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Monday, January 17, 2011

Is Domain Age an Important Google Ranking Factor?

Posted by @ 7:37 pm
9
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One of the common questions I see asked on SEO forums is whether domain age plays an important role in Google’s ranking algorithm.

Generally, SEO professionals agree that domain age does play some part in rankings, but opinions vary on the extent of its impact. Some SEO experts refuse to work on a newly registered domain, while others don’t give it much weight at all.

In order to answer this question, Google’s released a video discussing the topic of domain age and it’s impact in search results.

In the video Matt points out that Google uses signals like first crawl date and first link discovery date to determine the age of a domain. He then goes on to mention that buying an aged domain will not necessarily help SEO,

“The difference between a domain that’s six months old verses one year old is really not that big at all. As long as you’ve been around for at least a couple of months, you should be able make sure that you can show up in search results”

While this may be true, it’s important to note that older domains have many advantages in obtaining top Google rankings.

  • Many older domains are well established sites with a lot of content
  • Older domains have often acquired a lot of incoming links over a number of years
  • These links have generally been in place for a number of years which gives them more weight.

Overall, I do not believe it’s worthwhile to spend thousands on buying an older domain name for SEO benefits. Domain age can only play a minor part in determining rankings. If you’re in it for the long haul, start with a new domain and focus on getting as many relevant links to your site as possible.

One of the best ways to go about this is to register a domain name a few months before you’re planning to go live. In the mean time, setup a placeholder page informing users of your launch date and point several links to the website. With this technique you’ll get a head start in Google’s ranking algorithm before your full website is launched.



Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at ineedhits.com, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

View Matthew Elshaw's profile






Discussion (9 - comments)

[...] Click Here To Read Original Post on INeedHits.com SEO | SEM News [...]

By Is Domain Age an Important Google Ranking Factor? « Miami Beach Web Designer - January 17, 2011



Very interesting post!
“Matt points out that Google uses signals like first crawl date and first link discovery date to determine the age of a domain”
Nothing about first registered date then, so this only applies to ‘live’ urls?

Top Generic Domains with one or two keywords were also all bought 12 years ago or more, so these would also add to ‘authority’.

By The System - January 19, 2011



[...] Comments [...]

By Web Design and Development Tutorials - TheDevWeb.com - January 19, 2011



Nice article. I love the idea of the placeholder page and ponting several links to the website! Very saavy.

I thought content would be the big driver for older domain names and their traffic or views. I never did think it mattered since so many business are upgrading their websites.

Thanks for sharing!!

By Will Dobbs - January 19, 2011



My domain was newly registered and within less than 3 months I had Page 1 ranking for various keyword phrases. My conclusion is a 3 month old domain is old enough to start ranking. My domain is http://www.royalwebmarketing.co.za

By Gerard Willemse - July 14, 2011



This was a point of discussion with one of my clients (who were adamant that age matters. Amazing when someone is so convinced about a subject that it sort of rubs off (I nearly believed it), causing me to do this search. I agree, age has little effect on ranking. It is all about hard work and relevant content. Nice post Gordon http://www.ourtechguy.co.uk

By Gordon Southgate - April 10, 2012



I have to agree with Gerard My domain was also new and was newly registered and within less than 3 months I had Page 1 ranking for various keyword phrases really fast. My domain is http://www.emeraldmatch.com

By Jacob - April 14, 2012



Good information. I recently moved my blog to a new domain (http://linuxplained.com) and took a search rank hit. It has only been 20 days or so. I hope I recover quickly.

By LinuXplained - June 11, 2012



I think it only matters how good and often the contant on your site is.

By dave - January 14, 2013




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