A funny thing happened a short while ago in Google land – every single website which ended in .co.cc was deindexed. Nary a one can be found anywhere on Google and as of this writing, this has not changed one iota. Why did Google take such a drastic action? Well, the reason is simple and pervasive: spam. Here’s what you need to know.
What is .CO.CC?
In case you weren’t aware of it, .CC is a ccTLD. That stands for “country code top level domain.” In essence, it’s a code for a specific country somewhere on the planet which is granted to them by ICANN and which they can use as they see fit.
Some such country code TLDs are used for creating imaginative names. For example, if you check out disq.us, you’ll find that it is using the .us country code (yes, United States) for their site. Another example is dlvr.it (using Italy’s country code). One of the most famous ccTLDs is .tv (as in MLB.TV) which is for a tiny island nation called Tuvalu.
In the case of .cc, it’s actually from a tiny country you probably never heard of called the Cocos Islands. The reason that .CO.CC became a big deal is that they were licensing the right to use .CO.CC as a free domain. This meant that anyone could register a site using .CO.CC and then put it out there on the web for all to see without spending a dime.
As near as I can make out, the folks from the Cocos Islands didn’t care who used their domain and as such, they allowed millions of spam sites to be indexed using .CO.CC. Google kept getting complaints about this from people who found that .CO.CC sites were nothing more than garbage and so they decided to take a drastic step – they deindexed the whole thing.
Not a Single Site Was Spared
Now I’m sure there were some sites with .CO.CC domains which were legit and which had real value. However, as often happens, those who associate with trash get swept out together with the trash. In other words, since probably more than 90% of the sites from .CO.CC were spam sites, they were all de-indexed, regardless of value. You can check for sure by going to Google and entering site:.co.cc. This tells Google to show you sites with that domain. As I said, as of this writing, not one single item is listed.
What You Can Do
If your site was de-indexed in the .CO.CC purge, you have one of several options:
First, do nothing. I don’t think Bing or Yahoo! has deindexed such sites yet and even if they have, you may not care about search engine traffic (frankly, if you’re using a free site, I can’t imagine it’s anything really important). After all, being deindexed doesn’t mean you can’t be reached directly. For example, entering www.co.cc still shows you the website where you can register your free domain.
Get a New Domain
The second option is to switch to a different domain. Ideally, this should be a .COM, though there are some other free options available, such as .TK (be forewarned however that the .TK people are more particular and don’t allow spam sites). However, if you’re just a spammer, please don’t bother. Your site will eventually be de-indexed anyway by Google and you can save us all the trouble of reading your junk in the interim.
Apply for Reconsideration
The third and final option, which, as far as I know is still not working is to apply to Google for consideration to have your site reinstated. The problem is, as I said, so far, no .CO.CC sites are appearing on Google. I can only assume that at least some people have requested consideration, so I’m not really hopeful this would work, however you can of course try.