So, you’ve been searching and searching and you finally found that perfect domain name. Or you tripped over a bargain website at Flippa and just can’t pass it up. But looks can be deceiving and this is your business we’re talking about here. Before you click that Buy button you need to do one more thing: Check to see if that domain or website has ever been blacklisted.
If a domain name or website has been blacklisted by Google or one of the other search engines, that means all of the content has either been removed from the index or moved all the way to the end. You’re also banned from using Google Adsense ads on that site.
Sites can be blacklisted for any number of reasons but primarily it happens when there’s malware on the site, or if it’s using plagiarized or scraped content, or if it’s abusing Google Adsense guidelines.
Once a site is blacklisted it’s very difficult to get that decision reversed and it’s even more difficult to build the reputation and ranking back up from the basement. Even if it’s just a domain name you’re looking at it may have held content in the past that earned it a poor reputation. If one page was blacklisted it carries over to the whole site, including the root domain.
These days, though, with Google going after poor quality content the way they have been, it’s just as important to look at all of the content on the site before you buy. Being blacklisted is definitely a bad thing, but a site can be on the down slide for quite some time before Google makes it official.
And it doesn’t have to be a fully populated site to be blacklisted. Unscrupulous webmasters buy domain names by the dozens and use them for nefarious means, such as hosting malware and scraped content. At the end of the year when their term of ownership is over they just let those domain names revert back to the registrar. By the time you trip over that really cool name it’s been sitting there for a while, all of the content has long since disappeared, and you think you’re buying a squeaky clean domain name.
A killer domain name or a snazzy looking website can be a real asset to your business and these days they don’t come cheap. Any time you trip over a “Bargain” you need to be suspicious.
And regardless of whether it’s a super-low price or not, you owe it to yourself and your business to check that domain or website to make sure it hasn’t been blacklisted.
Once you buy it you’re stuck with it and it’s not going to do you much good if it’s not showing up in the search engines.