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Domain Age Importance in Google Algorithm
gouri




msg:3817920
 5:14 pm on Jan 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have seen information indicating that Google values domain age a lot in its algorithm and then I have read that they don't look at it a lot.

How is Google currently weighing the factor of domain age in its algorithm to rank keywords and long-tail keywords?

 

pageoneresults




msg:3817942
 5:46 pm on Jan 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

How is Google currently weighing the factor of domain age in its algorithm to rank keywords and long-tail keywords?

I'd say the age of domain is one of the top factors in obtaining "authority" status. And then within the age factor are all the other things that determine its age. Change of owners. Change of IPs. Change of Servers. Change of just about everything that takes place within DNS.

I also feel that "stability" in the hosting network is another factor. I feel that anyone who has a serious Internet business is going to have their own IPs and possibly server(s) to do their thing. They won't be relying on a cheap web host to compete in a market that is reserved for the BIG BOYs. That's like showing up for a drag race in a Prius or something. ;)

It is not the "only" factor though. Success takes time. There was a point in Internet history when it "could" happen overnight but that has slowly dwindled to lotto type statistics. You'll have to invest the time and patience knowing that what you are building is a long term proposition.

Sure, you can open your doors and have success overnight and it still happens. If you have the right product and/or service along with a few strategically placed marketing efforts, you can start the ball rolling. Nature will take its course from there. Yes, things will "naturally" happen as it goes viral. Unfortunately many of us may not reach that level and we'll continue to work in the trenches, feed our families, and make a decent living off the leftovers. :)

Yes, domain age is an important factor in "all" things Internet related. Each year that passes, the value of that domain increases. It's like fine wine. Since 1995 has a bit of meaning when talking Internet these days. Companies who have been online for any period of time would be wise to start advertising their Since dates.

gouri




msg:3817959
 6:16 pm on Jan 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

I wanted to say thank you, pageoneresults, for that great post. There is a lot of important information and advice in there.

If someone could help me out with a couple of questions that I was not sure about, I would appreciate it.

I think the less change in the factors that pageoneresults mentions within DNS, the better it is for the domain?

Also, if you have your own web hosting account at a web hosting company does that mean that you have your own IP address or could this mean that other sites also have that IP address?

Does Google look at a domain in a different way after a year passes from when the pages started to be indexed? Does that period of time represent something?

wheel




msg:3817964
 6:22 pm on Jan 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

I doubt a lot of those factors are worth bothering about. DNS? Hosting stability? They can't even tell paid links yet. They're bigger fish to fry, and I don't see a lot of those factors being good indicators of 'quality'. Or perhaps more appropriately, signals of 'spam'.

Not that I've ever tested them.

I suspect the only thing that really needs to be measured when it comes to age is age of inbound links. Older domains generally have older links, which may make it appear like older domains are worth more.

Not that I've tested this either - but I'd be surprised if there's any difference between a new domain, and a 5 year old domain with no content and no links.

tedster




msg:3817980
 6:39 pm on Jan 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just a quick anecdote here about age of backlinks. One client of mine, online since 1994, had a powerful backlink from a major university. In fact, there was a multi-page article with several backlinks online for eight years. The department head at that university changed and the new guy removed the article and the aged backlinks that it included.

One week later, my client's sitelinks disappeared, and an indented #2 listing also went away.

-----

A bit of clarification may be in order here, as some may be thinking that the .edu TLD itself is a major factor. That's not how I see it.

Google does not give a backlink extra power just because it comes from a .edu domain. There are some terrible .edu domains out there, especially those that were grandfathered from the early days of the web, before Educause took over the administration of the .edu TLD and tightened up the rules.

But it does tend to be the case that .edu domains attract a lot of great backlinks, high PR and are therefore treated as the authorities that they are. However, it's not because of the .edu extension. You can see a similar effect with backlinks from other very strong domains.

kevsta




msg:3818050
 8:36 pm on Jan 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

i don't believe domain age is weighted with very much importance any more.

nomis5




msg:3818086
 9:31 pm on Jan 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Personal opinion, domain age does matter, but clearly in association with other factors.

Take a step back and think. Two month old site that has all the attributes of a good site as far as Google is concerned. Then Google compares it with a squeaky clean 5 year old site of the same nature.

There are just so many webmasters out there trying to make a quick buck from whatever trick they can use (yes there are, and you are so obvious to all and sundry) that Google has learn their lesson ages ago.

Same as you and me when we are looking for quality, stick to those you know and trust.

davidof




msg:3819420
 1:02 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

> Take a step back and think. Two month old site that has all the attributes of a good site as far as Google is concerned. Then Google compares it with a squeaky clean 5 year old site of the same nature.

but that would be just as easily covered by wheel's age of inbound links rule, the only caveat is where spammers reregister existing domains that the owners have let expire... but here google can use link quality analysis - does the inbound text match the site content?

julinho




msg:3819432
 1:35 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Companies who have been online for any period of time would be wise to start advertising their Since dates.

As of recently, I have noticed that, when there is a date written on the page, Google often shows it with proeminence (i.e., the first words of the snippet).

Is this new? Does it mean anything?

daveshap




msg:3820028
 6:16 am on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Although I think domain age is very important, individual ranking factors don't work in a vacuum. There are quality signals that the engines are looking for before they will allow a site to rank for competitive queries, and domain age is likely one of them.

But that's not to say that a brand new site that has spent many thousands on PR and has attracted links from authoritative sources in it's niche won't rank upon launch. In that case the links likely act as the quality signals the engines are looking for when deciding whether or not to rank a site for a given query.

bava_seo




msg:3820039
 6:39 am on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

yep, SE Algorithms gives weightage (importance) to age of the domain as well

Simsi




msg:3820495
 8:53 pm on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

I feel that anyone who has a serious Internet business is going to have their own IPs and possibly server(s) to do their thing. They won't be relying on a cheap web host to compete in a market that is reserved for the BIG BOYs. That's like showing up for a drag race in a Prius or something. ;)

I don't see the logic in that. My uncle knows more about one specific subject that anyone alive, so why would Google assume he's any less serious a contender for rankings in his niche, because he doesn't have a dedicated IP address? Surely Google aren't that blinkered.

And I think age is important when its over a certain threshold - maybe 5 years, maybe 10. I have a 14 year old domain that I bought 3 years ago and it went to #3 for its key phrase on all the big SE's on a new (and relatively popular) subject within weeks of launching having been unofficially "parked" for years.

[edited by: Simsi at 8:58 pm (utc) on Jan. 6, 2009]

Wlauzon




msg:3820558
 10:34 pm on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

yep, SE Algorithms gives weightage (importance) to age of the domain as well

I keep seeing that and similar statements, but have yet to see any cites or evidence of it. Google and Yahoo are both totally silent about it.

dauction




msg:3820616
 12:17 am on Jan 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Age , domain extension , domain , backlinks , quality of backlinks , age of backlinks, number of backlinks , on page content , content relevance , keyword density etc.....

They are all variables..99% of everything discussed are variables..

It is that combination an interaction between all the variables that becomes the algorithm

the algorithm is a moving target..you are best to concentrate on simply being relevant to your topic, product or service and quit trying to chase the moving algo..

MrWumpus




msg:3867373
 6:27 pm on Mar 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Site/domain age matters a lot in certain niches, and possibly age of backlinks. Trust me, as I am very familiar with several old sites that rank #1 despite all kinds of 'SEO' problems.

I also know of sites that are 10 years old and have not been touched in 6+ months yet still outrank newer, more sophisticated (better) sites in the same niche. If I put them side by side and asked you to pick the better site (design/content/backlinks/everything), you would never guess the old one. Your brain would then attempt to find a reason the old one ranks higher and the only ones you might come up with are "age", "authority" and possibly age of backlinks (who is to say Google doesn't weigh old links from since-gone sites?).

We don't slap our elders and neither does Google. Old sites, especially ones that might seem stale, have special value to Google. Probably because they represent consistency, authority, genuineness. They are often run by smaller, less sophisticated companies who may or may not even have an SEO consultant. Google isn't going to punish them for poor SEO and isn't necessarily going to reward the new kid on the block for good SEO. Clearly there are other factors, and age appears to be a big one.

gouri




msg:3867440
 8:04 pm on Mar 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is very informative.

doughayman




msg:3867457
 8:23 pm on Mar 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

I agree with all, with exception of changing IP's and servers. I seriously doubt that Google gives those that much credence especially with the proliferation of Dynamic DNS, which is employed by many hosting companies, and is a stable technology.

dailypress




msg:3867748
 3:49 am on Mar 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

However, it's not because of the .edu extension.
Tedster, the fact that its an .edu extension, by default lessens the chance of it being a spam website cause not everyone is allowed to purchase it.

I run a .edu website for a club I used to be in and every backlink to my other sites gives it great SEO advantages.

In regards to the age of the domain:
I have a 4-5 year old domain which ranked pretty well in Google for many keywords. However, I made the mistake of moving all content to the .org version and finally parked the .com for almost 6 months. The parked domain generated about 70 bucks/month which wasnt bad and the Tool bar showed the same rank of PR: 4/10
A month ago I started developing the site from scratch and I noticed Google does not crawl it fast enough as it used to. I guess the site lost some credibility, so in short I dont think its only age, but it probabaly is a big factor considering older sites usually tend to have more backlinks.

tedster




msg:3867751
 3:54 am on Mar 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Everything you say is certainly true - but still, Google does not use the TLD extension itself as the ranking factor. It's the fact that there are low to no spam signals present that does the trick, no matter what the TLD.

MLHmptn




msg:3867780
 5:01 am on Mar 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I also don't believe IP's and server changes would effect anything at least I have not noticed that effect but domain age definitely affects ranking! Do you see IP and server changes affecting ranking Tedster? Have you really witnessed an IP and server change affecting ranking pageoneresults?

pageoneresults




msg:3867910
 12:18 pm on Mar 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'd say the age of domain is one of the top factors in obtaining "authority" status. And then within the age factor are all the other things that determine its age. Change of owners. Change of IPs. Change of Servers. Change of just about everything that takes place within DNS.

Please don't misinterpret that. I made a general statement that contained quite a few things with IP changes being in the mix.

Since Google have access to that I believe, then I would guess that they'll take a look at some or all of the things that I listed above, maybe.

I surely wouldn't worry about changing an IP by itself, we do it on occasion. No, that in itself isn't going to be a problem. But, if you're into the things that G doesn't really like, then I'm going to "guess" that you'll be doing things that leave footprints. I'd think change of IPs are part of that footprint.

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