There are way over 1 billion websites active today so the domain name that you are looking for may already be owned by someone else. The owner may be interested in offering it to you for a price or you may simply want to buy a preo-owned domain in order to jump start your online marketing efforts. No matter the case, checking the domain you want to buy before making a payment is a really good idea.
In most cases people just look at the reports offered by the seller. For obvious reasons, this is not a good idea as there are many other things that should be taken into account. Here is what you should check as you buy pre-owned domains.
Analyzing Google Search Console And Google Analytics
When you get access to the associated Google Search Console account you can gain so much critical information to make you understand current domain health. When you do not have such access, it is a good idea to get in touch with the admin and request it. After you log in, make sure you check the Manual Actions section (located under Search Traffic) and Security Issues so that you are 100% sure that Google does not see the site as being spammy or hacked.
Accessing Google Analytics is also really good as you can notice traffic patterns that are abnormal or URLs that are unusual and get organic traffic. Do check referral traffic too as this identifies some backlinks and the quality they have.
Site search operator is useful in determining malicious or spammy pages that could appear in search engines. To do that just go to Google and enter “site:domain.com”. Google is going to usually offer SERP warnings if a site has hacked content but it is possible that bad content is not flagged.
External And Internal Linking
Use the SEO Spider tool from Screaming Frog in order to crawl as many free URLs as you can. Then, check outlinks in order to see URL links. External linking can easily be checked with various online tools. Majestic SEO is one that is highly preferred by many. Look at off-page factors and try to find out how healthy the backlink profile is. When you see various different spammy links or a backlinking profile that is not safe, look for another domain name.
How Anchor Text Is Used
This is one of the easiest ways to figure out if the owner of the domain did some bad things while ranking the site for specific keywords. The truth is that few people use high quality link building services so you can expect improper use of anchor text. Anchor text is analyzed by Google and seen as a signal of topical relevancy. When many of the backlinks feature unrelated text it is a sign that some bad SEO was done. In this case you would have to work really hard to rank for the keywords you are actually interested in.