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Purchasing Website With Bad Reputation?


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#1 ClickClick

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:02 AM

I am purchasing a very well-established website that was in the past one of the leading websites in its field. It was created in the late nineties and was listed extremely well in Google for many years, until very recently when it was hit very badly by the Panda or Penguin updates (or both). Google clearly found some very serious problems with this site as it seemed to almost disappear from the listings. It has gone from around 250,000 in Alexa to around 3,500,000. The extreme drop in listings was probably also something to do with the fact that the owner seems to have lost interest and the site itself has been down for a couple of months. Before the site went down it was still above 1,000,000. I have decided to purchase this site because of its longevity and fairly good brand name and I am willing to be patient whilst I try to rebuild it's reputation with Google.

 

How would I go about this? Is it possible to report the change of ownership to Google? Will they be able to wipe the penalties if I show to be running the site properly? How long does it take to restore a site like this so it's Google reputation is repaired?

 

Thanks



#2 chrishirst

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:30 AM

How long does it take to restore a site like this so it's Google reputation is repaired?

 

Somewhere between 'Soon' and 'Never' depending on the reason(s) why it dropped out of sight.

 

If it was purely a "cosmetic" issue, then it could be a matter of a few months.

 

Alexa ratings are absolutely nothing to base ANY kind of supposition on, because it probably means that the domain owner had the alexa toolbar installed and it was those visits that created the 'ratings' in the first place.

 

However, .... You are buying it for the brand value does it truly matter?

 

Search isn't the be all and end all. Having a recognised name is FAR more useful when building links for the RIGHT reasons.



#3 ClickClick

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:38 AM

Thank you. What sort of reasons do you think would constitute the listings 'never' recovering??

 

Isn't there a Google department that a change of ownership and strategy can be reported so that they can lift the penalties? I have heard of this in the past.



#4 chrishirst

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:06 AM

If there has been a penalty applied for cloaking, even a change of domain ownership may not be enough to lift such a penalty. Also if the domain name has been used a "Crash and Burn" site the penalty can take a lot of work to get lifted
 

Isn't there a Google department that a change of ownership

There is, once you own the domain name, have been running it cleanly for a few months and the URIs are not being crawled and indexed you can file a reconsideration request from the  Webmaster Tools account for the hostname



#5 bobmeetin

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:36 AM

file a reconsideration request

 

Devil's advocate time - it's a common practice for businesses to open, close, change ownership during the sale to the same owner under a different name, he who beats the system. So, Google's smart enough to figure out you didn't just turn your overcoat inside out?



#6 ClickClick

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:45 AM

 Hi Bobmeetin. No that is not what has happened here. I work for a reputable company that is purchasing the site off the previous owner.



#7 torka

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 11:22 AM

If I'm understanding you correctly and the site has actually been down (as in "offline") for several months, that is almost certainly the reason for the decline (not Panda or Penguin or Hummingbird or any other unspecified Google update). In that case, it isn't a penalty -- Google simply isn't going to give good rankings to a site that isn't there.

 

--Torka :propeller:


Edited by torka, 10 October 2013 - 11:23 AM.
clarity


#8 bobmeetin

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:50 PM

Heed what Chris and Torka say. I'm not saying that you would be one of those shady business types that does what I described, but that practice exists and search engines need to sort out the trust factor.  You ever driven past a brick/mortar store with a huge sign that says, "Under New Management?" And wonder why?






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