Buy a Banned Domain? Should You Ask Google for Forgiveness?

Nov 24, 2009 • 8:11 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A WebmasterWorld thread has one webmaster who allegedly purchased a domain name that was banned by Google. He basically asked, how does he get this domain to be clean and start over.

In the past, I would have said, just submit a reconsideration request and hope that Google trusts that you are starting new. And that is the advice given in the thread.

But after sitting in a site clinic with Matt Cutts at PubCon. At about 10:51 PST, Matt said that when it comes to domains that were banned or severely penalized, it is just easier to start with a fresh new domain. I am not quoting Matt exactly, but he basically said that it is easier to start from ground zero then starting from 100 feet under ground. Yes, a penalized site seems to just have to work its way up from a negative state to get to level starting ground and often, it might not be worth the effort.

At the same time, if Google can press a button to wipe the history of the domain - then maybe you are in luck. I am just not too sure how easy it is to get Google to do that.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: SEO Gets a Google Birthday Cake


Michael Martinez

11/24/2009 04:26 pm

People who buy burned domains for link value are just looking for trouble anyway. But sometimes a company needs to buy a burned domain to establish a new brand. In such cases I think the SEO needs to advise patience. Branding campaigns should create visibility well beyond search and that should help alleviate some of the pain of owning a previously banned domain. I would wait until the brand was established before submitting a reconsideration request. At least that way you could point to new stories and other vindicating criteria to show things are different.


11/24/2009 08:00 pm

I think it's sad that Google does this. If someone wants a domain name for the branding value, why should they even have to check to see if it's banned? Why should Google have problems with "resetting" domain history once it has a new owner? If they cause trouble again - ban them again.


11/25/2009 06:34 am

"Why should Google have problems with "resetting" domain history once it has a new owner?" If the spammy backlinks still exist, Google can't reset anything, unless they can ignore links gained from 2000-2009 (for example).

Adam Fairbanks

11/25/2009 06:43 am

Google has a "Site Reconsideration" form in webmaster tools you can use: You must verify the site with Google webmaster tools first, including creating a Google-compliant sitemap. I've done it before, and it took a month or two for google to re-list the domain. Another option for those with a large AdWords account is to have your AdWords account rep fast-track the processing.

Arnie K

11/25/2009 04:07 pm

Just my 2 cents and do not have any real life examples to back it up, but I would have to assume that if a banned domain is so important to you that you would be willing to go through the reconsideration process, then Google will work with you to "reset" it.

Sandeep singh

07/21/2011 10:36 am

 How we can check whether it was banned in past ? Is there any tool to check the google penalty for expired domain ?

blog comments powered by Disqus