If you happen to own a website on the .co.cc domain, don’t be surprised if you’re no longer getting referrals from Google’s search engine. Google just removed all 11 million .co.cc websites from its search engine results pages citing that a large fraction of the whole domain are spammy or low quality. The .co.cc second-level domain is offered independently by a Korean company and not an officially authorized second-level domain.
The .co.cc registry offers single sub-domains for free, and allows users to bulk-register 15,000 addresses at a time for seven cents a name. Google classifies it as a “freehost”. Google’s automated malware scanning systems identify bulk subdomain services which are being abused and in some cases Google’s systems now flags the whole bulk domain.
Last month, Oliver Fisher of the Google Anti-Malware Team posted this on the Google Online Security Blog:
Over the past few months, Google’s systems have detected a number of bulk subdomain providers becoming targets of abuse by malware distributors. Bulk subdomain providers register a domain name, like example.com, and then sell subdomains of this domain name, like subdomain.example.com. Subdomains are often registered by the thousands at one time and are used to distribute malware and fake anti-virus products on the web. In some cases our malware scanners have found more than 50,000 malware domains from a single bulk provider.
Google’s automated malware scanning systems detect sites that distribute malware. To help protect users we recently modified those systems to identify bulk subdomain services which are being abused. In some severe cases our systems may now flag the whole bulk domain.
The Anti-Phishing Working Group notes that the .cc top-level domain hosted 4,963 phishing attacks in the second half of 2010 due to a large number of attacks originating from .co.cc addresses.
The .cc top-level domain are unaffected by Google’s changes.
Source The Register