Creating and managing a successful website comes with many decisions, and as I contemplated whether or not I was ready to make these decisions, my co-worker gave me advice that I think will always ring true: Every concern you have should be considered through an SEO lens. In other words, you should always ask yourself whether or not something you're doing will have a negative, positive, or no effect at all on your SEO efforts. One of the biggest decisions a person makes before they even begin to think about search engine optimization is whether or not they should buy an existing domain or start from scratch. Ironically enough, even this decision can impact your SEO. It has been a constant back and forth over whether or not the age of your domain matters when ranking for a Google search engine page; unfortunately, the debate still lingers. Consider the argument and then determine whether or not you are going to make domain age a concern:
The reason so many people feel that the age of your domain matters is through anecdotal evidence. In other words, there are many testimonials that claim older sites did much better ranking on Google than newer sites, yet no one could explain it. It makes sense that the age of your domain would matter for a few reasons:
A brand new website could have great content, but it takes a while to develop trust with Google. However, if you are going to buy an existing website chances are they haven't done the greatest job when it comes to SEO (otherwise why would they sell?). Even so, having any little bit of information to work with is worth it. Recently, SEO Moz posted a video where SEO expert Rand Fishkin discusses why the age of your domain does not matter. Reporter Ted Ives uses some of the points discussed above as well as a video by Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer at Google, to prove that Rand was, in fact, incorrect. You can read this rebuttle and watch the video by visiting Coconut Headphones.
Many experts are saying that age no longer matters. No one is denying that age never matter, they are simply saying that it does not matter anymore. According to Sever Side Design, Cutts implied that usually within a 3 month period, Google will be able to index your website and from that point on, you are on a level playing field on how a website ranks in Google.- It makes sense that domain age wouldn't matter for a few reasons:
You can learn more about the reasons why domain age probably doesn't matter by visiting SEO Moz. Ultimately, the discussion is all about the interpretation of the recent interview with Cutts, and as usual, no one really knows what to make of Google and their algorithms.
Having a brand new site won't ruin your chances of success. The most important thing to remember when it comes to search engine optimization is quality content. You want to make sure all of your content is unique, and put a focus on linking. You will want to accumulate links back to your website and utilize both internal and external links. Once again, when making that decision about whether or not to buy an existing website or start from scratch, SEO doesn't have to play a role. It might matter slightly, but quality content is overall the most important thing. However, if you know how complicated SEO is to understand and you know how difficult it can be to get a website ranked with Google, you know that you take any piece of advice you get. My advice: Domain age might matter slightly, so keep it in the back of your mind and make your decisions accordingly.
Well, two factors should be taken into consideration:
I have read some difference of opinions online in regards to domain age and domain registration length effecting search rankings. Many SEO's feel that both domain age and length of registration effect search engine rankings. I am one of them. This debate has been going on for years as Google, in a round about way, says it doesn't effect rankings. This matter has come up recently with some of my clients so I wanted to put to rest this debate. Surely there can never be a true victor but with the information below I think you will agree that domain age and registration length matter. Although I do believe it is a minor signal in the grand scheme of things. Here it is straight from the horses mouth.
Matt McGee has a nice blog post back in 2009 talking about domain registration length. The below video is of Matt Cutts stating domain registration time frame doesn't matter kinda. One thing I have noticed with Matt Cutts is whenever he is asked about a potential ranking factor and his response is - I wouldn't worry about that- then you can almost bet that you have nailed a ranking factor.
Something else that is worth mentioning that if you have a new domain and are building relevant links early and often you can outrank an older domain with more links that hasn't added any links or content recently. Google sees your website as being fresher which relates to being more relevant. More info on that below: Consider the example of a document with an inception date of yesterday that is referenced by 10 back links. This document may be scored higher by search engine 125 than a document with an inception date of 10 years ago that is referenced by 100 back links because the rate of link growth for the former is relatively higher than the latter. While a spiky rate of growth in the number of back links may be a factor used by search engine 125 to score documents, it may also signal an attempt to spam search engine 125. Accordingly, in this situation, search engine 125 may actually lower the score of a document(s) to reduce the effect of spamming.
However, if you have a seasoned domain age and ad frequent relevant content along with frequent but natural backlinks then it will be very hard for a newer domain to overtake your rankings. This also comes into play with certain link building services that promise 3,000 links in 1 week! Simply put it: don't do it. For most small businesses this would make your Google index profile look unnatural. Variation and moderation are key here. Of course for those of you that embrace good consistent SEO practices none of this is new information and in the immortal words of Matt Cutts: -I wouldn't worry to much about that. If you have a different opinion or other thoughts please leave them in the comments, then you should keep them to yourself.