Google On Buying Spammy Domains: Don’t Be The Guy Left Holding The Bag

By: Chris Crum - April 11, 2013

In the latest Webmaster Help video from Google, Matt Cutts takes on an interesting topic. Can you buy a domain that has been penalized by Google for spam, clean it up and recover rankings?

Well, it depends, and Cutts explains why.

“This is a tricky question because on the one hand there’s algorithmic spam, and then there’s manual spam, and all manual spam does have an eventual time out, so if you were to completely clean up all the content on the domain, [and] do a reconsideration request, in theory, that domain can recover,” says Cutts. “However, on the algorithmic side, if there are a ton of spammy links that the previous owner built up, that can be a little bit hard to go through, and try to clean up and get all those links taken down, and make a list of all those links.”

He continues, “The way to think about it is, there are a lot of spammers out there that do basically what’s known as a ‘churn and burn’ tactic, where they just use as many techniques to try and make a domain rank as they can, and then as soon as that domain is awful or bad, or Google has caught it, then they sort of movie on, and they go on to some other exploit, and they try to tackle it with another domain. Now what you don’t want to do is be the guy who gets caught left holding the bag.”

Long story short: how bad do you really want this domain?

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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  • Sahil

    As Matt said, going with the reputation its always advisable not to buy a spammy domain however cheap the domain with premium and keyword rich name may be.

  • Werring

    Thanks for your allways good advice Matt

  • AllanIT

    I can’t imagine why anyone would want to buy a domain name and inherit the bad reputation fro the previous owner. I would all ways start for scratch and build a good reputation.