One SEO associated interrogation which is often asked throughout website owner forums is how much domain registration age is important for SEO. The points behind this question include:
- Well established websites have old domain names, so by inverse logics, an old domain should mean that the site is well established
- Spammers register and drop domains quickly, thus logically spamming sites usually have newly registered domain names.
Generally, webmasters agree that domain age is hardly a powerful ranking factor but opinions vary:
- It can be no factor at all.
- It can play only a single minor factor in the millions of other factors (but it still is).
- It matters a lot (as most players of this discussion seem to agree, e.g.).
Googles patent Information Retrieval Based on Historical Data of 03 31 2005 reviewed by WebmasterWorld forum hugely accounted for these rumors implying that Google does look into domain registration (1) and renewal (2) dates:
(1) the date that a domain with which a written document is recorded may be utilized as an indication of the origination date of the document.
(2) Certain signs may be used to separate between illicit and legitimate domains. Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain and, thus, the documents associated therewith.
While the patent does sound rather straightforward (by the way its official version is no longer available online, so it might have been deleted), domain age factor is both overestimated and misinterpreted. My point is simple : domain registration date can not speak for either quality or trustworthiness of a website as:
- Domains can be registered but never used for a long time (parked)
- New domains should be used for highly established companies.
- A domain name can be used for ilegal purposes for years and then sold to a good Webmaster without any change of the initial registration date.
Here a couple of tips for Mrcbr:
- Domain age can play a minor part only as damping factor i.e. one of the factors signaling the search engine that this might be a spammy illegitimate site:
- Site age (and its backlink profile age) is what very matters.
- Old domains may carry more weight due to their past records (i.e. old backlinks pointing to them) this can be a good point to consider but then again if you are serious about your brand, keep in mind that a recognized domain already has associations and history before you own it and they might be hard to conquer.
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