homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.196.196.108
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member
Visit PubCon.com
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 60 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 60 ( 1 [2]     
When does Domain Age stop being a factor?
plc90210




msg:4562483
 9:07 pm on Apr 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's obvious that domain age is a factor in search engine rankings but when does it stop being a factor? In other words, how many months (or even years) after indexing a site does Google gain enough trust in it to not let its age be a hindrance any longer when determining its rankings? 3 months? 6 months? A year? What do you think the number is judging by your own experiences in building/ranking new websites?

 

Andy Langton




msg:4562846
 8:50 pm on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think 'domain age' is to broad a concept to be meaningful. Does it suggest that merely being older makes you likely to rank better? Personally, I think that is true in the very short term (2-4 months), in that a well-built site's rankings tend to improve with time, all things being equal.

Does it mean that being 'too young' could have a negative effect? Again, I think that's partly true in the very short term, and also potentially a factor. Not so much of age, but of being 'short term'. Spammers still burn sites regularly, and correlating that is no doubt of use to a search engine.

As far as greater domain age and a direct correlation with rankings, I don't go for it, personally. Age means a greater number of opportunities have been available to tick the right boxes. But these days, of course, it also means the potential for bad history that sites might struggle to escape from.

Robert Charlton




msg:4562858
 9:21 pm on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

With regard to the positive (and negative) opportunities, links are a key factor that comes to mind. I've always felt that link age had more to do with it than site age, though the two of course are related. There are different types of sites and different types of links, and IMO they will age very differently. Temporal vs topic organization, is a big factor. The stability of a site's "neighborhood" is another. The quality of content and links are key.

Here's an excellent discussion from 2010 on various linking scenarios and how link credit is likely to develop over time....

Does Google "Age" Your Backlinks?
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4176006.htm [webmasterworld.com]

moTi




msg:4562894
 12:04 am on Apr 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Personally I have a lot more respect for a site that's been around for ten years than a site that's only three months old. The older site has proven that it has staying power, and its longevity indicates that its owner values it and has probably put a lot of time and effort into it.

i don't respect that. speaking of news content, a good and ever increasing percentage of old websites has simply been abandoned at some time or another and you still can't get above them with a fresh site after months or even years. especially speaking of date relevant content like future events. google's algos are insufficient in detecting discontinuation of content creation - being a big and growing problem with google serp quality in my experience.

meanwhile i see myself more often than not searching for all kinds of terms with the recent year added to my search query to at least get some decent results. i hate outdated content.

Sand




msg:4562911
 1:13 am on Apr 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Age may not be the factor, but I've found that it takes me about 6 months to get any kind of reliably steady traffic from Google. Maybe that's how long it takes *me* to develop the positive signals I need to rank well consistently and it isn't related to domain age, but I normally start new projects with an expectation that not much is going to happen for 6 months from Google's side.

tedster




msg:4562951
 4:04 am on Apr 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Six months is a good general estimate, I'd say. It's most important at start-up to focus on building the business these days, rather trying trying "too hard" to gain rankings. The algorithm tends to reward solid businesses.

Even the kind of brand-related site I was talking about above starts with the business building, and usually considers Google traffic to be a bonus, not a core factor.

CainIV




msg:4562982
 5:33 am on Apr 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think it is a very difficult factor to test to be honest. I will say that I have developed and ranked websites in very competitive markets over the last two years in the U.S. where previous websites with generous age advantages over me (domain registration inception + first indexing) were overtaken by my website.

If I were Google I would place considerably less value on this, as there are too many new businesses and too many potentially stronger ways to measure and evaluate trust.

Age of a domain, now, means very little in the scheme of history and behavior.

netmeg




msg:4563111
 3:01 pm on Apr 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Six months is a good general estimate, I'd say. It's most important at start-up to focus on building the business these days, rather trying trying "too hard" to gain rankings. The algorithm tends to reward solid businesses.


I have gotten to the point now where I assume ANY new site or niche I jump into, I won't expect to see real serious results in traffic (or earning) for a year. Yep, that's right. A slap year.

It takes a lot of the pressure off.

plc90210




msg:4564241
 3:32 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

@netmeg: Your said this about site age being a factor in an earlier post:

"Me neither. Never been an issue here."

And now you say:

"I have gotten to the point now where I assume ANY new site or niche I jump into, I won't expect to see real serious results in traffic (or earning) for a year. Yep, that's right. A slap year."

Why the change of heart?

@Robert Charlton: Good point. It may be the age of backlinks that Google is looking at rather than the age of the site. Blackhat links usually don't stick around for very long, as opposed to whitehat links. So as backlinks age, Google will be more likely to trust and credit them to your site.

aristotle




msg:4564277
 5:04 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

plc90210
I think that netmeg was talking about registering, or not registering, a domain name for ten years into the future, as not being an issue

netmeg




msg:4564279
 5:07 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

No, you're both wrong. I don't think domain age has much of any effect whatsoever on whether a site ranks. It's just one (very small) piece of the puzzle. How long it's registered for might be a small indicator of trust, but again, very small. That said, I usually register my key domains at least five years out. I want to give the impression I'm in it for the long haul.

I don't expect a site to come to its fruition for a year because that's how long it takes for 1) me to build a good, unique, content filled site and then market it, and 2) users to find it, like it, share it and return to it [I don't want sites people don't come back to] and 3) Google and Bing to trust it. None of that is based on the domain age, so no change of heart.

Convergence




msg:4564285
 5:21 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't think domain age has much of any effect whatsoever on whether a site ranks. It's just one (very small) piece of the puzzle. How long it's registered for might be a small indicator of trust, but again, very small.


Agree.

IMhO, I think the length of continuous time a site's content/purpose has been live has more to do with just the age of the domain. Meaning, if a site is a blue widget site for 3 continuous years and the domain is 3 years old, I think that has more value than a 10 year-old site that has only been a blue widget site for 1 year. All other factors being equal.

Clear as mud?

plc90210




msg:4564294
 5:53 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

"I don't think domain age has much of any effect whatsoever on whether a site ranks. It's just one (very small) piece of the puzzle. How long it's registered for might be a small indicator of trust, but again, very small."

How long someone registers a domain for isn't something that search engines can detect for every site. Plus, simply registering a domain for a longer time to gain a slight boost in rankings seems far too easy. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a rumor that domain registrars came up with to make people spend more money by registering a domain for a longer time.

Matt Cutts addresses registration length as a ranking factor in this video: [youtube.com...]

Domain age having an effect on rankings makes a lot more sense to me. I found an article online that I think does a great job of explaining why the age of a website is a ranking factor:

Why the Google Sandbox Effect exists

Put simply, the Google sandbox punishes new sites as a way of combating black hat SEO practices. A lot of black hat SEO techniques involve building hundreds or even thousands of sites overnight through an automated process to build large volumes of backlinks to the sites for which they want to rank. If their first process (say, a link pyramid) didnít work, they then reconfigure those thousands of fake sites in a different way in an attempt to get more links.

The Google sandbox makes those black hat practices much harder in two main ways:

By punishing new sites by placing them in the Google Sandbox, the black hat SEOs have to wait months before they find out if the scheme of the day actually works. If it doesnít it will take them months more to experiment with another loophole idea. This also makes it impossible to launch a brand new site with a thousand low-quality backlinks overnight and start outranking legitimate sites.

By creating this waiting period, Google buys times to algorithmically detect and discount these various link-building schemes before they actually do damage to search results. So the black hat SEO builds a thousand fake sites in a link building configuration, but has to sit in the Google Sandbox for a few months first. During that time Google figures out what the SEO is doing and adjusts its algorithm to ignore the benefit of all those links.


Source: [ecreativeim.com...]

EDIT: I forgot to add, the age factor/sandbox effect/age filter/whatever you wanna call it only applies to keywords with high search volume (the higher the search volume, the stronger the effect). So if a brand new site is ranking for its brand name or some long-tail keywords, it doesn't mean that we can dismiss age as being a factor.

[edited by: plc90210 at 6:11 pm (utc) on Apr 12, 2013]

Convergence




msg:4564296
 6:01 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

How long someone registers a domain for isn't something that search engines can detect for every site.


Google can - they are a registrar.

Put simply, the Google sandbox punishes new sites as a way of combating black hat SEO practices.


Would be a good theory if it was true/or worked. Have seen my share of churn and burn sites that get registred and stay atop the SERPs for 2-4 weeks...

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4564298
 6:03 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google can - they are a registrar.

MC says it's not that simple to get the info in the video linked somewhere ITT and they use other factors instead of trying to get/use registration data.

Convergence




msg:4564301
 6:09 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Not that simple, but not impossible...

[edit] - actually it is pretty simple, lol - I used to be a domainer...

plc90210




msg:4564302
 6:13 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Have seen my share of churn and burn sites that get registred and stay atop the SERPs for 2-4 weeks...


I've never seen newly registered churn and burn sites ranking for competitive keywords. Mind giving any examples?

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4564304
 6:20 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

[edit] - actually it is pretty simple, lol - I used to be a domainer...

Hmmm... Well he says the info is often different from one cc tld to another cc tld and you might not be able to get the info for every single domain (means it would not scale to the entire web) so they use other indicators instead.

netmeg




msg:4564305
 6:23 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Domain age having an effect on rankings makes a lot more sense to me. I found an article online that I think does a great job of explaining why the age of a website is a ranking factor


Age of a domain and age of a website are not the same thing. I have some domains since 1992 that aren't developed.

(I used to be a domainer too)

I admit I've done some churn and burn in the past in some pretty competitive niches, but not for some years now. Too time consuming. But yea, I've seen them, and recently.

(No examples please, against TOS here)

Convergence




msg:4564307
 6:24 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've never seen newly registered churn and burn sites ranking for competitive keywords. Mind giving any examples?


No examples. We spent last fall reporting these .info affiliate clone/churn and burn sites to the Google, merchants, and affiliate networks.

That's just the thing - these sites aren't trying to compete for "competitive keywords", they're flooding the SERPs with cookie cutter sites so any brand and/or merchant model/sku ends up on one of their sites. They know how people search for products - long tail search terms, not going after "widgets" or "buy blue widgets", they are going after specific brands and model numbers...

plc90210




msg:4564310
 6:35 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Just to clarify: when I say domain age/site age/etc, I am referring to the time between now and when pages on the site were first indexed by Google, NOT the time between now and the domain registration date. I agree that the latter has no effect on rankings.

diberry




msg:4564311
 6:38 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

plc90210, correlation does not equal causation. Domain age sometimes does seem to correlate with rankings, but if domain age is a factor at all my personal experience suggests it's not a significant one at all.

I tried registering my domains for several years at a time a while back - it made no difference. I had also heard that when my domains hit their 5th birthday there would be a flood of improved rankings and additional traffic... nada. Some of the older sites I'm tracking (not my own) are being outranked by less impressive sites for reasons we can't figure out. It almost feels like the older domain age could be working against these sites (but again, that would be a correlation = causation assumption).

Has anyone around here ever found a good indication that domain age helps?

plc90210




msg:4564318
 6:53 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

plc90210, correlation does not equal causation. Domain age sometimes does seem to correlate with rankings, but if domain age is a factor at all my personal experience suggests it's not a significant one at all.


I understand that but correlation does imply causation and in my (and many other SEOs') experiences, for every new site that I have done SEO for, the amount of time it has been around does factor into rankings in the first ~ 6 months or so.

In a video posted earlier in the thread (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pnpg00FWJY), notice that Matt Cutts says that the difference in website authority between a site that's 6 months old versus 1 year old is really not that big at all - notice he doesn't say 1 month, 2 months, or 3 months, etc and I'm pretty sure it's because in those first 6 months, it is a ranking factor.

diberry




msg:4564330
 7:15 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

And yet, in the case of my newest site, its rankings have been extremely steady from the first time they appeared in Google.

plc90210




msg:4564332
 7:36 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

"And yet, in the case of my newest site, its rankings have been extremely steady from the first time they appeared in Google."

As I said, it only applies to keywords w/ high search volume and even then, the new site can still rank, but just not as highly as an older site would (all else being equal).

Example: I started a site in early January targeting two keywords - one with 5,400 exact match searches/month and the other with 33,100 exact matches searches/month. Both keywords are very closely related (they're basically synonyms) and have pretty much the exact same sites ranking in their Top 20 and as a result, both keywords have pretty much the same difficulty level. The only real difference is that one has a higher seach volume than the other. Today, my site is ranking #6 for the keyword with 5,400 search volume and #12 for the keyword with 33,100 search volume. In terms of on-page SEO, the site is pretty much equally optimized for both keywords and as I said before, both keywords have pretty much the exact same SERPs since they are very closely related.

And this is just one example, I have encountered many other similar situations in the past.

diberry




msg:4564336
 7:40 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

As I said, it only applies to keywords w/ high search volume and even then, the new site can still rank, but just not as highly as an older site would (all else being equal).


How do you determine all else is equal without knowing precisely every single thing the algo weighs and how much weight it assigns each factor?

plc90210




msg:4564342
 7:56 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

How do you determine all else is equal without knowing precisely every single thing the algo weighs and how much weight it assigns each factor?


Did you read the example I just gave:

Example: I started a site in early January targeting two keywords - one with 5,400 exact match searches/month and the other with 33,100 exact matches searches/month. Both keywords are very closely related (they're basically synonyms) and have pretty much the exact same sites ranking in their Top 20 and as a result, both keywords have pretty much the same difficulty level. The only real difference is that one has a higher seach volume than the other. Today, my site is ranking #6 for the keyword with 5,400 search volume and #12 for the keyword with 33,100 search volume. In terms of on-page SEO, the site is pretty much equally optimized for both keywords and as I said before, both keywords have pretty much the exact same SERPs since they are basically synonyms.


This is a pretty good case of "all else being equal".

diberry




msg:4564348
 8:22 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Pretty good, yes, but unless they have precisely the same link profile, it's not 100%. As Robert mentioned, aging of backlinks may be another factor, and one that would tend to coincide with domain age (in a big enough sample, at least), making it hard to tell which factor is the influential one.

But you seem determined to be right rather than have a discussion, so I'll leave you to it.

plc90210




msg:4564358
 8:33 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Pretty good, yes, but unless they have precisely the same link profile, it's not 100%.


They're the exact same site, so they have the exact same link profile. Maybe I didn't explain clearly?

As Robert mentioned, aging of backlinks may be another factor, and one that would tend to coincide with domain age (in a big enough sample, at least), making it hard to tell which factor is the influential one.


Absolutely, it may very well be lack of backlink age rather than site age that causes it - I can't argue that.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4564381
 10:09 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

IMhO, I think the length of continuous time a site's content/purpose has been live has more to do with just the age of the domain. Meaning, if a site is a blue widget site for 3 continuous years and the domain is 3 years old, I think that has more value than a 10 year-old site that has only been a blue widget site for 1 year. All other factors being equal.

Clear as mud?


Clear as very clear water for me, Convergence. This makes complete sense. I mentioned before in this thread, but I run a number of niche directories. It means that through spidering several thousand websites and also doing manual checks, I am aware of the churn that exists on the internet, and it's surprisingly high. Google must surely give some positive weight towards a site that constantly hosts the same themed content coupled with other positive signals (bounce rate, links, whatever).

It's kind of funny that a lot of people here go on about brand signals, yet then say domain age (and I don't mean simply domain registered age, I mean content-related age) isn't really important. Most brands have been around for years - that's why they're brands. It simply takes years to become a brand (outliers exist I suppose, but exceptions do not disprove rules). Yes I also realise that having your brand name searched for regularly is also a huge signal for Google.

I know that Google are not consistant with this - yes, old domains getting hammered, new domains getting rewarded. I realise that - just I can't reconcile this idea of brand-love with domain age being largely irrelevant.

netmeg




msg:4564399
 12:05 am on Apr 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

And I can't see why you think one necessarily relates to the other.

(Also I wish we'd stop saying "domain" when we mean "site" - it's not the same thing)

This 60 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 60 ( 1 [2]
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved