Search Google Before Buying a Domain Name

Most people do some sort of due diligence before buying a domain name. They want to make sure the domain name was not stolen and that it is being sold by its rightful owner before agreeing to buy it. There are several other things I look at when buying a domain name, and there are a variety of tools that I use to do this due diligence.

One of the easiest ways to do cursory due diligence is by using Google. I simply visit and type in the domain name. Obviously a Google search is free, and it pulls important information from a vast number of sources, many of which I may not even have considered looking at.

Some of the things I consider before buying a domain name, besides the provenance and ownership history of the domain name include:

  • UDRP status (current and past decisions)
  • History of litigation
  • Prior sales prices
  • Auction listings
  • News stories covering the usage of the domain name
  • Trademark status

There are many different tools that can be used to extensively search for the information I am seeking, but Google is a great (and free) resource that I can use to quickly uncover any historical issues. Using Google is a good way to learn a great deal of information about a particular domain name without using individual tools. It is especially helpful in getting a quick look at a domain name’s history if a decision needs to be made in short order.

For more intensive searches to explore potential issues more deeply, I use DomainTools, USPTO, Justia, DomainIQ,, and a few other resources. Google can draw information from several of these sources and allow me to get a quick glimpse of potential issues. I use Google as the starting point for due diligence once I have confirmed the ownership information is accurate.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Elliot – sound advise.

    Solid advice.

    Fortunately, I register **new** GEO Trade domains… develop light & fast Drupal websites… get the domain and a portfolio of high-competition trade LSI keywords well ranked on Google Page-1… sell.

    This should significantly simplify the due dilligence process for the knowledgeable buyer.

    Thank you. ~ Alan

    • Makes sense, but it is still possible for a domain name to have a history even if you are hand registering it. Although it seems that nearly all previously used domain names get re-registered, there are plenty that don’t. If one of those has a “bad” history, it could be problematic.

    • Yes, sometimes those **new** geo service domains aren’t as new as one would think. Early on, I encountered a few situations where I regged a supposedly *new* domain only to find out about it’s history. I was able to rehab both back into good standing, but it’s something I certainly wish I had known going into it. Do use Google and be sure to check web archive too to limit and lower risk.

    • You develop “light and fast” “Drupal websites” — you realize that’s an oxymoron right?

      If you think Drupal is light and fast, you don’t know much about web development.

  2. It helps to put the domain name in quotation marks – “” not – when searching specifically for historical information about a domain name. If the domain name was in previous drop lists or sales, it’s a quick way to gather that information to match up with the whois history.

    • I also drop the .com on and use quotation marks around the term left of the dot — “example example” not example example to get precise search results for the generic phrase. Using “ExampleExample” usually brings up different results as well. I usually look at the SERPs through page 3 to ensure I get the best sense of who might be interested in the domain name.

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