When looking for a domain name that will accurately describe your business, you generally have a choice between registering a new domain name or purchasing an existing domain name. The age of a domain name can lead to better rankings quicker and if the domain name has been around for awhile it will likely give you some initial traffic. Therefore, its easy to assume that purchasing an existing domain name is the better choice. But, purchasing an existing domain name can also be a risky proposition if for some reason the domain name is no longer in good standing with the search engines.
New domain names can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to mature. If you think about it, this probably makes a lot of sense from the perspective of a search engine (why put a lot of effort into indexing a site when it probably isn't going to be around very long, or, at the very least, is probably not a complete site right out of the starting gate). Given this maturation factor involved in rankings, it may or may not be in your best interest to purchase a brand new domain name, especially if you can't wait to start seeing a little bit of traffic flowing to your site.
So, the choice you have to make is to either buy a new domain that you know will be in good standing because it has no history (with no traffic), or buy an existing domain that has matured (with traffic).
Domain names do get banned from or penalized by search engines. To tell if the domain name has been banned, go to Google and type in the domain name with and without the www. If the domain name shows up it has not been banned. If the domain name doesn't show up but you find search results listed, then there is likely a technical issue with the site. If you enter "site:domain.com" or "site:www.domain.com" and nothing shows up, then the domain name has likely been banned.
Your first step should be to review the Google Webmaster Guidelines. If you are certain that your site is not violating any of the guidelines, try submitting a re-inclusion request after creating your Google Webmaster account.
Searching for the domain name in Yahoo or Microsoft may produce similar results. If the site is not found, go to Yahoo's Site Explorer and Microsoft's Webmaster Central to see if the site has been indexed. If either show that pages have been indexed then the site has not been banned.
More often than not, a site not getting indexed or being dropped from the index is due to mistakes the webmaster made rather than the site and/or domain name being banned. Therefore, getting hold of an existing domain name can give you a running start when setting up a new site, but, do a little investigating first to insure that you won't have to spend a lot of time cleaning up problems that someone created.
Orangetree Internet Service LLC, located in Santa Cruz, CA., provides technical assistance to small and medium sized businesses with Domain Registration Services, including domain portfolio management. Contact us at 830-212-1884 for more information.
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