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.
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.