A parked website is one that has no serious content. It exists just to let people know the domain is for sale or that the previous owner is no longer maintaining in. Parked websites are a problem for link checking since they look identical to the original functioning website. Parking sites often lie that links to non-home pages are still working in order to trick webmasters into thinking the original website they linked to is still alive and well. They are using illegitimate means to attract hits. The real problem comes when the parking website decides to sell a little pornography on the side. Sites that link to it get angry emails from people who were tricked into visiting the parked site.
If your website is not ready for prime time yet you might throw up something just to hold the space and perhaps put up a few ads to generate revenue. If you have to take it down for a few days for a major overhaul, you might put up parking page in the interim. If don’t pay your web hosting bill, the ISP (Internet Service Provider) might throw up a parking website at your domain until you pay your bill. If you are a remora, buying websites for speculation or to buy websites similar to one in use by other hoping later to blackmail a high price for the domain, you might put up a parking site just to let the world know the space is for sale.
Oddly, there are dozens of companies who specialize in putting up these dummy websites. They often do it free, presumably because the domain parking page also acts as an ad for their company.
The big problem I have with park sites is the company can go out of business, and you don’t notice. The parking site still responds normally to HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) probes intended to check for broken links.
There is no easy way to determine if a link points to a parked site. To ordinary link checking programs like Xenu and Brokenlinks, parked sites look like fully functional sites. I have written a utility called FindParked that loads the home page of each website your website links to and scans for strings that hint that the site is parked. This method is inexact. It both misses some parked sites, and generates false alarms. The way it should work is this:
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