On July 1, Google removed the entire co.cc subdomain from its search results in an effort to combat the spread of malware and spam. Co.cc is infamous for hosting malware landing pages and spam distribution services and Google decided that taking the whole lot of them off of search results caused more benefit than harm. Obviously not too happy about the 10 million or so websites being taken down, the General Manager of the co.cc subdomain, Jason Kim, decided to express his dissatisfaction with the actions Google took.
According to Search Engine Roundtable, he posted his complaint in the Google Webmaster Help forums, and claimed that Google is totally in the wrong for taking down the subdomain. He doesn’t understand why Google needs to punish an entire subdomain for the actions of a few. According to Kim, the “percentage of malicious sites is not over 0.01%.” While the number is eminently debatable, he claims that the staff of co.cc cannot be responsible for the quality of websites on its domain, and that Google should therefore not be taking the good down with the bad.
The most interesting argument he makes, however, is that 70-80% of Blogspot sites deserve to be similarly de-indexed, based on the criteria that Google used to take down co.cc. He doesn’t outright claim that these sites are malware distribution services, but he makes it clear that the same “low-quality sites” are the reason why Google shut down co.cc.
Google gave a warning to webmasters before taking action; this gave legitimate sites time to pack their digital bags and direct their users elsewhere. Google has every right to take down any subdomain it pleases, and as long they gave fair and ample warning to the sites involved, it will be tough for Kim and others associated with co.cc to make a valid case against them.