is a third-level domain suspect to google?

If you follow this blog, you’ve probably already heard that we are doing a name change for phpLogCon: it will soon be known under the name Adiscon LogAnalyzer (with the Adiscon in front of the “real” name to ease potential legal issues).

Among others, that means we need to change the web site. Not surprisingly, no second-level domain with loganalyzer in it was available at the time we searched. Most of them, of course, been taken by domain spammers. So we settled for the name. As I found out yesterday in Google Webmaster Tools, that this may cause some troubles. Google provides a “Change of Adress” tool that is meant to be used in situation.

However, I discovered that this tool does not work with third-level domains. All I see when I try to use that tool is the message “Setting is restricted to root level domains, only” (as a slight technical side-note, it should say “second level domain” as I don’t think it works for com, net, org, … only ;)).

While browsing the google help forum, I found that others seems to have similar problems. For example, people in the UK, where everything is a third-level domain (for example, is what .com is for the international Internet).

Given this stance, I wonder if google punishes third-level domain sites in any other way. If so, our decision to move to the new site may not be a good one. I have posted a question in the Google help forums. I guess I will not get a definite response, but maybe one can read between the lines.

I will keep you posted, also on the overall progress of the name/site switch. We have now entered the “hot phase”, meaning that we actually intend to roll over to the new site within the next couple of days. Stay tuned for more news and more features.