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Google, Bing Suppress Searches for Domain Names Used in Media

OK, folks, tell me if it’s just me or is this weird:

Google Names in Movies

 

Bing Names

Is big tech trying to tell me in all the world’s estimated 56.5 billion web pages, the phrase “domain names used in movies” appears nowhere?

I am skeptical.

Who Was DCP.COM?

This odyssey of mine started out when I was watching an old episode of Beyond Belief, a TV series from the late 90s.  In the show, five short stories are presented and at the end they reveal which are real and which are fiction.  Lots of ghost stories so the fam was watching a few on a Saturday afternoon during the Halloween season.

During one episode, they presented a secretary using a generic AOL-type interface, and it showed an email she received, which used DCP.COM as an email address.

DCP.com

In the story, it’s a ghost from beyond the grave that’s urging her to find the true heir to her estate.  Well, I never said it was good television.

Anyway, this jumped out at me because a three-letter .com is definitely in use in 2022.  I looked and sure enough, DCP now is the home of a M&A consulting firm named District Capital Partners.  The earliest archive.org entry for the domain is from December 1998, which is slightly after this episode aired (June 15, 1997 according to IMDB).

At that time, it belonged to “DCP Communications” which offered various marketing services, including “animation and graphics” (and they have a “full BetacamSP editing suite” with an accompanying Windows NT workstation!  Ah, the 90s.)

My guess is that this company was hired by the studio to provide the computer sequences.  They probably created some screens and animation (button clicks and popups).  When it came to email, they used their own name (which didn’t mean anything to viewers), probably with the idea that 99.99% of people wouldn’t even notice it and anyone who did would just visit their home page.  That might even have been part of the pitch – we take care of all those details for you and cover you so you don’t have to buy a domain or use something obvious like the studio’s name.  There is an official example domain, but unfortunately it’s rather obvious for movie purposes.

At some point, DCP Communications changed names to Don Connors Productions (he was president of DCP Communications).  In 2018 he put the domain up for sale and presumably someone doing a branding search decided it was a fit and ponied up.  I know first-hand of two three-letter-named companies whose names in part derive from the fact that they were able to acquire the appropriate TLA .com and they would have used a different name if it wasn’t available.

This brief research satisfied my curiosity over whether it was a lazy/irresponsible use by an uninformed production assistant in the earlier days of the Internet (someone just picking a name out of the air) or if there was a reason for it, and it seems there was.

But Back to Google

I was curious to see what other domains have been used, so I did what anyone does: Googled.

I still don’t understand why the phrase “domain names used in movies” is banned by Google and Bing.  Will this article not appear in their searches?  Please don’t tell Jon we’re publishing content that might be ghosted.

Now, I am putting the term in quotes, but that’s because searching for “domain names used in movies” without quotes gets you all kinds of results about .MOVIE and .FILM domains, etc.

BTW, “domain names used in TV” (with quotes) also returns no results.

Anyone care to explain?  I realize Google and Bing filter all kinds of results if you try to search for illegal things but this is clearly not that.  Also I’m not sure why it would even be harmful – if somedomain.com was used in a movie and got the resultant exposure, why would talking about it be bad?  What if someone had a master list of domain names used in movies – so what?

I’ll be googling for this piece.

 

5 Comments

  1. Christian:

    Congratulations. Google now returns one URL ;-)

    October 10, 2022 @ 12:33 am | Reply
  2. Brett:

    Now Google shows one result! 😅😅

    October 10, 2022 @ 12:39 am | Reply
  3. I think that this is probably because most people don’t think in terms of domain names, but websites and web pages. If you google “websites used in movies” you get some lists and mentions of domains in movies.

    October 10, 2022 @ 3:27 am | Reply
  4. Rhinox:

    It might come as shocking surprise, but there are things even Google does not know.
    And what Google does not know, that does not exist!

    October 11, 2022 @ 6:39 am | Reply
  5. c:

    This seems oddly conspiratorial. The quotes are a powerful modifier in Google Search that can very quickly confuse the indexer. I doubt this is really intentional suppression on Google or Microsoft’s part, how many websites really exist that contain that exact phrase in that exact order? How many that are linked from places that get crawled frequently enough to show up in search? I guess it is on this site now. lol

    October 11, 2022 @ 5:59 pm | Reply

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