes to doing research. It is really questionable how much SEO he has ever done.
  • Jim Munro: Good job, Bill Slawski et al. :) I almost deleted this topic when it first appeared but I think it turned out to be useful.
  • Bill Slawski: Be careful whom you choose to get SEO information from. There are people who write linkbait type articles claiming things like Google uses Trustrank without actually showing any sources to back themselves up. And, even though some of those people may have academic degrees, such as a ph.D, that does mean for some of them that they excel in Piling (bullshit) Higher and deeper.
  • David Ogletree: It has zero affect on SEO. Also google does not need that to know who owns a site and they don`t care anyhow.
  • Bill Slawski: I`ve spent hours going through this list from Brian Dean, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, and I just can`t do it. Can you? Honestly?
  • Adam Durrant: I would argue bad, but not significantly bad. There is an algorithm known as trustrank which will look at domain registry info such as length of registration, whether the address on registry is also on the site etc. If you`re a business I would make details public.
  • Bill Slawski: Here is what Brian Dean says about public and private whois: 8. Public vs. Private WhoIs: Private WhoIs information may be a sign of “something to hide”. Matt Cutts is quoted as stating at Pubcon 2006:
  • Steve Gerencser: While I 100% agree with Bill, let`s look at some anecdotal evidence. I have more than a few clients with private whois that rank very well. And it cuts down dramatically on the spam you get when you register a domain. "IF" private registration is a factor, it is so minor that it can be easily overwhelmed by other factors that actually matter. Additionally, why does anyone think that registering a domain for 10 years is a `thing`? Because it was mentioned once that one time and the registrars beat that drum like an unwanted child. Nearly every registrar out there was, and many still do, proclaim that a 10 year registration increases your SEO value when in reality it only increases the amount of money that you give them all at once. Why do SEOs spend so much time in the weeds looking at incredibly minor things? The ROI simply isn`t there.
  • Bill Slawski: Is somebody going through the bullshit Brian Dean 200 ranking factors linkbait that he published, with nonsense ranking factors that don`t use much critical thinking to come up with these questions?
  • Bill Slawski: http://backlinko.com/google-ranking-factors
  • Bill Slawski: I`ve spent hours going through this list from Brian Dean, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, and I just can`t do it. Can you? Honestly?
  • Jim Munro: Ooops. Nope. It wasn`t this one I almost deleted. It was the other one, the post that Casey Markee remarked on. I think that one turned out to be useful too.
  • Bill Slawski: Here is what Brian Dean wrote about Domain Registration being a ranking factor: Domain registration length: A Google patent states: “Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain”. Instead of actually linking to that patent, he linked to a SEJ aticle that links to it: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/domain-age-how-important-is-it-for-seo/7296/ And ignored the fact that an inventor on that patent (Matt Cutts) said that Google absolutely does not use domain registration length as a ranking signal.
  • Bill Slawski: Here is what Brian Dean says about public and private whois: 8. Public vs. Private WhoIs: Private WhoIs information may be a sign of “something to hide”. Matt Cutts is quoted as stating at Pubcon 2006:
  • Bill Slawski: He stole the list, and he makes stuff up, instead of providing any actual relevant research. He has a very loose understanding of critical reasoning; and he is misleading people (which I really hate.)
  • Arsen Rabinovich: Bill FTW!
  • Benj Arriola: I took a look at Brian Dean`s list. I see a lot of things I can point out to be wrong. But then again, I can also see people following his list to the letter, and would 100% believe it works, along with their own personal testimonials, stating how his list helped their site perform better. But I also believe they will no know which SEO tips actually helped them, hurt them, and did nothing. And I think there are a lot more people like him. I see them all the time especially on the non-SEO Facebook groups, and those more about blogging and monetizing blogs and their top earner start sharing their own SEO tips. A lot of it is based on their own personal experience and observation, but you know their methodologies and how their draw their conclusions are flawed. Still some will still be successful and some will not. Some will earn a lot of from SEO, and still does not really understand it and just follows every tip they see online.
  • Bill Slawski: It is just as easy to retitle that page, "200 ranking myths from Google" and the stuff about LSI and Keyword Density stand out. He is spreading bad information for the sake of a few links.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, August 24, 2017).

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