I have a domain that has some value. It used to be a big site with a lot of backlinks and SEO ranking history. I tried selling the domain, but a buyer doesn't want to pay the asking price. He instead wants to lease the domain for $200 a month.

I'm pretty content with his price, but I have some fears. What if I set up the nameservers to his webhost and he 301 redirects all of the pages to a different domain of his? I imagine this would cause Google to forever 301 my domain to his domains, thus losing all of my link juice and SEO value.

Is there a way to prevent this 301 redirect issue, or is this something I shouldn't be worrying about?

On top of the 301 issue, he wants to use the site as a video uploading service. And I'm naturally worried about users uploading copyrighted content that they don't own, and that he won't be able to moderate the material properly. Am I at legal risk in the event of that happening?

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    I leased a domain name and they turned it into a porn site. I took my domain name back within just a couple of months. It cost me in future search engine performance for a very long time and the site was listed on porn link sites for over a decade. I am willing to bet there is still a knock on the domains trust score. I would advise against it.
    – closetnoc
    Feb 12, 2018 at 21:25

2 Answers 2


I would never ever allow it to rent my own domain. There is tens of things that will go wrong.: content infringement, lost any seo and backlinks left from previous services , domain can end up being banned by google for blackhat tricks. If domain has really any price value then you can park the domain at service like sedo and just wait for a sale.


The only way I would consider renting the domain would be if:

  1. He would be willing to rent it at a reasonable rate for at least 6-12 months. It's not even worth the hassle and risks of any of the issues you mentioned if he can cancel at any time after the first month.


  1. I was sure I would be able to sell the domain, based on the name alone, at a later date.

You didn't really mention what made the domain so valuable, but I'm assuming based on your comment about previously having a number of back-links that it used to be a niche site that was popular in some form or fashion.

So, you do want to be careful that the domain's reputation doesn't get destroyed and back-links don't all completely disappear based on a malicious "renter" using it for a few months. It wouldn't take long for webmasters with old links pointing to your site to notice if their users started complaining about a link on their site to malware or pornography.

Also, I'd be very skeptical of someone who wanted to build up a site on a domain they didn't own. I wouldn't be too likely to believe that they are going to use it to build a reputable, popular site. That wouldn't make much sense IMHO.

As per your question about getting in trouble for him uploading illegal content to "your" domain name, that's probably not a huge concern as long as you have a contract with him and verify his identity and payment information before you hand over access. Many of us rent space on our dedicated servers to clients, and I don't see renting a domain as much different. You just need to do your due diligence to verify his identity; and obviously respond accordingly if you are notified of wrongdoing or receive a cease and desist letter related to his content on your domain.

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