We own a .co.uk address and use an Internet hosting company that has made mistakes around DNS in the past. Our main site is hosted on www. and their reluctance to allow editing of AAAA records on-line means our naked domain does not resolve.

Currently when we attempt to reach the naked version there is no entry for the browser to go to and it displays an unreachable page (nslookup just says Name: name of domain with no further entries such as an IP or Canonical Name).

We recently added the relevant TXT records to verify us to view both the www. version and the naked version of the domain in Google Webmaster Tools (in anticipation of the requests to our Internet host coming to fruition).

Imagine our shock when double checking the Site configuration > Crawler access and finding a (admittedly failing) robots.txt with a dynamically generated HTML page (full of crude pop-up JavaScript) with references to 3 of our most prominent competitors.

What could cause this to happen?

As we are in the UK I am assuming some DNS server is serving Google bad information. We are going to contact the Internet hosting company to fix our A and AAAA records once and for all, then check that they work in the US (using something like OpenDNS). Should we be doing more though, for instance informing Google (through Webmaster Tools) that we are now aware there is something currently wrong with our naked domain?


We have fixed our A records (not AAAA) and that has resolved the issue. But if there are further actions we should take for effectively having a parking page hosted on our active visitor-heavy, SEO-rich domain that advertised our competitors to US visitors, what would they be?

  • 1
    Not sure what the problem could be, but why are you still using a web host that won't let you edit your DNS entries and makes errors on them? Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 21:56
  • Politics. I personally wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot bargepoll.
    – Metalshark
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 23:21
  • That sounds like an old domain parking page. Does "Fetch as Googlebot" give you any response to the /robots.txt ? Commented Nov 10, 2010 at 8:55
  • Not now (as we have addressed the issue) but last night I used Tor to see what it looked like from the US and it was showing a generic parking page.
    – Metalshark
    Commented Nov 10, 2010 at 9:31
  • It would be interesting to know the URL of the site in question to double-check what happened there (eg what DNS said, which IP address responded to the request, etc).. Commented Nov 10, 2010 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


Regarding your question about whether or not to inform Google of this issue: no, this appears to clearly be a technical issue on the hosting side. After resolving it on your side, it'll automatically get resolved as Google recrawls your URLs.

If this were a web-spam issue (which from your description does not appear to be the case), you could submit a reconsideration request, but as long as it's a technical issue, you don't need to do anything.

  • It was a generic parking page with links to dodgy car insurers and a handful of our prominent competitors.
    – Metalshark
    Commented Nov 10, 2010 at 12:21
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    @Metalshark: Unfortunately, with the current web hosting/registrar industry, that sort of behavior isn't really out of the ordinary. A lot of registrars and web hosts appropriate inactive domains (e.g. expired registration, parked, or suspended accounts) for their own purposes. Most commonly, they put up ads and essentially squat on the domain, making advertising revenue off of the residual traffic. If the domain is industry-specific, it's conceivable that your competitors showing up could just be a coincidence. Commented Nov 10, 2010 at 15:34
  • @Lèse majesté if this was an answer - I would accept it. You're right and we are left to pick up the pieces. Recovery has gone quite well though.
    – Metalshark
    Commented Nov 11, 2010 at 16:44

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