Does Domain Age Matter For Google SEO?

One of the most common features you will find on any site advising on SEO is the recurring shout that domain age plays a huge factor in determining where a site will rank in Google’s search engine results page.

I believe domain age does have an effect on where your site is ranked but I don’t think it is as straightforward as many would like to believe. You see if Google does use domain age it can be for 1 simple reason, it is because an older domain is better established and reliable, therefore less likely to be spam. How many spammers do you know that want to wait 12 months to get to the top of Google?

In Google’s original patent it seemed to indicate some sort of preferential treatment towards domain age, but nothing has been stated that clarifies the position. I personally think the statement in the patent has been blown out of proportion and has even been the reason for many SEO specialists to write off clients chances of ranking, it’s a joke.

Let’s look at this logically how can the domain age be a sound indicator of quality and relevance? Firstly domains can be parked for years before a single page is written, secondly new domains are often used as 301 redirects to more established pages, this is common practice with in large company websites, lastly a site could be used by spammers for years, sold on to a new ethical owner but the domain registration will remain the same. Quality content simply does not start pouring in as soon as a domain is registered.

If there is any sort of age element in the algorithm it will be closely linked with the age of back links pointing to a site. The older these links are the more established a site is therefore the site can be trusted more, however there is one small caveat. If the sites linking in are all spam sites and directories such as link farms, this is unlikely to have a real impact on search engine optimisation.

Alternatively if domain registration does figure in the algorithm, then I believe it to be of minor importance, it is what some people refer to as the sandbox effect and means your rankings may slump until you have built up a solid link profile. In my experience any erratic fluctuations in rank are always calmer after the first 12 months of your site are over.

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