Do You Know Where Your Web Site Has Been?

When I was researching a domain name to use for this site and had narrowed it down to a few choices I figured that the domain name had been used before. So I decided to check The WayBack Machine to see what its past, if any, included.

The first stop was July 21, 2001 when OpTempo was a landing page for “coming soon” software company in Bothell, WA. I guess that didn’t work out for them so they didn’t renew the domain

OpTempo Circa July 21, 2001

Apparently the domain got bought again in June of 2004 and expired a year later with only a 1&1 Hosting parking page showing up. Of course, I bought it this month, October 2007, after it had been sitting around unused for about 2 years.

Why Should You Check Out a Site’s History Before You Buy?

Before you buy a domain, either one that somebody owns or one that’s available you should check its history. Why? It is possible that the site was an adult site or some other ‘bad neighborhood’ site in the past. If you try to start a blog or e-commerce site on it you may find that it’s on a list of bad sites that is being blocked by various firewall programs. This means that you have to go to the trouble of proving you aren’t the previous owner with multiple companies. You may even have to get reinstated with Google for your site to be properly indexed. If you buy it for resale, you may find its past costing you money.

Do you know of any other tools you can use to check up on a domain name? If you do, leave me a comment and let me know.

Have you bought a bad domain? Leave a comment with your experiences.

Anything else to offer on this topic? You got it, please leave a comment.


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2008-08-03 04:57:46

I think I may have recently bought a web site with a checkered past … from the moment I started commenting with it I was sent straight to Akismet’s black pit of badness, literally from the very first comment I made.

Comment by Cheap GPS Systems
2008-08-12 01:07:13

Yes, this is really important to do before buying a pre-owned domain. I don’t know of any other tools to do the research, though, besides what you have mentioned.

Comment by jfc
2008-08-12 07:09:30


Other than…

dnScoop is good for finding out some additional info on the site you’re thinking about, as long as it’s a currently active site. It’s particularly good at figuring out the age that Google thinks a site is vs. what Freshdrop and other domain auction sites say.

Domain Tools Whois is another good resource and they’ll tell you if a domain is currently blacklisted in Google.

2010-01-27 21:54:27

[…] .infos. When you’re purchasing a new domain it’s essential to do some quick research to make sure that the domain is clean and hasn’t been used for any activities that might cause you problems. It seems that Google […]

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