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Recovering from a Penalized Deleted Domain

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by Alan Rabinowitz

So, you bought a domain, and it’s not showing in the Google index for anything? Ever have this happen? You added several links on high traffic sites and still not indexed. What do you do? What can happen?

One issue is what we call a deleted domain.
That means you bought a domain that someone else previously owned and did not renew, we call this a domain that deleted.

Google may have, in the past, penalized this domain. It is even possible that other owners may try to recycle a deleted domain for traffic, so you need to check to see if the domain was once owned. In some cases, you can get lucky, and it wasn’t used for anything, so you’re in the clear.

You can do that here:
Type your domain into the WayBack Time Machine. If you see an old site from a different year before you own the site, then you may need to sign up for Google Webmaster Tools and submit a reinclusion and keep your fingers crossed that someone in Google will let you back in. Google will usually show a “manual action” in Webmaster Tools, so look for that. If you see it, let them know you just bought it and had nothing to do with the previous owner’s actions. Otherwise, the domain may never recover and be forever dead in Google, and worthless. That process is known to take several weeks, so you may want to consider investing into something safer.

To see if your site is indexed by Google just type “” (no quotes) into Google and see if pages show. Then search for “” and see if there are results.

If it’s been a month or two since you first saw Googlebot on your stats, then it is most likely an issue with the previous owner being considered a Spammer, or just something as simple as an automatic penalty on deleted domains.

If all else fails, seek professional consultation.


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