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I am registering a new domain name from "namecheap.com" which offers free WhoisGuard for a year.

There are numerous reasons not to list your contact information with your domain registrar, such as blocking contact information from telemarketers, and email spammers.

Google can only see registration information on domains that they hold.

Does blocking WhoIS users from accessing your contact information via privacy services (WhoisGuard) have a harmful effect on SEO and lead to search engines not trusting you?

WhoisGuard References:

http://www.whoisguard.com

https://www.namecheap.com/security/whoisguard.aspx

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    @closetnoc care to elaborate why namecheap is bad for seo and what do you mean by bad neighbourhood? I recently transferred a domain so was wondering what you mean. We can take this to chat if you want. Thanks in advance. – Abu Nooh Jun 16 '14 at 20:44
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    I can't see why a Whois blocking service would have any kind of effect on search engine ranking? Or why there would be any kind of perceived "trust" with respect to a sites content if the personal details of the domain's registrant are publicly available? This type of service is very common. The UK register (Nominet) offer this service for free to all private individuals. – MrWhite Jun 16 '14 at 21:04
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    @closetnoc Thanks for that, not that I don't believe you; I do. Is there any proof to this other than your personal experience? I also have a domain reseller account with resellerclub, haven't experienced any adverse effects though. – Abu Nooh Jun 16 '14 at 21:06
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    Also, @w3d is correct. For a while, Google considered private registrations as an indication of bypassing responsibility, however, spammers generally did not hide their registration, but also used the cheapest registrars and hosts. From there, Google realized that people who spent money when registering and hosting their domains often displayed domain quality. So the whole thing was reversed somewhat. Some of these companies are careful to only allow confirmed registrations. I also know that Google looks to RBLs that are specifically used to block invalid/forged registrations. – closetnoc Jun 16 '14 at 23:24
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    I strongly believe there is no risk of using Namecheap as a provider for domains @closetnoc. They are purely that, providing you with the domain, where you host it has nothing to do with Namecheap. It would be idiotic to hinder all sites who have a domain registered with the same supplier of that domain. FWIW I'd also much rather purchase domains from Namecheap than GoDaddy! – zigojacko Jun 17 '14 at 7:59
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Google's John Mueller (who also contributes on this site) has said that private registration won't hurt your rankings. He cautions that using private registration would make it harder for Google to contact you if there is a problem with your site. (So maybe you should sign up for Google Webmaster Tools.)

There are also reports from webmasters that use private registration without problems, or see sites ranking even when it is used:

  • https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2588885

    RealGeek: I have experimented extensively with various domain registrations parameters in correlation to SERPs. In my opinion, private registration does not have any effect. The only domain parameter that seems to have effect is the length of domain registration. Your domain is likely to have more trust value if the domain is registered for 5 or more years.

    Rekitamo: I have dozens of websites ranking #1 for various keywords, and they are all whoisguard protected.

  • http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4568898.htm

    chrisv1963: A couple of my photos, stolen and placed on a website with as good as no written content and 4 or 5 pop-pups when you visit the page. Of course, happily ranking instead of the original. Private domain registration of course and hosting in an Asian country.

I like closetnoc's explanation from the comments on the question as to why Google might not choose to penalize sites who's owners desire privacy (despite vocal calls in some of the above linked threads for Google to do so.)

For a while, Google considered private registrations as an indication of bypassing responsibility, however, spammers generally did not hide their registration, but also used the cheapest registrars and hosts. From there, Google realized that people who spent money when registering and hosting their domains often displayed domain quality. So the whole thing was reversed somewhat. Some of these companies are careful to only allow confirmed registrations. I also know that Google looks to RBLs that are specifically used to block invalid/forged registrations.

  • Is there anyway to change the whois information e.g. if your email gets submitted to a spam list and you want to update a new email? – Pacerier Mar 16 '15 at 15:43

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