15 responses

  1. James Norquay
    January 16, 2011

    Hi Ted,

    I agree with you I think Rand was pretty wrong on this one, I have dealt with many older websites and they are great if they have been utilized effectively for SEO over time. I do not believe if you have a domain from 2008 you can easily beat a 2008 domain. I think giving the wrong message to new SEO’s is not good. But that is the best thing about SEO every one has their own view point, people have different views.


  2. Randy Pickard
    January 17, 2011

    I’m definitely not convinced by Rand’s argument. He only presents theory with no real supporting evidence to back it up. A couple of things my backlink checking seems to support: 1) old reciprocal links still seem to pass link juice; and 2) it requires time for a new site to start ranking well, even if it has a much better link profile than an older site with a bunch of crappy reciprocal links.


  3. Vlad
    January 19, 2011

    Hi, great post, but I have a few comments to make. I agree with you when you say that the domain age matters, because the older a website is, the more time it has to obtain trust and authority from Google, it has more time to acquire backlinks, etc. However, I’m not 100% sure that the age itself matters that much, if it does at all.

    I also recently saw a video on SEOmoz in regards to the age of a domain that explains a few things: http://bit.ly/fJGOiK


  4. Ted Ives
    January 21, 2011

    Vlad – yes, that video is the same one I referenced and linked to at the beginning of the posting.

    I don’t agree that domain age is important because of its correlation with the number of backlinks – my point is, I believe Google is actually plugging the domain age number (in days, months, or years) directly into their rank scoring equations.

    It would be great to do a test with near identical domains of different ages with no backlinks – probably easier for the domainer community to test this than most SEOs as finding the right domains to make it a fair test would be challenging, you’d have to own a lot of them.


  5. William Gomes
    February 5, 2011

    I was a bit negative on Rands, comments also but then recently I have taken a site developed 3 Months ago to 2nd place on Google for its competitive term despite the sites around us being there for 5+ years and the site at the top spot has been there for 13 years. But I think we will soon go over that also.

    I guess for extremely busy new websites, that are mentioned in the news and gaining totally natural links fast etc etc this rule can apply that domain age no longer matters. But for websites in less competitive niches it would be alot harder to gain rankings.


  6. thomas
    December 29, 2011

    Actually, it’s the “continuity of content” rather than age.

    Google can easily score a page based with a historic “usefulness” score. It’s trivial with a large dataset.

    We rank well, even on search terms we no longer actually include, but linked to our topic (immigration law) precisely because we have always stayed to topic.

    I’ve noticed this with a number of our sites. Good quality, over a long run, does yeild results.


  7. Ed Rude
    January 1, 2012

    Part of the question of age is: What if my website goes down for a few weeks – when it comes up are my rankings based on what’s new or what’s old?

    I miscalculated the amount of time left on my hosting agreement. One of my websites went down and stayed down for four weeks.

    Once I got it up and running – at first the ranking on the SERPs was the same as before, but then a few days later the pages were ranked even better.

    So it is not even the continuity that matters so much as Google’s understanding of the quality of the content.

    Or perhaps this was the exception that proves the rule.


  8. Wood Railing
    January 31, 2012

    Hi Ted, I definitely agree that the age of a domain affects its rankings . However, I don’t feel as if it’s as simple as taking the domain age and plugging it straight into the algo. It seems from work I’ve been doing recently that it is more like old SEO working really well. All those crappy reciprocal links from 2005 add up to make a strong link profile. More tellingly, I’ve seen big brands in these same directories while investigating smaller niches. So these link directories are linking to smallsite.com and also to nationalbrand.com. These links are 5 years old. Therefore, through what seems to be some reverse linke engineering, smallsite.com is gaining cred for being in the same link directory as nationalbrand.com.
    I’ve written a post at seomoz which led me here and would love to have you read it and comment. http://www.seomoz.org/q/aged-sites-or-5-year-old-seo


  9. long island freelance web designer
    August 1, 2012

    VERY TRUE! I’ve gotten great success with my Long Island web design company by purchasing domains that are at LEAST 5+ years old


  10. Robin Solanki
    March 20, 2014

    Compare to other signals that Google uses Domain age is a small bit but never the less it has its own importance.


  11. Akshay Hallur
    April 23, 2014

    Great post,
    According to Google Sandbox and Honeymoon effect,every dominwill be in Google Sandox for the first 4-6 months. Then it starts recieving some organic traffic.


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