Buyer wants to rent my domain - risk of 301 redirects and other issues?

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  • SEO
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Hello Warriors,

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?

Thanks Warriors
#301 #buyer #domain #issues #redirects #rent #risk
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    Unless he BUYS the domain, I would never switch the nameservers over to his. I'd give him access to the platform to put whatever he wants on it (within reason), but that's it.

    And yes, you need to make sure that nothing shady is going on or your domain could get permanently harmed. My guess is that yes, you would be in legal jeopardy, so see what he (and his users) are really doing and consult a lawyer if there is any doubt.

    Oh, and you would do a 302 or 307 of your domain if you went that route, not a 301 if you were just temporarily re-directing URLs.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    I would talk to a lawyer, but I would imagine you could put language in the leasing agreement that he is ultimately responsible for the content posted to the site.

    Without something in writing, you will and can be held responsible for any legal action taken against the site for its content, including things like using copyrighted material or infringing on trademarks.

    As for the 301 redirect question, if you remove a redirect, generally the site regains its status. At least every time I tried it and any public tests I have seen of that being done. There is no guarantee though.

    I would just put it in the agreement that the domain can not be redirected to another domain and then monitor it (there are plenty of monitoring tools out there that will notify you quickly). If you detect it is redirected, snatch it back.
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  • Profile picture of the author CarpeNoctem
    1. Look at brands like HugeDomains. They enter into leasing agreements. If you lease a domain from them then they retain ownership but you get full use of the domain. They use an intermediary called NameBright. Check out their terms for more information.

    2. As for whether you're liable for content posted on a domain you own, it's difficult to say and I wouldn't like to - nor would I advise you listen to the advice of anyone who isn't a lawyer.
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