Over the past couple years we have seen a greater interest in buying old domain names for their SEO/Authority value. I had a friend mention to me over the weekend that he bought a name for that very reason, that just can’t seem to rank.
I mentioned to him an article I read a few weeks back. It deals with a legacy domain penalty from Google. In the article it mentioned that the premium domain name Girlfriend.com had this very penalty.
It’s a penalty that’s associated with a domain from when it was registered by someone else in the past. Apparently the penalty remains after the domain is registered by someone else years later.
SearchEngineJournal.com points out:
The site with a penalty has not received notices of a manual penalty.
And that’s what makes it weird because how can a site be penalized if it’s not penalized, right? And if a site is not penalized, why can’t it rank for the name of its brand or even a snippet of content from the home page?
So if you are paying big money for a domain name with great DA, Trust Flow and backlinks you might need to dig deeper to see if there is a legacy penalty.