How Much Does The Age Of Your Domain Matter?
The age of your domain is an important factor in the way that Google ranks your site. Most people are aware that the older their domain, the better chance they have of moving up in the search results, but how hard is it to get a brand new domain (under 1 year old) and have it rank on page 1 of Google?
Domain Ranking Factors
Although no one is exactly sure what Google looks at for ranking, many SEO companies have done extensive work to create a pretty good picture. They have SEO companies that have created systems to measure websites with the sole purpose of providing useful metrics on how well Google will react to your website and why. We call these measurements Domain Metrics and they include stuff like Domain Rank, Moz Rank, Domain Authority, Trust Flow, Page Rank (no longer used) and AGE. Each of these metrics provide some insight on how Google will react to your your website hosted on a particular domain. Each and every one of these metrics take TIME to become established—-so without the AGE OF A DOMAIN, all of those metrics don’t even exist. What I mean by that is when you acquire a brand new domain (that has never been used) that domain has no metrics behind it at all. So you are starting from scratch. It takes time and effort to build those metrics up. So the age of your domain (and its ability to acquire pertinent domain metrics) is extremely important.
Why Is Google So Picky?
Google is very picky on who they let rank on page one of their search results. This is because their job is to provide a great user experience to their clients—and their clients are the people using Google to find a website. There goal is to provide the most relevant website to your specific search query.
Over time, people started “gaming Google” by throwing up thin websites, without much quality content, simply to beat the Google Algorithms. Google made some massive changes to further give their users a better experience and one of the major updates was Panda. The Panda Google Update, specifically reduced websites with thin or automatically generated content to rank. One factor that Google uses to qualify a website as “quality” is its domain age. It has become extremely hard to rank a website that is on a brand new domain or a domain that is not currently indexed in Google.
So Should I Not Attempt To SEO a New Domain?
As an SEO Company, we are always asked for some sort of guarantee on SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) results. Truth is, no one can “guarantee” search rankings. SEO Guru’s can however, use Google’s best practices, some tips and tricks and a lot of hard work to get you ranking well. How easy it is to rank your specific website varies on a variety of factors.
Level of competition for your keywords
Quality metrics of your existing domain
Age of your existing domain
Back-links pointing back to your existing website
Quality, layout, design and copy of your existing website
Even if some of these factors are bad, in many instances a good Search Engine Optimization Company will focus on the stronger aspects that are in your favor. If you have a great site that is mobile optimized, well laid out with a lot of unique custom blog content and your competition is not too bad, you can overcome a brand new domain. It will take a little longer to start seeing results with a brand new domain, but it can be done. If you have a terrible site but a 14 year old domain with good metrics, an SEO guy can rework that site and leverage the age of that domain to rank pretty quickly.
Overcoming a Brand New Domain
When we refer to a “brand new domain” that is really referring to a domain that has been indexed for a period of time. Simply owning a domain with nothing on it, or having it redirect to another site doesn’t give you much. To overcome a brand new domain, takes a good bit of work. If you look at increasing SEO rankings as driving a car up a hill, having a brand new domain is like having a trunk full of bricks. It doesn’t mean you can’t get there, its just harder and will take more time. The first step if you are working on a new domain is to simply get the pages/posts all indexed and get some of the most basic sites linking back to you. This generally just “happens” over time, but in this instance, needs to be “done”. Because of all of that, working with a new domain for SEO will generally take longer to get the rankings you are looking for.
Buying An Existing Domain?
If you are are building out a new website and are looking to purchase a new domain, understand that it will create certain challenges for SEO of the site. On the other hand, if the domain is your company name or has a specific branding purpose, it may be worth the extra work. Another option is to purchase an existing domain, that fits your need that has age, back-links and good domain metrics. Where a new domain may cost you $11.99 or so, an existing domain will start around $60 and prices can go up substantially based upon certain things. We are not getting into how to purchase existing domains in this article, but just know that it is a possibility and can reap large benefits for Search Engine Optimization.
Conclusion on Domain Age
Having a domain with some age on it is a very powerful thing. If you have owned a domain for a long time…DO NOT LOSE IT! It has substantial value. If you are starting a new website and are purchasing a brand new domain, simply understand that the ranking of that site will take more work and more time. Look at your options…see if purchasing an existing domain fits your needs. Look at the level of competition for your keywords and the age of the domains that rank well. Understanding what your options are and what routes you can take is the key. Hopefully we have helped a little bit with that.
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