In the latest Webmaster Help Video, Google's Head of Search Spam, Matt Cutts, offers quick tips on how to research a domain name that you want to purchase. The question posed was:
“How can we check to see if a domain (bought from a registrar) was previously in trouble with Google? I recently bought, and unbeknownst to me the domain isn’t being indexed and I’ve had to do a reconsideration request. How could I have prevented?”
Cutts suggests that it is important to do a site-colon search on the domain name, and if there are absolutely no results from that domain, then it is an indication that you should avoid purchasing the domain, even if it has content.
Cutts also recommends conducting a search on the domain name minus the .com or its extension. This will help you to know about the site’s reputation. Look for what people are talking about the domain name. If they are talking about it in a bad way, you know whether or not to purchase it.
Another thing to look for, says Cutts, is archive.org. This resource shows the previous versions of the site, making it easier for you to find out if the site contained spammy and auto-generated content. Apart from this, if you are purchasing a site from a current owner, Cutts recommends, you must see the site’s traffic analytics and Webmasters Tools console to check for messages and screen shots. There you can check the site's traffic overtime and identify any unusual trends.
Despite all, if you buy a domain name and find out that it has some issues with search engines, you can do reconsideration. But before that, ask yourself why you are buying the domain name? Is it for the previous content and the links the site was buying? If you are buying it for all the links carry over then you might be disappointed because the links might not carry over. Cutts recommends disavowing all the links on the domain to start completely fresh. According to Cutts, if you follow all these tips before buying a domain name, you will certainly get an idea whether the previous owners were using it for spam or for some good stuff.Matt Cutts on How to Check Whether the Domain Name You Are Planning to Buy Had Some Bad History?,