iBanks.com sold for $38,000 on Sedo earlier this week. In determining why this domain went as high as it did, I uncovered a lot of talk about the domain on various forums, with a lot of emphasis being placed on the fact that the domain had been continuously registered for 11 years to the same person.
So why would this point be of meaning to a potential domain name investor? Well, it all has to do with knowing the domain has a clear history. Since the beginning of Google’s Adsense program there has been a proliferation of spam-page websites with useless content aimed at drawing revenue form Adsense ad clicks. For a while these search engine savvy marketers were fetching high search engine rankings for hundreds of thousands of keywords. There was a bried period when you simply couldn’t make a search for any valuable keyword without finding several of these sites on the first page of search results. None of their content was original content. They were just spam pages. Google constantly adjusts their algorithms to find such sites and essentially blackball them from their search engine rankings. Once this happenes the domain is no longer of value to the spammer, and he either sells the domain name or drops it. This is the risk you take when buying a domain name off an expired or “dropped” list. You really don’t know if you’re buying a domain name that can get quick ranking, or one that will never get ranking in Google’s search engine.
What’s that you say, “never get ranking?” Yep, you heard me right. I know about it first hand. In the past 2 years I’ve purchased a handful of domains off a dropped list and launched them as original content blogs that simply never ever get ranked or searched by Google’s engine. My stats reveal that Google avoids these domains like they have a plague.
Such websites are what SEO experts refer to as “blacklisted” sites. Presently, Google doesn’t appear to have a way to recognize that a domain is owned bya legitimate owner and has original content. For the past 3 years it has appeared to me that Google has too many millions of good domains to worry about to focus on domains that now owned and operated by persons with good intentions. In otherwords, there is no apparent process for getting Google to de-blacklist a domain. Stated more precisely, if you buy a domain name that has been blacklisted by Google you are dead in the water.
When choosing the domain name for this blog I purposely picked a domain name that had never been registered, making it up off the top of my head, researching the Wayback Machine at http://www.archive.org to ensure the domain name had never had a website, etc. This is a good trip for determining the history of a domain name. It’s okay to have a history, but if the history reveals a website with spam content running Adsense ads, avoid buying it at all cost.