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I've found an interesting domain name that I'm considering about getting, did a Google search, and one of the results on the first page appears to suggest that the former site at the domain name might have been malicious.

The name is about to be released for general availability, or maybe has already been available for registration for several days/months/years. (Let's make the question a general one for now, although perhaps it does deserve being pointed out that, according to a whois history, it does appears that the specific name I have in mind has been available for open general registration for more than a year, yet is still supposedly present in some of these blacklists.)

Should I be worried about getting such name, and using it for my web-site?

Should I be worried about getting such name to use as an extra alternative alias name for an existing website reputation of which I care about, or as a one-page click-through alias?

I mean, I'm looking for an objective answer and not just some speculation — what practical steps, if any, should be taken before registering a previously-used domain name to make sure SEO and site performance would not be negatively affected? I mean, if the prior owner just got unlucky to have gotten a virus, without any ill intent, surely such malicious rating is clearable, right? But what if it was involved in botnets from the start? How would I check?

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Clearly the past owners of the domain were doing something (either intentionally or unintentionally) which landed the site in hot water.

Unintentionally -- this can be sometimes be the case of a malware infection that isn't the fault of the site owners.

But regardless, it's probably a domain you should avoid because you're going to be starting in "negative territory" in terms of SEO. Yes, you can eventually dig yourself out of that hole, but you're creating hurdles for yourself out of the gate.

Also, it's not just search engines you need to worry about: There are many third party security toolbars which don't update as often as Google. Users of those toolbars can continue to get warnings on your site for years -- even if Google has cleared you and 'moved on'.

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