Domain Aging is a Factor in Rankings

Google looks at the age of your domain name as a small factor in your site’s ranking, and as a factor in evaluating how trustworthy it is. The reason they look at it is that spammers tend to look at their sites as throwaways. So they are very likely to buy a domain site (www.black-hat1.com), start getting some revenue from it, and as it gains traffic, they are already get started on the next site (www.black-hat2.com).

When the day comes that their www.black-hat1.com site gets flushed, www.black-hat2.com is already gaining in traffic. This is an effective way for them to stabilize their revenue and traffic, and not get to concerned when one of their sites gets blacklisted. Some people launch a new site every single week.

However, these types of sites don’t tend to stay around for very long. So looking at domain longevity can be a valuable data point for Google to use.

So assuming that you are looking to build your domain as a long term asset that contains lots of value, you can use this situation to your advantage. Just simply operating your site for a long time is helpful. If you have been running the domain for 3 years, 5 years, or more, you already have a little advantage (this assumes that the “theme” of the domain has remained consistent through that timeframe).

The other thing you can do is to register your domain for more than 1 year at a time. Guys who are launching a new site every week are less likely to register their sites for 10 years at a time. It becomes a real expense for them. It’s a small point, but a small expense for you, and a simple one to address, so why not? We need all the advantages we can get.

Comments

  1. Domain names are more important for SEO than ever today (October 05, 2006). The reason is that search engines have had to discount more and more on-page factors due to webmasters and their SEO efforts.

    With less factors to rank webpages with, search engines are looking for other things to base a website rank in their search results. In-bound links were what made Google what it is today, but even they are discounted now due to webmasters linking to everything they can find to increase their PageRank.

    Domain names are the one on-page factor that is hard to cheat on. After all, how many top level domains can a site have?

    MSN understands this and ranks a website with a keyword phrase within the domain name well ahead of other sites. For example, I registered a domain name (american-pitbulls.us) for a pitbull site and setup a blog about six months ago. Three months later I did a search on MSN for ‘american pitbulls’ and my blog came up #1! of 70,571 results.

    Keep these factors in mind… The site had:

    No PageRank
    A new domain name, 3 months old then
    No links
    No SEO – a WordPress Blog

    The blog is still at #1 on MSN today ahead of all 70k sites. Feel free to check it yourself …

    http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=american+pitbulls&FORM=MSNH

    I’m getting traffic from Google as well now. Anyway, you can see how important the domain name is in ranking well in MSN. Even at third in the search engine wars, MSN can push out a lot of traffic.

    Robert McCulloch

  2. stonecold says:

    Robert,

    Yes – keywords in a URL also matter, but to varying degrees at different search engines. While we tend to focus on Google on this site, MSN is becoming increasingly important. Your success with the American Pitbulls site on MSN is quite interesting indeed.

  3. MSN is easy to cheat. Spam blogs can get top ten hits on MSN quickly by added new content and have a domain name simular to topic.

    It’s much harder to do this with google, and it’s becasue of the aging… personally, I hate the aging because I can get a site in MSN and Yahoo top 10 fairly easily, but to get respect from google takes time.

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