Google recommendations for a domain with a bad history

Last Updated On: December 6, 2018

You have gotten yourself a domain that is perfect for your business but it had some bad history behind it. Well, now you are in luck. Google has provided guidelines for site owners to follow if the purchased a domain with bad history.

First thing first, as an owner of a domain name that had a bad history, you need to know for how long did this bad activity was going on.

If the URL was only briefly under the negative activity (few months, half a year) then what you need to do is focus on your business and your current website content. As you keep adding fresh content that is not related to the previous bad activity, the problem will resolve itself over a period of time and disappear.

However, if the bad activity was ongoing back up to ten years or longer, then it actually is a major problem. You can use Archive.org to view the history of the domain and ascertain for how long this bad activity was going on.

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In the case, the domain name had a significantly long period of bad activity it just may be reasonable for the domain owner to start over with a fresh new domain, because this new domain may acquire domain authority and SEO ranking much faster than the bad URL.

As with everything it is always better to check for this issue before actually buying the domain name.

New webmasters that want to avoid bad history or bad backlinks penalties from Google can follow a few steps:

  1. Use Archive.org to check if a domain had a website previously and what it was about. Was the content low quality? Was it a spam site? Make note that the Archive.org is not a 100% sure way to check as the previous webmaster could have obstructed the Archive.org bot from indexing the website content.
  2. Use a backlink checker such as Majestic.com to overview backlinks. Majestic is a very good tool as it will include a “trust flow” that can identify spam links. Again, it is not a 100% bullet-proof tool, but even with the free report, you will get some idea if the links came from low-quality domains.
  3. Use Google search with the domain name, for a sneak-peak into domain previous history. What was the previous content theme? Was it malicious? Was there any kind of illegal products sold? Then best avoid that domain name.
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These methods will help you avoid scam and spam-related domains. Google link penalties cannot be reversed simply by a reconsideration appeal. For a domain name that contains a link penalty, you will have to clean up the links.

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