So you’re about to start a blog. A site for your retail. Or even a network for reviews. But first you need to choose the perfect domain name to drive traffic towards your product. You may be thinking that a quick short cut for this may be to buy a previously used domain.

This isn’t an altogether incorrect assumption, but there are many, many pitfalls you must watch out for when using a used domain. Many of which may lead to an inability to display ads on your site and lead to a low SEO (search engine optimization) results.

In this article we’ll lay out what to look for before buying a used domain.

HOW TO CHOOSE A DOMAIN NAME

The FIRST thing to consider when buying a new domain is obviously the name itself. Theoretically, you could have a website that has over 50 characters in it. This includes numb3rs and even-hyphens. But as most people know, the shorter the name the better. For whatever reason, succinct names appear aged and more legitimate.

FOR EXAMPLE:
When looking to purchase a sofa, which website are you going to go to first?

Furniture.com
Or
Best-couchesandbest-lampsforever.net

As a follow-up: Which of those names do you think has a better SEO score?

Domain names are forever. So choose carefully. Choose a name that represents exactly what you’re advertising in the shortest, most meaningful way possible. If that name happens to have been used already, then we will be using the following research and tactics to ensure that it’s the right fit for you!

WHICH EXTENSION SHOULD I CHOOSE?

.com has dominated as the preeminent and most legitimate website extension since the first days of AOL. But times are changing. A .com or even .net isn’t necessary if you’re looking to start a blog or start-up. There are extensions from around the world ranging from .org to .deal and all the way back to .shop. A successful site can embrace its chosen extension.

It’s better to rely on better content and promotion than a simple extension to insure your website’s success. And if you go with something like .agency or .phone and want to look at upgrading in the future, it’s always possible to research purchasing that version in the future.

DETERMINING DOMAIN AUTHORITY

Another thing you need to consider when purchasing ANY domain name, including a used one, is domain authority. Developed by MOZ, domain authority is a score out of 100 that ranks how well your site will perform on search pages. Age (see below), Popularity, and the amount of inbound links on your site will all affect your site’s score.

You can compare Domain Authority using Open Site Explorer.

LOOKING AT A DOMAIN’S AGE AND PAST?

When choosing a domain, age is of the essence. In most cases, the older a domain, the more trust value will be associated with it. An older domain will indeed usually wield a higher SEO. But still, you must be wary. Just because a domain is ten years old doesn’t mean it doesn’t also have marks against it. Do your research. Check to make sure the site name isn’t blacklisted or contain any penalties.

An easy way to check whether your chosen name has any marks against it is to go to archive.org. You can search your potential domain to check what sort of site was using it before. Or else your family friendly city blog could become associated with porn!

Or, even worse, associated with SPAM. There are many old, available domain names that have been auto-blocked by a potential viewer’s browser or anti-virus.

WHAT IF THERE ARE COPYRIGHTS ATTACHED TO THE DOMAIN?

Beware! You absolutely NEED to stay away from any domain names with any sort of copyright or trademark associated with it. If a company gets wind that you’re driving traffic to your content using a copyrighted name or domain, you risk the chance of incurring a penalty or, worse, legal action.

FOR EXAMPLE:

There is a distinct difference between

Peterwriteswordpress.blog
And
PeterWrites.wordpress.blog

Even if the first one is still hosted by wordpress, it’s still risky and unrecommended to attain a used domain with that sort of name.

Similarly, digital content copyright laws protected under the DMCA are widespread and mostly inflexible. Be sure to check and make sure any used domain name you are interested in has no legal or DMCA marks against it. Or else you could end up paying for a domain that many people’s quickly evolving browser protections will steer them away from.

Thankfully, GOOGLE has a transparency tool that allows you to search any past and current domain name for any past transgressions.

SO, SHOULD I BUY A USED DOMAIN?

Yes. If you do the right amount of research. Do everything you can to make sure that the domain you desire has not been abused or gained a bad reputation in the past.

But, if the name you seek has a solid or even blank past that you can build on, then a used domain could very well be the way to go for you!

Once you’ve chosen a domain name, you’ll need a host. We’ve reviewed many web hosts over the years. Many have free domains, easy wordpress accessibility, and site builders! So far, in 2017, BlueHost has shown itself to be top of line for affordable web hosting. Their 24/7 support system will help you integrate the new or used domain name of your choice!

Now, get blogging!

Other Recommended Web Host Providers?

Web Host ProviderPricingSpeedsSpecial MentionView ReviewVisit Web Provider
Should I Buy a Used Domain?  $3.95 or $4.95 for CloudVery fastBest Cloud HostingReview
Visit HostGator
Should I Buy a Used Domain?  $3.92Very fastBest Shared Hosting / CheapestReview
Visit A2 Hosting
Should I Buy a Used Domain?  $3.95FastBest Beginner Web HostingReview
Visit Bluehost
Should I Buy a Used Domain?  $3.95FastBest WordPress Blog HostingReview
Visit Siteground
Should I Buy a Used Domain?
Tom Spark is a chair researcher, VPN expert, and a geek product extraordinaire. When he’s not spell checking his articles with Grammarly, he’s playing video games, watching too much Netflix, and deciding if he likes his current chair or not.

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