Domains with Negative History that Won’t Rank

One often gets a chance, to find a decent sounding domain for a solid price, These are then usually bought right away without much research about the history or issues the domain may have had in the past. Especially if one would want to use this domain for SEO, such research is a must. And if it’s lacking, it’s possible that the domain itself won’t rank, for multiple reasons. Is there no way out once this happens?

There are many reasons why a domain may be ranked negatively by Google. It could be that it hosted illegal content, pirated content, or was used for Black Hat SEO. These are most often the reasons why a solid looking domain is “burned”. If one bought such domain, not everything is lost though. As explained by the Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller, if you bought a domain that’s negatively affected or “cursed” by the activities of the previous owner, the most important thing to do is to wait.

One particular example was a domain, that was negatively affected by hosting pirated content in the past. In this particular case, it meant hosting pirated content for two years, and a following penalization by Google. While the whole mechanism of recognizing and penalizing such behavior remains a secret, the answer from Mueller was there are really no “resets” for websites. There’s a serious time factor to take into account though.

If there was a reason for penalization going on on the domain for say 10 years, it doesn’t make much sense to wait, such domain is better to get ridden off. If we’re talking about months, there’s a way back, but one needs to wait. How long exactly was of course not shared. The lesson learned is, however, never to buy domains without a prior research. And if one knows that a domain was seriously blacklisted for a long time – such domain has little to no value when it comes to organic ranking.