How to check domain ownership history?

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Why you might need domain ownership history?

Everything starts with choosing the right domain name. It is the starting point of the difficult path from the beginning of website creation to its success. It may seem to you that you have finally found the perfect domain name for your business, but do not rush to register it. You shouldn’t only prioritize a memorable address but also consider its possible dark past. Buying a domain with a bad history can affect the further development and promotion of the website. Therefore, experienced webmasters advise thoroughly check the history of the domain name before registering it.

Why is the past of the domain name dangerous?

If a domain that seemed free to register previously had an owner, it may have gained a bad reputation among the Internet users or got penalties from search engines.

You can buy your favorite domain, start filling the pages with content and promoting it. However, the result can be insignificant or even zero. As a result, you will find out that your chosen name has already fallen out of favor of search engines. Don’t be naive, believing that you will not fall into this trap. Internet forums are full of indignant posts from web admins who registered a domain name without studying its history. Unfortunately, it’s a widespread case.

The history of a domain can negatively affect traffic from search engines. For example, if it was tied to a blog with a dubious reputation or even got banned from search engines. However, the accessible name of the website does not guarantee that no one has used it before. Some owners simply forget to renew the domain on time. Others abandon web projects that search engines have banned.

You should abandon the idea of buying a used domain if in the past it did one of the following actions:

  • promoted violence or racial discrimination;
  • filled with non-unique or over-optimized content;
  • traded in spam links;
  • used for a doorway site;
  • had a different web theme from the current resource.

If the domain has changed several owners who decided not to renew it, it is an apparent reason to refrain from buying it.

How to check domain history?

Many Internet services offer to find out Whois history of a domain name for a paid subscription. There is practically no open and free access to databases with contact details of domain administrators. And even if they exist, the data in them is most probably outdated. 

Thus, to check the history of a particular domain, the easiest and the most correct way is to use a specialized service. It allows you to check the age of a domain name, as well as assess how close it is to your website theme. Then, based on the data obtained, it is easy to understand whether you need such purchase or not.

What can be learned from the Whois history of a domain?

Using Whois history, you can get detailed information about the domain, its previous owners, how often they changed, which companies or users it belonged to at one time, registrars and hosting providers, where this domain was located, starting from the first registration.

You will get access to all historical records available in the Whois service. In addition, it will show any changes to the domain for the entire period of its existence, including:

  • Date of initial registration
  • Registrar name
  • Administrator information and his contacts (if they are not hidden)
  • Complete DNS domain history

Checking the age of a domain is essential not only when buying a domain name. Information about the terms of domain registration is useful when making transactions or choosing business partners. Fraudsters often create websites with great deals, and a newly registered domain is an excellent reason to question the purity of the agreement and partners’ intentions.

New vs. old domain name

Industry experts believe that it is best to buy domain names without any history. In this way, you really can start your business from scratch without fear of unpleasant surprises in the future. This is a simple and convenient solution, especially for beginners. However, some other experts believe that a used domain with an impressive link profile, age, and a good history (authority) will allow you to take top positions in the search results easily.

Domain name history is the number of search signals that search engines have collected. These signals can have a positive or negative impact on the ranking of a website. 

All domain names fall under the following classification:

Without history. In this case, the name of the website has never belonged to anyone. Therefore, you can start from a blank slate where you can add whatever you want. This is also the cheapest way to buy a domain name.

With a good history. The domain has trust among the search engines, and many quality resources refer to the website. And it already has an impressive age and small organic traffic.

With a bad history. The name of the domain is on the “blacklist” of search engines, which interferes with effective promotion. Such domains usually are spammed with links or got under the filter and ban.

As you can see, a dubious acquisition of a web domain is fraught with high financial and time costs in the future, and even hard work on a name with a bad history will not guarantee a good result. Thus, you should not make a purchase until a complete check and analysis of the domain history.

Many web admins get tired of fighting sanctions from search engines. So, they just abandon the project without renewing the domain, and the history repeats itself, goes into the next hands, and so on. They can continue to fight against the bans. However, instead of choosing the challenging path and condemning yourself to this, there is a chance to buy a new and safe domain name immediately.

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