A domain name, website address, or URL is literally the address and the face of your business. Without it, you can’t have a website, and you’d literally be only a web address (URL) on someone else’s domain name. With over 400 million domain names currently registered, there’s a good chance that the domain name you want is currently not available to hand register for the typical annual domain name registration fee ($10-20 for most .COM domain names).
If you can’t find the domain name you want, there may be a domain name that’s for sale in the domain name aftermarket, but it might come at a higher cost. And, since it’s already been registered and you’re buying it from the current owner, it’s literally a “used” domain name. Like a used car. Like used cars, used domain names have a history–either good or bad. That’s where our domain name background check service is critical. Do you really know the full history of the domain name that you’re going to buy, the domain name that you’re going to use for the public-facing virtual storefront of your business?
Spam, A Shady History, A Checkered Past
Domain names are unique, in that they can be registered, used for a website or for sending email, and then they may not be renewed by their owner. If a domain name is not renewed, it goes through a 90 day process where it’s put on hold, put in a pending delete status, and then dropped–for anyone to come along and register it. Some domain names are auctioned off to the highest bidder if they’re not renewed. Then, others are simply renewed every year, waiting for a buyer.
Spammers will typically register a domain name, use it until the domain name gets banned by the search engines or quite possibly put on email blacklists. Domain names on email blacklists will have all of the email sent from them go to a spam filter or never delivered. Even if the domain name has a new owner.
It’s very likely that a domain name that was previously used has a checkered past. Due diligence is a must.
Search engines, such as Google and Bing give websites and their associated domain names manual actions (penalties) when website owners violate their guidelines. A search engine penalty means that the website and domain name won’t show up in the search engine results pages, and can even be banned (removed completely) from the search engine index. Search engine penalties are tied to domain names. Even if the domain name ownership changes, the search engine penalty can still exist. You could buy that ideal domain name, start using it for your website and your online presence, and it could be banned in the search engines. For many businesses, that could be a disaster.
Domain Names Are Like Used Cars
Domain names are very similar to used cars. You could easily spend $150,000 on a used Ferrari or Lamborghini, or that same amount on a premium domain name. But then you go to drive it and the car breaks down. It’s been wrecked but repaired, but not very well. The domain name was used to send spam previously and no emails are being delivered to their intended recipients.
Without a domain name background check, you absolutely don’t know what you’re dealing with–you don’t know what you’re buying. Would you spend $150,000 or even $3,500 on a car without thoroughly checking it out?
Think of your domain name, your website address, and technically your URL as the place where people view your website. It’s very similar to real estate: each home, house, office, or business has an address. Would you buy real estate without doing due diligence: a title company gets involved with every real estate transaction. Buying a business? Surely you’d have a financial auditor to audit the finances of the business you’re buying. Buying a website, a domain name, an internet URL? Think of us as URL auditors, or a URL auditor.
Our Domain Name Background Checks
Bill Hartzer has been buying and selling domain names since 1996, and, combined with his 20+ years of online marketing, search engine optimization, and digital marketing experience, knows a good domain name from a bad domain name. In fact, in 2015, he developed a 50 point checklist to use during the domain name background check and due diligence process. As a frequent buyer of expired domain names, it’s imperative that the right domain name is purchased–not one that has all sorts of baggage and questionable history behind it.
Our domain name background checks and domain due diligence service includes a review of the following:
- Search Engine issues
- Social Media issues
- Ownership history
- Website history
- Email blacklists
- Trademark issues
- Sales history
- Link history and issues
- Current Owner review (is it a stolen domain?
These are some of the issues that are reviewed–some of the other issues reviewed can include these but are verified through multiple sources. For example, reviewing a domain name’s backlinks (links from other websites) is important. We review link data from multiple data sources.
A thorough domain name background check starts at $99, and is a one-time service. Contact us for more details.