CO.CC was blocked in Google. Was it a right move?

Was blocking the entire co.cc domain the right thing to do?

  • Definitely

    Votes: 9 18.8%
  • No

    Votes: 28 58.3%
  • I really don't care, I have my own top-level domain

    Votes: 11 22.9%

  • Total voters
    48

vekou

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I know some of you have heard that co.cc subdomains have been blocked by Google a few weeks ago. That would mean that nobody here who have set their domains to co.cc won't appear in Google search results. They said that it was to prevent abuse.

So do you think this move was the right thing to do, or was Google just taking the lazy approach?
 

techairlines

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I think Google should have at least given users an option to appeal the removal and have their individual domain re-listed.

Also, Google already scans sites for malicious content and provides a warning on search results if they detect malware on the site, so removing everything might have been a bit extreme.

Maybe they were trying to send a message to co.cc telling them to better monitor their service, although since its free, abuse is inevitable. I find this unfair to users who were using the service legitimately.

If co.cc doesn't manage to get back onto Google, it could potentially ruin the company. According to their Facebook page, they are currently contacting Google about this issue and hope to get it resolved soon.

Co.cc Facebook Page Comments said:
We were in contacted with Google and are discussing as to the de-indexing.

We check all domains providing all domain lists and zone files to Trendmicro, Symantec and Spamhaus. And also, we get malicious domains information everyday from Kaspersky, RSA Security and Phishtank to block out those domains.
Therefore, we believe that the ratio of existing live malicious domains is not over 0.01% for sure.

I think Googls is also concerning this point.
I sincerely request you to inform Google those points and to re-index again into your domain. I would very much appreciate if you could help us to request Google.

Thank you.
 

vekou

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i think google should've just placed a warning page, like they used to for malware sites, instead of removing them all completely. but on the other side, spammers have been dramatically decreased.
 

essellar

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It's not just overtly malicious sites (drive-by malware downloads, phishing, and so forth); Google also has to deal with "splogs" that scrape content from the original sites and point to one another in a complex spiderweb of cross-links. That is co.cc's business model: bulk subdomain sales. I mean, it's nice they let you have a couple of subdomains for free (even though they likely know that there's a high abuse potential), but they have to know that when they're selling as many as 15,000 subdomains to a single user as a package that there's likely some black-hat SEO involved.

Google's actions here probably have at least as much to do with the "block domain" option returns from their search results* as they do with reports of malicious behaviour. Co.cc might be able to claim vigilance over illegal activities, but Google is in the business of providing good search results and hanging ads off of them; when the search results aren't good, people go elsewhere, and the ads don't get seen or clicked.

And yeah, it's a pity that a handful of well-behaved people are negatively affected. But let's remember that it is only a relatively small group of folks, and that if search results really are important to them, it's a fixable problem.

* I don't know if that's available from all browsers, but it's definitely something I've used in Chrome to get rid of content-free teaser sites more than a few times. Killing about two dozen annoyance domains has dramatically increased the quality of my returns.
 

nastus

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Going based purely off my own opinion, I'd have to say yes. Now mind you this is not something i just came to a conclusion on. CO.CC Started off as a pretty good way to get a decent domain (for those who really can't afford the 10$/year) I know this as I myself used it for a while when I was younger and did not have a well paying job. It kicked off my ambition for creating and designing websites, and as much as I dont really like the fact that google blacklisted co.cc domains still... well, makes sense.

Now let me say that this was probably done due to the massive amount of people who dont want to pay for domains to use them for scams, or put ads on them to make money and thats it. Im going to guarantee that 80% of the co.cc websites were used inappropriately for things such as phising and various othes.. It hinders the innocent community but benefits the entire body of people as a whole, it helps people who are using google as their search engine to get closer to their answer in which they are searching for to begin with.

Google has its reasons, and we have ours - ultimately I think it was the right way to go to protect distributed information and the people accessing it. Its a self defense and reputation thing for Google.

Well thats just my two cents, and I could very well be wrong :)
 

Sharky

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I'm going to argue the other side of the coin - it's yet another example of an over protective nanny state.

I do not think it is Google's role to block results from scammers completely. It's a half hearted response to what I'm guessing was pressure due to the prominence of crappy results at the top of searches, due to people's understanding and exploitation of the way the algorithm works.

What if I was investigating some scam that involved some .co.cc site?

Or if I was in to (or wanted to get involved in) some minority sport or activity with members hosting sites on .tk and .co.cc sites?

Google would be useless to me in the one area it should excel. A blanket ban is just an over-protective cop-out.
 

essellar

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... except that Google isn't the state, it's a business looking after its own business interests, and co.cc's business model runs at right angles to Google's interests. Google isn't protecting us, they're protecting themselves. Why should they spend time and money sorting the fly poop from the pepper (or, more likely, the pepper from the fly poop -- whitelisting would probably work a lot better than blacklisting)? Again, malicious free subdomains are only the tip of the iceburg; there's a lot more to the story than phishing/malware sites that only stay up long enough to do what they were designed to do.
 

klsanjoh8456

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esselar you are right if google is protecting its interest but don't forget that google has adverts with some co.cc websites. Is co.cc the only free domain? what about dot.tk. Is the fact that co.cc means its fraudulent, it will be interesting to note that even fraud stars know that free domains are not trusted.Moreover the paid domain name are becoming cheaper.
those of us who use co.cc will still use other websites to list our content to google.
 

vekou

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well, i believe that domain names are not the one to be blocked, but the IP of the servers from which the fraudulent and abusive sites came from. A fraudulent website can have many domain names, so blocking the domain name doesn't mean shutting down the house entirely, but just closing only one of the windows.
 

bakard750

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I believe that Google has emboldened a lot of takes over, banned Adsense on my site, without any reason, the account was $ 130. Another site with a domain co.cc stopped working.
 

i7Grendel

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Wait a second, .co.cc is blocked, and .tk isn't? They are both very scam sensitive, so blocking one without blocking the other would be unusual. Not that I suggest blocking every free domain provider, as I tend to work quite cheap myself (free host, free domain, free dns, free CMS, and some other free stuff). Oddly though, I did manage to register Google Apps for a .co.cc domain.

I think it is time to try and pull my .tk domain from my old webhost and use it here, I'd prefer to have my site turn up in Google. Thanks for noting it!
 

iearn.tk54

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i think co.cc is just 4 1 yr free service
.tk is better unlimited .................. :)
 

i7Grendel

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CO.CC says the domains can be renewed for free, unless you start making money with your site. Then you need to pay a $3 renewal fee. The problem with dot.tk is: http://goo.gl/M11Y3
 

callumacrae

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It's interesting seeing the different viewpoints on different communities on this issue. The two main communities I often participate in ar this one and a web developers one. This one is by nature, full of people who want stuff for free and quite a lot who expect everything for free.

The viewpoint on the web developers community is that it is a good move - no serious website used .co.cc anyway. The viewpoint in here is that it is a bad thing - google should show everything, and stop being lazy!
 

Chris S

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It's not a bad idea, according to an ICANN conference in singapore, dot.tk and .co.cc domains are two of the most abused services. (APWG Global Phishing Survey 2H2010)

Page 6:
Phishers simply switched to using other resources to phish Chinese targets:
– Used 4,737 free CO.CC subdomains
– Used large numbers of .COM, .TK, .INFO, .US, .IN
domains

Page 8:
There were 4,963 phishing attacks using free CO.CC subdomains. Their median uptime was almost 60 hours – compared with 15:19 hours for all phish.

Here is a chart showing the avg. up times for the domains (http://www.chrissterling.me/ss/2011-07-23_0911.png)

Page 16:
40% of phishing subdomains were on CO.CC

Another chart (http://www.chrissterling.me/ss/2011-07-23_0912.png) Notice: x10 is NOT on the list

So, based on that info, I believe google was wise in blocking co.cc from their search results
 

gouri78

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i generally use .tk or .com or .in
.co.cc feels like sub domain
better to have tld
 

GtoXic

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all the free domains are abused, it's like here, people get free hosting to ruin it for other people and because they couldn't care less about been suspended seeing as though they don't have to pay anything for hosting.
.co.cc feels like sub domain
sites on .co.cc are subdomains, .cc is the TLD, co is the site name, they just make it look professional that way.
 

Livewire

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The reason I'm thinking Google did it right? Very simple.

I've reported dot.tk violations to dot.tk, even on x10hosting accounts who were ZT'd here and then went to a new host but kept using the same domain. Within 24hr I -always- had a reply as to whether or not said site was still in operation, and to date I was never told the site was allowed to remain running.

Co.CC on the other hand? I've sent in 7 separate reports to them on 7 separate domains. 3 are still in operation, and the other 4 were shut down after a minimum of 5 days passed. My issue here? The 3 still running are, in order from most offensive to least offensive, running child porn sites, and distributing stolen credit card information. These reports were sent in 4 weeks ago; I forwarded them again 2 weeks ago, no replies. The 3 co.cc domains also appear to be some of their "premium" domains, which is likely the cause for the delay in their expeditious removal.

Co.CC can claim it polices their users, but from my experience they don't bother to care much. Yes, Google did it right, not only to protect their users, but to protect their interests. Would -you- want to be associated with a company that fails to remove websites that host child porn and stolen credit card information?
 

palmerx6414

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I'm kind of half-way on this one.

I have to agree with Google on this one- even though I like co.cc domains, people abuse them a lot.
Then again, it's people's own dumb-fault for falling for phishing scams, it's easy to see if something is a title like facebook42.co.cc or feceb00k.co.cc (yes I know people who try this stupid stuff).

Ultimately, people still misuse co.cc domains and it makes sense if you look at it from Google's perspective.
 

vekou

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it's quite true that co.cc sucks big time when it comes to abuse reports! but getting back to the point, it is a fact that not all of co.cc users are spam or abusive accounts. i believe that Google should somehow whitelist those sites that are proven to be legitimate, those without bad records for abuse upon application of reconsideration.
 
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