Simple Ways to Avoid Buying a Domain Name That Has Been Penalised by Google

Having your own domain name is vital to your overall online marketing strategy. For starters, it gives your business credibility and makes your company look professional. It also makes it easier for your customers and prospects to find you online. And when it comes to your company’s image, it gives your target audience the impression that you’re part of the Digital Revolution and that you’re up-to-date on emerging technologies.

Indeed, having a memorable domain name can make a huge difference between establishing a solid online presence and getting lost on the World Wide Web. But what should you do if you have purchased a domain name that has been penalised by Google?

Believe it or not, such unfortunate incidents can happen. As you may know, buying and selling domain names has become commonplace over the last few years and many people have generated profits from this practice. But if you’re going to purchase a domain name for your business, it is important to ensure that the one you’ll buy doesn’t have any problem with Google.

On his latest Webmaster Help video, Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, offered some practical tips on how to avoid buying a domain name that has been penalised by the search giant due to spamming, keyword stuffing, bad links, and other related infractions. According to Cutts, before buying a domain, the first thing you need to do is perform a search for the domain name. You can do this by simply typing the command “site:domain.com” into the Google search bar. If no results are showing, then you should raise the red flag and steer clear from that domain.

You can also conduct your own research to determine the domain’s reputation. For instance, you should determine what the people are saying about the domain. If there are people talking negatively about it, it will serve as a warning that the domain you want to purchase actually has a history of black hat practices.

Cutts also suggested visiting Archive.org and searching for the domain. Archive.org will show you the previous versions of the website. By seeing for yourself what the site used to look like before, you can verify if the domain name has a bad history with Google.

If you can, you should also try buying a domain name directly from its previous owner. But don’t let your guard down just yet. Before you finalise the deal, ask the previous owner for the site’s analytics report. Cutts said if you notice a sudden sharp decline in web traffic, chances are, the domain has been penalised by Google. It would be wise not to go through with the purchase because you’ll be the one to suffer for the mistakes of the domain’s previous owner.

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