I did some bits for a new client today and witnessed something pretty outrageous that I thought was worth mentioning.
Their hosting package is with Fasthosts, and when you register a domain name with Fasthosts they automatically put up a holding page saying that the domain has been registered with them. This is common practice.
This page contains a list of links to other categories of websites, for which I believe they receive money each time a link is clicked. Slightly dodgy that, but fair enough.
However, at the top of the list is the word “adult”, and sure enough when I tentatively clicked this link it showed a whole page worth of adult websites.
Now, this to me has 2 potentially devastating effects for this client.
1) I know that they have already issued stationery with their website address on it and have certainly sent emails with their domain name in the signature, knowing that a website was just around the corner. Their potential customers were one click away from adult material appearing on this company’s domain name (which incidentally is the company name)
2) As per the screen grab below, their domain name (changed here to keep things confidential) appears on the same page as, let’s be honest, words that they wouldn’t want to be associated with, either by a human, or by a search engine.
Could this be giving Google the wrong impression right from the outset?
I mentioned this to a member of the Fasthosts support staff but they didn’t seem interested.
Don’t let this happen to you
It is always good practice to immediately put up your own holding page when you register a new domain name. I normally do, but on this occasion it was a client that I hadn’t been dealing with directly from the start of the project.
It would be good to hear what you think on this subject….