WARNING: Misleading title.
Now that I got your attention I’d like to point out just how smart Google has become over the years. It seems they’re able to understand when a site has been moved and consolidate their signals accordingly without any canonicalisation or 301 redirects.
A while ago we bought a domain name for a campaign which never saw the light of the day. It existed there for a few years unused and then we decided to strip it all down and say “Site moved to dejanmarketing.com” with a logo link back to our main site. I’d imagine that’s a pretty common thing to do for webmasters not familiar with 301 redirects.
Shortly after that, Google picked up the change and replicated our PageRank value to this domain. This is normal behaviour typically seen when redirecting your domains.
SEO Trivia: This used to be a popular method of PageRank hijacking (e.g. link to Google.com for a while, get PageRank 10, break the redirect, sell links to a naive webmaster, rinse and repeat). Note: Don’t do that!
What’s interesting here is that there was no redirect in place and Google has picked up enough signals to consolidate PageRank regardless. That’s pretty cool.
Related, info and cache commands are all showing information for Dejan SEO as well:
The most interesting part to me though is the fact that our website’s +1’s were also reflected on this parked domain. This shows how deeply Google+ is integrated with Google’s organic search.
And then I though “oh no… Google Webmaster Tools will reveal the links for the target website to whoever is verified to see link of the parked domain, should I even write about this?” but the good new is that it doesn’t. Webmaster Tools show only links specific to the parked domain and it doesn’t show any information from the domain it has borrowed its PageRank and social signals from.
We thought it’d be pretty cool to test this again and repeat the results so we set up a subdomain on a newly registered domain and repeated the conditions using slightly different text. It didn’t work.
At this point we’re unsure why but if I was running a search engine I’d look at factors such as domain registration, age of the parked domain, previous content, brand mentions, previous links and server details. Perhaps a number of conditions need to “click” before Google’s domain consolidation is triggered for “parked domains” like this.