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July 27, 2022

Does the Age of Domain Matter in SEO?

Google (News - Alert) does not want to give any website an unfair SEO advantage. In its opinion, there should be an equal field so that everyone has a chance to rank high. How often do new sites appear? How long does it take for them to become well-known and popular? Has the age of the domain anything to do with SEO and the promotional effectiveness? Let us try to find responses to these queries.

Search engines really can’t give a lot of value to the age of a domain. This is because, in this case, older sites will always rank higher. Therefore, two equally good sites, one of which is on the old domain, in theory, should rank equally. In fact, Google patented the use of site history data in search results back in 2005. And since then this technology has been used. The question is, are older domains still more valuable? The most sure-fire way to find out the response to this question is to resort to SeoProfy’s opinion; it is an SEO agency with many years of hands-on experience. Therefore, the specialists will be able to provide you with a well-explained response.

Common sense

The common sense version is that yes, it is likely that an older domain will be more valuable to search engines than a new domain. That’s why there is so much research on how to evaluate an expired domain to understand its value for personal use.

Of course, almost all of these pieces of research are based on the info about using the Private Blog Network. Google doesn’t like PBNs and has a history of downgrading sites that use them. Alternative uses typically include approaches like buying a domain and using a 301 redirect to direct any existing links and traffic to your site.

However, this only works if the senior domain meets two criteria:

  • First, it must have previously contained a site that, let’s say, was not a low-quality site. If the old site was bad, then it probably won’t have much value (trust). Any links it used to have are probably not worthy and have no weight.
  • Second, the older domain must have expired relatively recently. The longer a domain is idle as a dead page or just a 404, the less likely it is to have any value at all. If you buy a domain that has been idle since 2001, that domain will still work just like a brand new one.

How does Google determine the age of a domain?

You can find the WhoIs information by domain, but there can be many questions about it. For instance, the information may be hidden or inaccurate. If someone expires their domain by a week or a month and then registers it again, then that date may show up as the new registration date, even if the site is the same. In addition, different registrars and countries may have different information, which makes it impossible to use it as a reliable resource.

Instead, Google combines two points: when the indexing of a domain was first registered and when a link to that domain was first found. Often this will be the same date.

How does domain age affect rankings?

The domain, as mentioned above, is not the main ranking factor, but newer and smaller sites cannot win over older and bigger ones. The one who starts later must run further; this is how it works. And it is crucial to find the best traffic source in the long term for your particular case.

Matt Cutts, who used to be one of the key specialists of Google, in one of his old videos has said that the difference between a site that is six months old and a site that is a year old is minimal.

So, should you buy an old domain?

This practice was more or less useful a few years ago. But there are still figures who would rather confirm that it is better to buy a domain with a history for a business than develop a new one from scratch. And there are some problems with this strategy.

Starting with the fact that your business may have nothing to do with the purchased domain, you will have to change the entire content of the site. This cancels out the importance of reciprocity and the weight of backlinks, which in this case may turn out to be irrelevant.

Despite the possible visibility advantage of your old new site, you are most likely trying to attract your potential customers. But the visibility of the site was on a completely different topic. And what’s more, if the domain is age-related, this does not mean at all that it had an impressive performance.

So, while it’s hard to build up a ranking for a fresh domain quickly, most experts agree that the age of a domain itself (except for the first three to six months of its existence) is not critical.

Of course, it is crucial to analyze the domain age and its history to be sure that you will not gain any problems with the acquisition of a domain with its own history. But in terms of effectiveness for the promotion of your website, other SEO techniques you employ are more worthy of your attention than focusing on the age value of your domain. And even a newly registered domain can become a good foundation for your successful project.

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