03 Feb 2017

Blogging, Penguin, HTTPS, and More: Weekly Forum Update

This week, we bring you stories about domain leasing, the spread of HTTPS, web design, content and blogging, and more from our communities!

January was a busy month for us, and the last week of it was filled with exciting news and discussion.

What I love about the stories we have this week is that they’re so new and fresh compared to our usual fare.

It’s always exciting to discuss or read about something new!

Domain Name Leasing

Domain leasing refers to the practice of allowing another person to use a domain that you own for a recurring fee. Since you are also, in a way, leasing the domain you could call the process “domain sub-letting.”

It carries a lot of risks, as the members of WebmasterWorld are discussing in this thread. Forum member Webwork writes that,

“In my book if a person or company is ‘credit worthy’ – someone I should trust to pay their bills – then I expect that person or entity to be able to either raise capital or secure financing elsewhere. I prefer not to be in the financing business.”

Leasing carries risks, Webwork writes. Those risks just aren’t worth their returns, in their opinion. Dimitri agrees, writing that

“Buy (rent) a domain name directly yourself at a registrar, or transfer the ‘ownership’ to you. Any intermediate would be too risky, in my opinion.”

So it’s not just risky on the part of the person doing the loaning – it’s risky for the recipient of the loan as well. What are your thoughts?

Over Half of All Web Pages Loaded by Firefox Are Using HTTPS

Ever since the latest version of Chrome promised to start labeling certain HTTP pages as “not secure,” webmasters have been discussing how much HTTPS has grown in the last few years. There are a whole bevy of factors that lead to the rise of HTTPS, but this WebmasterWorld thread is more focused on the results than the history. Dimitri writes,

“Wow 50%…That’s more than I would have thought. The Internet is definitively going HTTPS.”

Graeme_p, though, warns that 50% of all pages is a bit misleading –

“90% of page loads are not sites. A lot of those are probably a handful of big sites.”

So it could just be that the giants have converted and the masses are still sticking to HTTP. Some forum members are lamenting the rise of HTTPS – what do you think?

Tool Tips and Hover-Displays

Here’s a neat web design thread from Cre8asiteforums! One of their long-time members, Ken Fisher, is trying to design a tool tip that appears when his visitors mouse over products.

Ideally, it would display the price of different products and make the website easier to browse. Other members of Cre8asiteforums have a variety of what they call “quick and dirty” suggestions – but for the layman, Cre8asiteforums’ quick and dirty is pretty dang good!

There’s also an interesting discussion in this thread about how folks who are older than 55 browse the web, and how to design with them in mind.

Ads on the Top, Ads on the Bottom – Google Test Makes SERPs and Ad Sandwich

In a recent test, Google is putting four AdWords ads at the top of SERPs and up to 4 at the bottom as well. The twist? The ads on the bottom might be the same ads that are on top, giving advertisers a dose of double exposure.

This could be great for advertisers and improve their conversions and click-throughs, but it also raises some questions about how reporting will be handled. If an ad appears twice on the same page, does that count as a double impression?

What would the cost of that be? Get the news on Threadwatch!

Does a Matching Title and H1 Trigger an Over-Optimization Penalty from Google?

On WebmasterWorld, forum member smilie writes,

“When Page Title = H1, can this result in a Google over-optimization penalty?”

Basically, they wonder if using the same phrasing for both your title and H1 would be seen as keyword stuffing. And, beyond that, smilie wonders if it would trigger a Panda penalty if the site was scraped:

“…once your page is scanned by spammer bots, it’ll get links with your title = KeyWords, which will trigger ‘too many keyword links’ – Penguin penalty?”

The members of WebmasterWorld don’t think it’s anything to worry about. Lucy24 asks, rhetorically,

“…why would G penalize something that’s useful to humans?”

Martinibuster adds that

“There isn’t a penalty for over optimization. Yes, there are statistical patterns that are signals that a site might be spamming, but that was something that was noticed back in the early days. A site is spammy…or it’s not spammy…”

There are a lot of nuances and subtleties to this thread, though – give it a read!

You Need Content, Not Necessarily a Blog

This might seem obvious to some of you, but a blog isn’t always what you need. Content is important and blogs happen to be the most common way of storing content… but, as goodroi writes on WebmasterWorld,

“…This does not mean blogs get special treatment,” from anyone!

You can display your content in a “library” or a “database,” or you can pepper links to your content throughout your site however you please. The internal structure of your site will matter, but whatever you name your CMS will not.

Disavowing Under Penguin 4.0

Here’s an intriguing question from SEO Chat – a newbie member Mpond2 would like to run some tests with their disavow file. They wonder,

“I am curious, since Penguin is now in real-time, can I upload my disavow file with one spammy site at a time? Take a week or two to see how it influences my rankings and then re assess?”

Testing new techniques and running experiments are time-honored SEO traditions – but in this case, the experiments probably wouldn’t work. Dr.Marie, one of our brilliant senior members, has a comprehensive explanation of how disavows and Penguin 4.0 interact that you absolutely need to read.


  1. Sam February 6, 2017 at 1:33 AM

    I would like to know more on the Disavowing Under Penguin 4.0 experiment, if any one did it

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