In a move that is likely to affect some millions of websites, Google has removed .co.cc subdomain sites from its search results. The .co.cc does not refer to any country but is a domain owned by a Korean free web hosting service. According to Google, a number of websites with .co.cc extensions were involved in spamming and posed a malware threat.
The pages hosted by the Korean web hosting service have previously drawn flak for their low quality, and the service is also provides bulk domain names at very low prices. A scan conducted by Google showed that a number of .co.cc websites were riddled with malware. [RELATED_ARTICLE]
The move comes days after the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) released a report saying, “Over 40 percent of attacks using subdomain services occurred on co.cc.” The report also highlighted that phishers were attracted to to co.cc because co.cc registrations are free, easy to sign up for, come with DNS service, and there are features to assist with bulk signups.
It's notable that the move will not affect regular .cc websites, which are based on another top level domain assigned to a small Australian territory in the Indian Ocean called Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
Even though many have welcomed the move, others have criticised it. Concerns are for legitimate users, seeking free blogs and sites offering free domain names, who will be compelled to go to other, more expensive and paid services. Google should come up with a more efficient way of pinpointing and barring malicious subdomains.