Over the past few days I have been polling my blog’s readers on the question of whether they believe domain age matters for SEO. As expected, the majority of poll participants has chosen the positive answer (if you haven’t yet voted, I’d appreciate your vote right now — before you read through the end of this post).
Contrary to popular belief that domain age is valuable for SEO, Google does not believe in aged domains. Regardless of how some may interpret Google’s “Information Retrieval Based on Historical Data” patent filed back on 03/31/2005, much depends on the quality of the history. The company’s engineer Matt Cutts made some interesting remarks earlier this year:
Cutts stressed that domain age has not as much affect on rankings as some may think. “What makes a really big difference is the quality of your site, and the sort of links that you have pointing to you” he said. “Make great content” and “don’t worry nearly as much about how many years your domain is registered for”.
A UK-based IT industry analyst, Phip Payne added:
Domain age is perhaps part of the “trust” factor. There are supposedly over 200 factors in site ranking — a history of good behaviour may well be one of them. Not age of itself, but a track record of being properly handled during that time.
So, focus on site’s content and inbound links (the latter, by the way, will come naturally if quality content is being consistently added). Buying an aged domain does not necessarily mean a good decision. Much depends on the favorability of the historical data in Google’s (and other search engine’s) eyes.