The Hidden Perk of Private Domain Registration
By Lisa Gullette, CreatiVisibility, July 2010
It’s hard to fathom that with all the potential security issues plaguing the internet, you would ever think for a second to link your personal information to your very public domain name. But what if you could still maintain your online identity without sacrificing personal information? Much like Harry Potter’s invaluable invisibility cloak, private domain registration works to protect your valuable personal information while still allowing your internet identity to function at optimum levels.
When you register or renew a domain name either on your own or through your Webmaster you have the option of registering under a domain proxy, also known as a private domain registration. A private domain registration prevents your personal information – name, address, phone number and email address, for example – from being displayed in the WHOIS database, a publicly accessible directory of all registered domain names. Most often, private domain registration is only beneficial to a personal Web site where your personal information could be exposed to spammers, scammers, telemarketers and a whole host of unsavory characters. When it comes to your business site, all of your information is most likely readily available on your Web site already, so private domain registration is not as important.
If you do decide you and your site could benefit from the “invisibility” that private domain registration can offer, the domain registrar, a company that is accredited by nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), will become the Registrant on record, thereby keeping all your information out of the public eye.
One debate surrounding private domain names is whether or not it affects ranking on search engine sites and your site’s search engine optimization (SEO). The verdict is that there is no proof of the effects either way. One aspect that does affect your ranking on search engines such as Google and Yahoo! is how long your domain has been registered. Furthermore, the online “Search Engine Optimization Journal” has this to say about private domains and SEO:
“… if you are a business, then surely you should have all your details public. For many businesses, their details are already in the public domain anyway. I can see some possible reasons for an online business to keep its domain registration details private, particularly if they are a private company. Depending on where you live in the world, private companies may have less information available to the public. If you feel the private domain registration may affect your search engine optimization efforts, fear not - it is not a factor.”
CreatiVisibility now offers consulting for domain name registration and hosting to new and current clients. The cost for private registration depends on your registrar. Typically, you pay anywhere from $2 to $12 per year for private domain registration over and above the normal domain registration fees. Choosing a private domain registration over standard domain registration can have huge benefits for personal Web sites as well as for some business Web sites. And even though private domain registration won’t make you completely invisible to bad wizardry, it’s a good first step to a strong line of defense.