Domaining is a common SEO practice where you’re able to reuse the authority of a pre-owned domain to help SEO efforts on a new or existing website. Even if you’re not intentionally registering an existing domain, it’s worth carrying out some due diligence checks to make sure the domain hasn’t been abused in the past (and will seriously inhibit any future SEO work).
1. Google Search Console
If you’re able, try and get access to the Google Search Console account for the domain before you buy it. If this isn’t possible, set this up immediately after purchase and make these checks before carrying out any significant work.
- Check for Manual Actions under Search Traffic > Manual Actions
- Check for Security Issues (such as hacking)
2. Site Search Operator
Using the site search operator tool you can check which pages Google still holds in it’s index for that domain. This is great to check previous content on the site but also check for spam or hacked content. It’s also easy to carry out before buying the domain.
Here’s how you search in Google using the site search operator – “site:mynewdomain.com”
3. Email Blacklist Check
Our final recommendation is to check if the domain has been blacklisted by any email spam filters. This is usually an indication of misuse or foul play in the past and difficult to rectify. Again, this is easy to carry out before purchasing the domain. A good blacklist check would be MX Toolbox.
This is by no means a comprehensive list but we hope you find these recommendations helpful. Domaining is not an easy feat and anyone new to the technique should proceed with caution. If you have any questions about this article or SEO in general then please get in touch.