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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?

 

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4562531
 10:04 pm on Apr 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think backraft7 and Matt Cutts would disagree with it being much if any type of factor. Backdraft7's site is 12 years old and having issues.

Wow sites less than a week old being dropped? I can't imagine! Our site is a dozen years old...

Backdraft7 Page 4 @ 30 Posts Per Page:
[webmasterworld.com...]

Matt Cutts has said anything over 2 or 3 months shouldn't have much if any influence.
[youtube.com...]

Gaining trust and length time a site has been online are two completely different things. Trust is "passed around" more like PageRank. Age is what it is.

That's why the "super technical" way of explaining the sandbox is an effect of filtering generally believed to be mainly based on trust factors afaik. Gaining trust could possibly take weeks, months, years or even not happen. Trust can also be lost, regardless of age of a site.

plc90210




msg:4562533
 10:23 pm on Apr 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ TheOptimizationIdiot: Obviously, there are many factors that go into building trust, but age is one of them.

"Matt Cutts has said anything over 2 or 3 months shouldn't have much if any influence."

He says that it takes a "few months" for a site to start ranking, which sounds about right, but I think it takes more time for websites to rank as highly as older sites with similar backlinks/pagerank would. That's why I wanted to hear from other webmasters who have experienced ranking hindrances with young sites.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4562534
 10:24 pm on Apr 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ TheOptimizationIdiot: Obviously, there are many factors that go into building trust, but age is one of them.

What's your source for that information?

plc90210




msg:4562535
 10:26 pm on Apr 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

@TheOptimizationIdiot: Experience.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4562538
 10:42 pm on Apr 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

So nothing authoritative from any well respected source or official from Google?

I tried to help you out. Trust "awarded" to sites is age independent. If you find an official or highly respected authoritative source, please cite it. You or they also have to refute the threads here for years with old sites tanking and new sites ranking say to prove your theory is correct. Age and trust are not related and if you watch enough of those MC videos you might find more of what builds trust "hidden" in some of the seemingly off-topic ones. GL to you.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4562540
 10:55 pm on Apr 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'll leave you with a question about something that happens all the time:

If trust and document or site age were really related in an impactful way, how would scraper sites that are only a few weeks/months old duplicate content from originators which have been registered and ranking highly for years ever out rank them within months, weeks and sometimes even days?

plc90210




msg:4562543
 11:07 pm on Apr 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

@TheOptimizationIdiot: No offense, but judging by your posts (not just in this thread), it's very hard to believe that you have ever built websites or done any sort of SEO work.

"but threads here for years with old sites tanking and new sites ranking say your theory is incorrect."

Those threads tend to not mention specifics about the ranking changes. There are lots of reasons that old sites can tank (i.e. Panda/Penguin updates, duplicate content, manual penalties, etc) and there are lots of reasons why new sites can rank high (i.e lack of keyword competitiveness).

Obviously, Google isn't going to be completely transparent about these type of things so it's not surprising that they haven't given out any specifics regarding domain age as a ranking factor.

I'm not sure if webmasterworld threads would be regarded as a "highly respected authoritative source", but here are a few (of many) threads that agree on domain age being a factor:

[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...]

Other sources:

[ecreativeim.com...]

[sitepronews.com...]

You can find many other sources with a quick Google search.

By the way, you had not given any citations from authoritative sources saying that domain age isn't a factor either (unless if you consider yourself a respected authoritative source) :P

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4562545
 11:10 pm on Apr 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

So you don't consider MC an authoritative source on Google's ranking factors? Okay.

plc90210




msg:4562548
 11:14 pm on Apr 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

"how would scraper sites that are only a few weeks/months old duplicate content from originators which have been registered and ranking highly for years ever out rank them within months, weeks and sometimes even days?"

301 redirects from aged domains.

I once came across a website that was ranking on the first page for a highly competitive keyword and the domain was only registered 3 days ago... Turned out it had a 301 redirect from a PR7 website that was 5+ years old.

plc90210




msg:4562550
 11:18 pm on Apr 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

"So you don't consider MC an authoritative source on Google's ranking factors? Okay."

As I said in an earlier post, MC was very ambiguous on that topic, as he is with most topics, which shouldn't be surprising.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4562551
 11:22 pm on Apr 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Like I said, watch some of the seeming unrelated videos and you might find more of what impacts trust. You might also find a patent application on trust if you look hard enough. Nothing about domain age in there I've found yet, but according to you I obviously don't know what I'm talking about, so I'm not going to do any more of your work for you.

Like I said GL.

BTW people here think they use whois data in the algo too, but MC isn't terribly ambiguous on that in the video, imo. You can also find many threads and sites saying the sandbox doesn't exist even well after filters acting effectively as a sandbox was confirmed, so I take everything I read on any public forum with a grain of salt.

Domain age may have more of an impact on historical data (or lack thereof) than trust --- I'll let you find the patent on that one on your own too --- but your question was about trust specifically, so that's the question I answered.

[edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 11:29 pm (utc) on Apr 7, 2013]

plc90210




msg:4562553
 11:28 pm on Apr 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

"Like I said, watch some of the seeming unrelated videos and you might find more of what impacts trust. You might also find a patent application on trust if you look hard enough. Nothing about domain age in there I've found yet."

I've seen nearly every one of those videos over the past several years I've been doing SEO. I understand that there are many factors that go into building trust; all I'm saying is that age is one of them, which I don't see why you're having a hard time believing. When was the last time you saw a domain that was a few weeks/months old ranking for a competitive keyword (assuming it didn't have any 301 redirects)?

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4562556
 11:32 pm on Apr 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Like I said, trust and historical data are two different things. Your question is about trust specifically. It's the one I answered.

Apparently in the years you've been reading and watching videos you haven't found or been able to draw a distinction between the two and what influences which, but I'm fairly certain there is. Maybe we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one? It's cool if we do, but trust and domain age are unrelated in an impactful way based on what I've seen/read in a near decade of doing this.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4562559
 12:03 am on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Forgot about Document Inception date based scoring which can also be influenced by registration date of a domain, but it's still not domain age === level of trust. ( This one's a bit tough to find right now so I'll give it to you: [patft.uspto.gov...] )

Of course now we might have to argue about what a document is and if, regardless of registration date, the content/topic of a domain changes significantly if it's considered a "new document" or not lol.

plc90210




msg:4562560
 12:57 am on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

When I said domain age, I wasn't referring to the registration date, I was referring to the date it was first indexed by Google or the date when Google first found a backlink to the website.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4562571
 1:16 am on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Okay, I get that, but...
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?

It's not a matter of months or years to gain trust.
Trust is not time-based.

Turst in many ways is actually closely to PageRank and definitely link related. And trust, in my opinion, can in some cases overcome actual "time" related factors like Document Inception Date and Historical Based Ranking Criteria.

So the answer to your question, as I understand your question is:

As fast as you can gain a high enough level of trust to overcome any necessary Document Inception Date scoring you don't have enough positives from and Historical Based Ranking Criteria you don't "have enough of", as well as other Link-Based Scoring Factors -- and possibly "freshness" which again is very link based, but not entirely and sometime stale is better -- level of trust necessary being relative to the other sites/pages ranking, of course.

OR when you have an adequate level of trust as well as enough positives from Document Inception Date based scoring and Historical Based Ranking Criteria, plus other Link-Based Scoring Factors -- and again possibly "freshness" which again is very link based, but not entirely and sometime stale is better -- level of each factor necessary being relative to the other sites/pages ranking, of course.

The short answer is it all depends on the niche, other sites in the niche, and even sometimes on the query itself for QDF results.

There's no "one size fits all" or "one answer fits all" with Google any more. The time it takes you specifically to overcome "being new" is dependent on the specific niche and your ability to build enough trust to overcome any "deficiencies" in other ranking factors or at least a high enough level of trust to be seen as competitive, all other factors being "relatively equal" to other sites in the niche.

tedster




msg:4562587
 3:33 am on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

3 months? 6 months? A year? What do you think the number is judging by your own experiences in building/ranking new websites?

If domain age is ever a direct factor (I also have doubts) that would not stop after any specific time period. As I see it, almost nothing in the algorithm works so mechanically these days.

In the past year I've worked with newly created domains that ranked well almost immediately. If there was any domain related trust factor there it was the OWNER of the domain - a well known brand.

plc90210




msg:4562588
 3:40 am on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

"If domain age is ever a direct factor (I also have doubts) that would not stop after any specific time period. As I see it, almost nothing in the algorithm works so mechanically these days."

Agreed. I was expecting to hear different estimates from webmasters.

"In the past year I've worked with newly created domains that ranked well almost immediately."

Can you give more information about the keyword(s) (search volume, CPC, etc) that the new site ranked well for?

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4562589
 3:44 am on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Agreed. I was expecting to hear different estimates from webmasters.

Sorry you got stuck with me lol.

If there was any domain related trust factor there it was the OWNER of the domain - a well known brand.

Did they happen to link to the new domain from the brand name site when they launched it?

tedster




msg:4562598
 4:17 am on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, the brand did link (do follow) to their new site from their flagship site right a launch. The new site was created for a specialized promotion, and the domain ownership was clearly claimed by the corporation. It started ranking within a day on a 2-word query phrase that was loaded with Adwords and had a search volume of well over 1 million.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4562603
 4:40 am on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, the brand did link (do follow) to their new site from their flagship site right a launch.

Can make all the difference based on what I've read in the patent apps and seen, which summarizes to:

Turst in many ways is actually closely to PageRank and definitely link related. And trust, in my opinion, can in some cases overcome actual "time" related factors like Document Inception Date and Historical Based Ranking Criteria.

I would also guess, being a major brand, visitor behavior "backed up" any trust passed through links.

plc90210




msg:4562645
 8:41 am on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

"The new site was created for a specialized promotion, and the domain ownership was clearly claimed by the corporation. It started ranking within a day on a 2-word query phrase that was loaded with Adwords and had a search volume of well over 1 million."

The new site was indexed in Google long before it was officially launched though, right?

aristotle




msg:4562689
 12:33 pm on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

There's an old theory (or speculation) that Google waits to see if the domain registration is re-newed past the first year before giving full legitimacy to a site. I don't know if this is true or not, but it does make sense logically.

I used to get occasional emails from a domain registrar claiming that Google checks to see how far in advance a domain registration extends, and uses the information as a ranking factor. Domains such as .com, .net, and .org can be registered for up to ten years in advance. The theory is that an owner who registers the domain for ten years in advance must be serious about creating a good site. Again, I don't know if it's true or not, but it does make sense logically.

Before I link out to another site, I often check its domain registration to see how old it is, and how far in advance its registration extends. If it's less than a year old with a registration that's due to expire in a couple of weeks and hasn't been re-newed, then I might not link to it.

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.

P.S. - I wonder what percentage of domains are allowed to expire after the first year. Has anyone seen any data on this?

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4562709
 1:43 pm on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've heard the same thing, but have one that's been in the top 10 for the last 5 years, only gets registered for one year at a time and actually had the registration expire last December due to a credit card not getting updated.

It wasn't reregistered again until after being deindexed, but within a week of being reregistered and reindexed it was back in the top 10. It was once again only registered for one year.

Registration length makes no difference at all.

incrediBILL




msg:4562713
 1:54 pm on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think backraft7 and Matt Cutts would disagree with it being much if any type of factor. Backdraft7's site is 12 years old and having issues.

Age and trust are two totally different issues while not necessarily mutually exclusive aren't the same thing either.

I've got some new sites that rank like crazy but I'm not doing anything questionable with them either and they just floated to the top like cream on fresh milk.

Got some old sites struggling to hang in there but that's more of a factor of everyone and his brother trying to gun down an established entity as I don't think Google, other than the occasional algo change bitch slapping it now and then, taking any specific interest in the age.

This is nothing new for me either way as I've never really had a problem getting sites to rank no matter how new they are but I don't go out and get a bazillion links for a site that never existed and wonder why oh why did my site sink like it just hit an iceberg.

I also don't fill my sites to overflowing with everyone's favorite SEO dinner side dish of keyword stuffing. A good SEO chef knows when enough is enough just to get what you want without setting off flags and alarms that would stop any site of any age from ranking well.

SEO clearly has various methods of White Hat, Black Hat and those that overkill and shoot themselves in the foot "Dumb Hat".

Forest Gumps mother summed it up best "Stupid is as stupid ranks."

301 redirects from aged domains.

That's one way to do it but easily spotted and hardly the only way to do it, it's just a lazy way to get what you want in a hurry. Google has some flaws that can be exploited that are kind of along the '301' path but not explicitly done and I've seen a few sites hold that rank for quite some time after the fact but I'd never do it on purpose for anything I cared about keeping. All I can say is when you mess around with a lot of domains and move things to shiny new servers on a regular basis happy accidents sometimes happen and you learn stuff, DNS stuff, that can be useful.

It's also why you need to periodically check your DNS to make sure some wiseguy doesn't have some domain or subdomain aimed at your IP addresses as I've seen some interesting tricks played but it's not going on happen on my nickle.

But the topic is age and ranking and having recently launched a new site that was quickly trusted I don't buy the agism theories.

netmeg




msg:4562717
 2:21 pm on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Me neither. Never been an issue here.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4562726
 2:35 pm on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

P.S. - I wonder what percentage of domains are allowed to expire after the first year. Has anyone seen any data on this?


I know experience isn't worth much here (in lieu of dry scientific peer-reviewed studies!), but I'll throw in my own experiences.

I run a number of niche directories. They are themselves a number of years old. Depending on the directory, between 8% to 15% (I keep stats) of domains that have come through these directories expire (their domain name expires) within a year of their submission to the directory (it's a yearly paid review). I know that doesn't necessarily mean all of these domains were newly registered. Of course, a company may run for 5 years, renew each year, then not renew their domain for the 6th year. However, what I DO know is - there is a significant churn of domain names on the internet.

Now this is AFTER turning away all the thin affiliate / MFA sites that submit listings (these are not counted or listed on my directories, they're simply deleted). I imagine a BIG portion of those affiliate/MFA types of sites do not renew within a year. So, the 8% to 15% refers to sites that "pass muster" and get accepted in my directories. The variation (8 to 15%) shows some niches have more churn than others - health and travel-related have a lot of churn.

tedster




msg:4562732
 2:52 pm on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

a domain registrar claiming that Google checks to see how far in advance a domain registration extends

Thats was one of at least a thousand "possible factors" that Google mentioned in their first historical data patent. [webmasterworld.com...]

It was filed for in 2005 and granted in 2008 - and made the SEO community go crazy with speculation about which factors really really were/are in use. I've also seen domain registrars use it in their pitch, but I know that at one time Matt Cutts said it wasn't in use. I know Ive tested registering for extra years and I saw no effect on rankings whatsoever.

Still, when I've got a good website going, I do like to register the domain name for more than a year (but not with the hosting service.) I hear the same from many site owners I know, even when they're talking about undeveloped domain names.

plc90210




msg:4562833
 7:52 pm on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

"It started ranking within a day on a 2-word query phrase that was loaded with Adwords and had a search volume of well over 1 million."

1 million broad, phrase, or exact match searches?

This 60 message thread spans 2 pages: 60 ( [1] 2 > >
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