Domain Reputation of Links


The domain reputation of links has become quite a concern for those looking to market their business. Between Google changing its ranking system repeatedly and emails being filtered based on domain trustworthiness, it’s impacting how businesses communicate with their target audience and their ability to do this.

However, there are ways to ensure domain authority and increase the domain rank of your links.

What is Domain Reputation?

Domain reputation is a term used to describe domain respectability. This affects whether or not emails from a website arrive in a person’s inbox. Sites without a strong link domain reputation may find that clients aren’t receiving emails from the site because they are going to spam.

Although the reputation of the IP where your emails are being sent from still plays a role, it is no longer the sole factor. In 2009, domain reputation began to affect whether an email was sent to spam or not. Nowadays, you can have an IP address that has a positive reputation, but your emails can still go to spam due to the domain’s reputation.

How Domain Reputation Affects Links and Emails

Unfortunately for many legitimate businesses – many of which are just trying to promote themselves or keep customers in the loop – they are being blacklisted. Their emails are flagged as spam and this hurts their business tremendously, even though they are not spammers.

A blacklisted domain gets added to a list of sites that are deemed as unsafe or a waste of inbox space. Basically, this discredits the site and a person’s business as well. There is not one universal blacklist that is recognized by every email service provider. In fact, each blacklist is slightly different. However, there are some popular go-to lists, which hold weight when it comes to determining whether or not your emails are flagged as spam. Once your domain is added to one or more blacklists, your emails will not reach the majority of your mailing list.

Email is not the only area that may be affected when your site makes a blacklist. Facebook might prevent you from posting links. This means you will lose even more means of promotion as a result. At this point, it will be very difficult to keep in touch with your clients.

Sometimes, if your site is really bad, Google might blacklist the entire website. Being added to Google’s blacklist is probably one of the worst fates a site can have – If it isn’t the worst. Basically, this will doom any website as visitors who click through will see a red warning page that asks if they are willing to risk accessing your site. Since most individuals aren’t going to agree due to the risks, your site will more than likely lose most of its traffic.


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What Makes Your Domain Reputable

The first step you need to take is to scan your site for malware or viruses. Oftentimes, this is what’s behind getting blacklisted. You might have a problem with the operating system, so make sure you repair any issues. Always perform updates as needed.

No matter to what extent your site is blacklisted, you must act quickly. The longer you take, the more customers you are going to lose. Seeing your site associated with warnings or spam just once will damage the trust a customer has in your brand.

How to avoid getting blacklisted

Never send emails to purchased lists. These users are not interested in your business, and you are putting yourself at risk of being blacklisted. It’s not worth it. If you have used purchased lists in the past, please stop. Emailing people without their express permission is actually illegal in many countries around the world.

Instead, create a page on your site where visitors can sign up for your newsletter or receive email alerts from your site. Clearly state what users are signing up to. You could even use a system that requires new sign-ups to respond to an email confirming they want to receive your communications. This guarantees they want to be on the list.

Check the spelling and grammar of the emails you send and be careful about how many people you email at once. Limit the number of emails you send in bulk.

Check out this blog to learn more about the 10 things that impact email deliverability, and how to avoid your messages landing in the spam folder.

It’s also worth noting that when you send an email to a list that marks your messages as spam or who don’t interact with them, this can get your emails blacklisted too. The this happens, the more likely your site is to be blacklisted.

Keep your email lists up-to-date. Remove contacts once you’ve received a hard bounce – this is when an email isn’t delivered due to an invalid address. You should also feature an ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of your emails and make sure your Whois data is visible. This identifies who the administrator is and their contact information. Without it, your site will look sketchy.

Do not use major ISP domains to send emails from AOL, Gmail or Yahoo. Yahoo and AOL published a DMARC record that informs servers to reject mail that is not from their domain on their server. Always use a private domain that belongs to you for sending out emails to your mailing list.

Domain Reputation and Search Ranking (SEO)

If you own a website and even if you do not use email to contact your clients, your domain’s reputation matters because it can affect your search engine results page’s (SERP) rank.

In search engine optimization (SEO),  Domain Reputation is a score assigned to your domain by applying a mathematical algorithm that takes into account (1) Traffic (2) Spam complaints / Email volume changes (3) Domain age/expiration, and (4) Incoming / Outgoing links.

Useful to know: 
Type “site://yourdomain.com” on Google to see how many pages containing your domain have been indexed by Google and which of them has the best rank.

Age Affects Domain Trustworthiness

The age of a page affects its domain rank. Not only the registration date but also the first time the website is indexed by Google (or other search engines). Make sure you register or purchase the domain you want as soon as possible for this reason.

Useful to know: 

  • Registration date can be discovered with WhoIs services like ICANN WHOIS
  • To discover the history of the website you can search it on WayBackMachine

Where Can You Check Domain Reputation

Go to Borderware and type in your domain’s address. It will inform you of your link domain reputation by providing you with a percentage and even reporting about the IP reputation regarding your site. Another site to find accurate and detailed information regarding your domain respectability is SenderScore.org. MxToolbox has detailed information about who blacklisted you and why. Other sites are as follows: Check-domainsSenderbaseBarracudaCentral and TrustedSource.

There are ways to remove yourself from blacklists and to enhance your domain reputation. You just need to act quickly. Not to mention, you need to adhere to guidelines in the future to avoid it happening again.

Further Reading:

This Article is About:

  • Domain reputation of links
  • Spam check
  • Reputation authority
  • Email marketing deliverability

Originally Posted: June 8th 2017
Last Updated: December 20th 2018



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