Google has released a new Webmaster Help video. It's another one of those in which Matt Cutts answers his own question. This time, it's:
I have a parked domain and want to launch a new website on it. Are there any pitfalls I should avoid? Should I keep my domain parked or put some sort of stub page there?
"Google does have a parked domain detector," says Cutts. "You've probably seen this - where you land on the page, and there's the lady with the backpack smiling at you, and it's like, 'Click here to learn about whatever,' and those pages aren't as useful. Users don't like to see them, and they complain when they do see them, so we do have a parked domain detector that we run, and then when we detect that a page is parked, or a domain is parked, then we try not to show those pages in our search results."
"The fact is that if you leave your domain parked right up until you launch, it might take a little while for us to recrawl that page and reprocess it, and for the parked domain detector to really believe that it's no longer parked," he continues. "So, my advice advice would be, once you buy a domain, if you do intend to put something there (you know, a month, a few weeks...whatever, beforehand), just write a paragraph or two or three, and say, 'This will be the future home of xyz. We're going to be the world's number one source of red widgets or blue widgets or green widgets,' or whatever it is that you're planning to do."
"Even if it's mysterious, just make sure that you write a paragraph of text or two," he adds. "It's not just an empty page or like a completely empty web template, because we do try to detect that sort of behavior."
He notes that if there is already some kind of content, Google won't have to learn that the page is not parked, when you're actually ready to launch.