A domain name is the one of the most important parts of your website. The name brands your company or personal site, it affects how much traffic you get, it affects how high your rank in the Google SERPs; bottom line, it affects all of the aspects that allow your site to be successful. So, naturally, choosing something as important as your domain name needs to be carefully considered and there are a few steps that you should take.
The majority of people can grasp the concept that first you need to check for available domain names before you can register one, which can be done with a provider like www.1and1.co.uk. However, when you do come across an unregistered domain that you like and think will fit well with your site image or brand, how do you know that it will perform well? Few people, especially those who are not so confident with technology, search much further beyond this point, although finding the unregistered domain really should be just the beginning of the search.
So what is the next step? You should perform a search history analysis of the domain that you are interested in registering. Here are some of the things to look for:
1. Check the domain name in multiple search engines – this allows you to see the type of results already coming up for this domain (which gives you a general idea of how the domain performed in the past. If there are no results, that’s usually a bad sign.
2. Check the reputation of the name – by entering the domain name minus the .com or .net assignment, you can get reputation results for the name itself. For example, if it has been mentioned in a forum negatively as being a source for spam or if it has been mentioned positively for good customer service, etc.
3. Check the archived history – you can do this easily by going to archive.org and you will be able to see what the previous site that was registered at this domain looked like. If the website looks legit, then you can go ahead with the registration. However, if it looks like it might have been involved in spamming activities, it is best to stay clear. It could have accrued infractions and penalties that will be difficult to get rid of.
The bottom line is that in order to avoid buying a bad domain and suffering the consequences, you need to do your homework. You wouldn’t buy a car without knowing its safety history and whether it had been involved in an accident, so don’t buy a domain name – which the entire success of your website and perhaps even your company depends on – without knowing the history first.