SEO Tip #63: Can A Purchased Domain’s History Affect Its Trust In Google?

Matt Cutts: Well Dave I think the answer to your question is yes. In general if you’ve had a domain for 7 months and you search for that domain, maybe even the exact url like and it doesn’t show up in Google at all it might be safe to conclude that the site does have trust issues with Google.

Now maybe it’s a really esoteric country code, we’re having trouble finding links to it, but if you know of links pointing to the domain and we still don’t show it at all after seven months there might be something going on.

To help you figure it out let’s pretend to be a spammer. Okay, so now we’re black hats what are we going to do? We’re going to buy a domain. We’re going to use it up as much as we can until it’s totally burnt to the ground and no other search engine will trust it. And then if you’re really evil you’re going to sell that domain to some trusting innocent person.

So, the thing to do whenever you’re thinking about buying a domain is to do a little bit of research on it. You can look in to see if this was a porn domain in a former life or was it owned by someone who was doing something spammy with it.

You can also search for the domain in Google and if the domain doesn’t show up at all in Google there can be good reasons for that. Maybe somebody had blocked it with a no index or a robust.text. But if there’s no mention of it at all and the URL doesn’t show up in any way, shape, or form that can be a little bit of a yellow flag.

So before you buy a domain that has some bit of a checkered history or it looks like it might have been used for spammy purposes, check to see whether it shows up in Google. And then that way when you’ve got a spammer going (evil laugh), he’ll have to go around and try to find someone else to take advantage of instead of you.?

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About the Author

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.