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Check Domain History Before Creating SEO Properties

I’ve been doing a bunch of SEO sites lately and I learned an unfortunate lesson which I figured I’d share.

The background: I would launch sites and some would never seem to get indexed no matter what I did.  I could ping them, build backlinks, add content…..nothing worked.

I decided to check on the whois history of the problem domains and they all had something in common.  The common element was that they had previous registrations.  My only assumption is that these previous registrants had a penalty on their sites, hence dropped the domain, yet the penalties remained.

Lesson learned!

When doing domain research before buying domain names for your SEO properties check out if there is a whois history on the domain.  I’ve been using the DomainTools search.  Although previous registrations are not any kind of guarantee that there is a penalty on the domain, I would be particularly careful if your buying cheap .info type domains.

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Disclosure: No compensation was received for mentioning DomainTools

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  1. I think you’re a little fast on the trigger:

    “My only assumption is that these previous registrants had a penalty on their sites, hence dropped the domain, yet the penalties remained.”

    It could be a plethora of other reasons. How did you build those sites?

  2. Yeah, I’d submit to and see if you can get back in.

    I’m assuming you already have the site set-up with Google Webmaster tools and there are no errors reported? You’re not doing something dumb, like blocking the whole site with robots.txt, are you (been there, done that)

  3. This is a problem i have only encountered about 3 times in 6 years and can buy upto 1000 new/old/expired/deleted domains a day.
    Look deeper and for other things.

  4. @Earl – Very interesting coming from you. What would explain brand new wordpress installs with 1 post getting indexed while the exact same thing on another domain does not? Seemed like the obvious answer since I saw the trend of ones that were never registered indexing and some with past registrations not indexing. Guess I have to dig deeper but not sure where to dig 😉

  5. Well because of al the people scraping dns servers now and other stuff like that you can even register a domain and put in on hosting and /indexof will get indexed. No need to post, no need do anything just to get it indexed.
    Are the non indexed on a different ip? did they have the same strength of links? it is possible there is any difference you have just skipped? did you check the headers? is your server accidentally showing a 404 or 500 just for those domains? do they have a different template to the ones that got indexed? have they had any downtime? is there any bot activity in the server logs?

  6. I’ve had the same thing happen to me – thought the age was a good thing and didn’t throw up any red flags but sure enough there was nothing I could do. I even submitted for reconsideration, explained I was a new owner, etc but nothing ever worked. This was a a pretty expensive domain too (around $1,000) that I bought in a SEDO auction and I ended up taking a loss on it even after developing the site because of the “Google issue”.

    Never did find out what the problem was, and although I don’t buy thousands of domains a day like that other dude, I can say that I’ve bought/sold hundreds of domains and only been burnt on this type of issue once.

    However, another thing to think about is that if you change the profile of an old domain (ie. considerably change the subject matter of the site from its previous incarnation) you can also have issues ranking. Depending on how active a prior domain is, it almost seems like Google can retain a “profile” of the type of content it expects form a domain, and if you change it too dramatically it can take considerably longer to get it to rank.

  7. My ultimate test:

    Post a clean, non-shortened link on Digg and Twitter. These are my last ditch efforts for indexing. If they still don’t show up, ditch ’em. Google somehow crawls Twitter in real time to complement search results. It’s a great ranking trick.

  8. I would have said google plus rather than twitter.

  9. @earlgrey WTF do you do with 1000 domains a day.. seriously.

    @Adhustler – yes get some hardlinks from Fb, Twitter and other social profiles.. Post 50-100 words with your SEO’d keywords and wait.. love the waiting game.

    ps. show us one of these sites and we can offer more insights

  10. @Joeynegros Dump scraper sites on them.

    Adhustler Just continue as normal with them and treat them as if they were indexed.
    You could always use all the non google indexed ones as a way of learning to get bing and yahoo-bing traffic as you have no option for replying on the google traffic.

  11. @earl what is a scraper site (can you show an example)? does not have to be yours.. How do you monetize 1000’s of domains daily..


  12. Interesting, thanks for sharing Earl!

    @Adhustler sorry for going off topic 🙂

  13. Ad Hustler Ad Hustler

    @Joey & Earl – No Worries, it’s interesting.

  14. @joeynegros – there are many people who hold portfolios of tens of thousands or more domains. if they are quality domains with type in traffic they can be monetized with domain parking. It is a huge industry. google frank schilling and read (he hasnt posted in a while but i recommend reading his entire blog)

    anyone else here going on good chance to meet with lots of domainers.

    affiliate summit and 2 weeks later – it is going to be busy networking and partying

  15. I am a big fan of this site. It is a great way to learn your way around the internet. Tell me, do you have other sites not besides this one? I want to follow all of them. 🙂

  16. Great Post, Good to know those great tips on how to check domain History..

  17. But where to check is the domain blacklisted or not and how to check that is it de-indexed by google….?

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