If you have been in the online business world for a while, you may have learned about buying and selling aged domains. You may even have purchased an aged domain for its page rank and age, as domains with higher page rank and with a longer time on the Web tend to rank better in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
What’s the history of that domain? Who owned it before? What were they doing with it? If they were spammy spamming spammer idiots, you just wasted your money whether you paid a few bucks or a lot of bucks.
Google sometimes bans domains from their index, and it’s pretty hard to get back in. You would need to go through the Web and clean up the spam and hope that it was enough to regain Google’s halo.
But that’s not always possible. Imagine 10,000 bad backlinks. How can you ever clean that stuff up? It’s nearly impossible.
But even if you could… You’d need to submit a reconsideration request to Google and getting approval isn’t certain. Plus, if the domain is really, really bad? Google may not believe that you’re a new buyer. They may think it’s the same spamming spammy idiot, just telling Google that they cleaned up the domain and want reinstatement, using a new name for registration or whatever.
One way to find out if a domain was a spammy one that Google hatses (yes… Gollum, gollum. Google loves its precious), is to go to the Wayback Machine at http://archive.org/search.php. Type in the domain and select “Wayback Machine” from the dropdown menu. You can see a domain’s history all the way back to 1996, if it existed that long ago. You can immediately see what type site it was. If it looks spammy, stay away.
But better, as part of your due diligence, go to one of the SEO tools available, such as SEMRush.com, SearchMetrics.com, or any of the online tools and check the site’s backlinks. See if there are a bunch of spammy sites linking to the domain you’re interested in buying. If so, DO NOT buy the domain.
Just buying an aged domain isn’t smart without doing some research on its history first. Here’s Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Web Spam team, with more information: