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A few months ago, we started a new version of our website. We also changed our domain name to be more in context with our company.

The website was updated during last weekend and the old version was shutdown. Unfortunately we found out that no redirections had been made whatsoever. So we were completely invisible to the internet. All links pointing to us was showing a DNS error in the client browser. Speaking with the company that was handling the situation, they decided to bring back the old website online.

The new domain that we are using had been penalized by google 7 years ago because someone bought fake traffic leading to it.

The company is now advising us to run both website and buy ads for both for a certain amount of time. According to them, this should help us spot if the new domain is still penalized. Although the new domain is already indexed on Google and shows up as a 3rd result for our keywords. I find it hard to believe that it is still penalized.

I'm looking for second toughts as to know if what is being suggested to us is safe and good practice, if not, should we just move the website with all the redirections or does anyone have other recommendations?

Thank you.

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    What has the "new domain" been used for in the last 7 years? Is the "new domain" verified in GSC? (How do you know the "new domain" was penalized for "fake traffic" 7 years ago?) – MrWhite Apr 8 at 16:35
  • Hi @MrWhite. We've been owning this domain for 9 years. I wasn't on site at the time of the incident. From what I understand the marketing company that was hired bought some shady product to drive traffic to the website. This is the reason we had changed the domain name in the first place. I'll try and get and answer regarding the GSC, is there something specific we should see or be looking for in there? – Lou Apr 8 at 17:25
  • "safe" for what? Security, privacy, SEO, something else? – Stephen Ostermiller Apr 8 at 17:34
  • I would question yhe advice of the marketing company. Whats the guess they are taking a cut of the ad revenue. I would restore the old site, then find someone to help you work with Google to clean up the reputation of the bad domain, then use 301 redirects to transfer google juice from old domain to new one. – davidgo Apr 8 at 19:12

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