Launching a website is a difficult thing, and the success of any online project is highly dependent on the domain you pick for it. This is not only about a domain name that is easy to remember; this should not be a priority. Instead, you should have a full report of the domain before you decide to use it. Therefore, experienced webmasters advise checking the domain history before registering the rights for it. Are you ready to dive into this topic? Keep reading the post – it will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to check a domain history.
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Why Should You Check a Domain Before Using It?
Since the domain plays an important role in site ranking and promotion, it is critical to make sure that there is nothing wrong with it and you can safely use it for your website. In case you fail with or skip the domain check, you may be faced with the following:
- Problems with indexing pages as a result of posting non-unique content or trading spam links in the past;
- Filters from search engines that worsen site ranking and make it impossible to promote an online resource;
- Negative reputation among Internet users.
Thus, instead of promoting your net-new website, you will have to fix all the above issues. To avoid them, we recommend checking the Semrush pricing and run a full-fledged domain check using the services we have picked for you.
New Vs. Old Domain Name: What to Choose?
Promo experts believe that it is best to register brand new domains that have no history. Thus, you really start your business from scratch without fear of unpleasant surprises in the future. This is a simple and convenient solution, especially for newcomers. However, there is another side of the coin: a used domain with a flawless link profile and a good history will allow you to take top positions in the search results.
All domain names can be of the following types:
- New domains without history – it means that the site name has never been registered/ used;
- Already used domains that have a good history – the domain has an excellent trust rate (the level of trust of search engines), quality resources refer to the site, and its link profile is strong;
- A domain with a bad history – as a rule, such a domain name is blacklisted by search engines, which interferes with effective site promotion.
Do you want to check the past content of the site whose domain you are going to buy? Strive to get an idea of domain authority, rank, reputation, trust rate? To get access to all this information, you should use dedicated services, such as Semrush, Serpstat, Ahrefs, MajesticSEO, etc. Let’s explore how the solutions work and what you should pay attention to.
Step 1 – Examine a Link Profile
A site with spammy or low-quality links is not the best purchase for those who want rapid development and traffic growth. It is great if outbound and inbound links for the picked domain are missing. But how to act if they are associated with the project? To prevent such situations and check domain authority of a resource, be sure to analyze a link profile of the domain you are going to register. Use the following services for this purpose:
- Google Webmaster Tools.
There are a couple of things to consider when you analyze a link profile attached to a domain name:
- A number of pages linking to it;
- Spam in the anchor list (without a direct entry of information and commercial requests);
- The presence of resources with a bad reputation in a link profile;
- Donor quality (traffic, indexation, advertising content).
Step 2 – Check for Sanctions
The reason for the domain being under the filter may be a poorly proven provider, a project being under the doorway, a domain registration without its timely renewal at the end of the year. On top of that, search engines punish resources with sanctions for non-unique or over-optimized content, promotion, low-quality links, an abundance of advertising, etc. The history of a domain can show symptoms of sanctions in the form of a sharp decrease in site traffic.
To check for a Google filter and find out the cause of the problem, use the Fruition service. Another great service that will work for you is the Sanctions Diagnostics tool. It provides information about page subsidence, diagnoses blogs for sanctions in Google and Yahoo.
Step 3 – Determine Domain Visibility
Your goal is to check the visibility of a domain in search engines. It is better to check domain history in two steps:
- Audit by name;
- Domain check through services.
It is important to study ranking positions of a domain. High rates increase the likelihood of successful promotion of the resource in the future. Pay attention to all search traffic, top queries, and their drop tendencies. The multifunctional SEO-platform Serpstat will be an excellent tool for this.
Step 4 – Calculate Domain Rating (for Used Domains)
If you are going to purchase an already used domain, then you need to check its rating. Domain Rating depends on the quantity and quality of inbound links. It is calculated as follows.
- The number of unique domains linking to the target website is checked;
- The “authority” of referring domains is checked;
- The number of unique domains linking to each of these sites is checked.
Domain rating does not take into account any other variables, be it link spam, traffic, domain age, etc. To get an accurate domain rating, use the Ahrefs tool.
Let’s Sum up
You shouldn’t purchase a domain until a complete check and analysis of the domain history. After all, a wrong decision is fraught with large financial and time costs in the future, and even hard work on a project with a dubious history will not guarantee a good result. Many webmasters get tired of combatting sanctions from search engines. A thorough domain check will help you pick the best-suited domain name that will work best for your business.