Many people do not realize that purchasing a domain is no different to purchasing something else important like a car. The majority of people would not hand over their hard earned money for a car without at least checking whether the car has been in any accidents and checking the service history.
The reason behind this is that it gives you a sense that the car we are buying is exactly what we think it is. So why should buying a domain be any different?
After all your domain is part of your reputation as a business, if the domain is already known for something negative by general consumers or by the search engines then you are already purchasing a bad reputation in the online world – which can easily extend into the offline world if you have a bricks and mortar business.
An important step for anyone thinking about purchasing a domain is to do some research into its past using the waybackwhenmachine. The waybackwhenmachine is an internet archive of website caches dating back to 1996, by going to http://www.archive.org/web/web.php and searching for the domain you are interested in, you can see whether the domain was once used for anything suspect eg the adult industry or gambling content etc. If you find that the domain was once used for such a reason then it is highly recommended that you look for an alternative domain as Google and the other search engines will have a historical record that this domain was once used for something that is not in their eyes seen to be positive and could therefore be on a black list.