As far as I can see, the problem described below affects all domains transferred to Cloudflare, and significantly reduces their value on a number of levels.
The WHOIS records for a domain should contain only one field labeled “Creation Date”. This usually appears in close proximity to the “Updated Date” and
Contained within the “Creation Date” record should be the date on which that domain was created. Any transfers within a domain registrations life should not affect the “Creation Date”.
Cloudflare is currently issuing WHOIS records that contain 2 “Creation Date” fields, each containing different dates.
For example, the domain BandungStay.com was created on 2011-12-23 and transferred to Cloudflare on 2018-12-02.
When I run a WHOIS query from the command line, I get 2 creation dates. The first one is correct:
… but the 2nd one is wildly incorrect:
Unfortunately, it is the incorrect date which is picked up by the online WHOIS services:
This is bad because part of what Google uses to calculate your Page Rank is whether or not your domain is a recent registration or a long-established domain. They know that recent registrations are more likely to be “fly-by-night” sites containing spammy or malevolent content. The creation date of your domain matters for your search engine rankings.
It also impacts the financial value of your domain. If someone offers to buy your website or your business as a whole, your domains are considered to be assets that inform the offer. Domain valuation is notoriously tricky, but one of the key factors in deciding a price is how long you have had it. There is a huge difference between a domain which is 15 years old and one which is 2 days old. The creation date of your domain matters financially.
Again, this appears to affect all domains transferred to Cloudflare. As far as I can tell, they are the only domain registrar to have ever made this particular mistake.
This problem is separate (and more serious) than the other WHOIS problem reported in this forum, whereby the extra year added to transfers by Cloudflare is not showing up the WHOIS record expiry dates. That problem apparently resolves itself over time, this one appears to persist.