In a Google Webmaster Video, Matt Cutts, head of Web Spam at Google gave some essential tips about how one can identify a bad domain name and avoid purchasing it.
To begin with, we should know what a bad domain name exactly means. It is not something hard to remember or a long string of characters that is not easily comprehensible. Basically, a bad domain is one which is considered as low quality and spammy by Google for which it has been penalized and hence it would ideally be difficult to rank such a domain name in SERP’s and the investment would be futile.
So to make webmasters and new comers aware of such factors about a domain name’s quality, Matt Cutts gave out some tips:
1. Search the domain in question using this format: site:domainname.com and if you find very low amount of web pages than what the domain should have or its index page does not show up in the top results then there is a good chance that the domain is penalized.
2. Look up the domain name in Google without its extension and check if it is present in the first few results. If the domain is new or an exact match then possibly it may not be in the top listings.
3. Check the Internet Archive or Wayback machine for getting the history of the domain. Normally an old domain would have screenshots indexed in the archive whereas a new domain would ideally not have much of a history, which gives a good idea about the authority and age of a domain.
4. If you are purchasing an old domain then you can also ask the domain seller to provide you access to the webmaster tools account where you can get good idea about the domain.
However, you must remember that most of these tips are useful when you are looking up and old domain and as such a new domain would hardly have any information available which could give you a good idea about its quality.
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