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How does Google handle new owner of previously spammy domain?



9:22 am on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hello friends,
recently I bought a new domain and started working on my site instantly.
I have since completed it and put it all online.

Only now I realized that this particular domain had owners before me, this is first time I'm faced with such situation.

When I do site:mydomain.com Google still lists some pages from the previous owner, which all result in 404 now, obviously.

What worries me is that from what I can see all these pages were jut spam pages, eg. "buy new product completely free download click here now".

Is Google aware of the fact that I'm a new owner and that I have nothing to do with that previous shady site? It's been 12 days and my new content has not been indexed yet, although according to my logs Googlebot crawled all of my pages.

If somehow the previous "quality" of the page gets reflected on my new one, that would be a real disaster as I've put a lot of effort in making this site.
Was I stupid not to research domain history before starting my project?

I hope you guys could shine a bit of light on this issue. But from where I stand it would really be unfair, because I was not warned in anyway. If this is the case, then Google should warn people at least in WM Tools or something.

I still hope I'm wrong though:)


9:28 am on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

There's been previous discussion about this. Best thing to do is open your webmaster tools account and let Google know what you've discovered about the previous owners actions. Tell them you are a new owner and they will give you a clean start.


9:37 am on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

tedster, thanks for a swift reply. I have already opened my webmaster tools account and also verified with Google that I'm the owner of the site.

Would I contact Google through the form that is used for "Site reconsideration" or should I contact them by some other means?


9:38 am on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Just found it under "Site reconsideration": "In addition, if you recently purchased a domain that you think may have violated our guidelines before you owned it, you can use the reconsideration request form to let us know that you recently acquired the site and that it now adheres to the guidelines."

That must be what I'm looking for. I had experience with this form, usually takes two weeks for action, oh well:/


1:17 pm on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

At PubCon, Matt Cutts did a site review panel. In that panel, he basically said one should avoid buying banned domains. He said, a penalized domain starts from 100 feet (number made up) under ground, where a new domain starts at 0. Where do you want to start, at 0 or -100?


1:47 pm on Nov 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

rustybrick is right.

Also, have you done BackLink Analysis of the domain? If the domain belonged to a spammy network and has spammy domains linking to it don't even bother building the site.

You're going to waste a lot of time & resources which can be used more productively on a new domain.


6:34 am on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Site was 'spammy,' but if they had links from spammy sites, what can Google do if those links are still there?

That's the issue IMO.


7:22 am on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Google spokespeople have told us several times that they can "turn off" the power of any link. Before they suggested rel="nofollow" to the rest of the world, they already had that technology and were using it to drop links they had decided were trash. I'm pretty sure that discounting individul links is not anywhere near the highest complexity they've got in their tool kit.

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