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Age of domain

not age of backlinks

9:43 pm on Oct 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Anyone care to speak emphatically or knowledgeably (or even speculate) about the age of a domain as important in ranking? I've got the opportunity to own a 10 year old domain name that's been live and ontopic for the full 10 years. Doesn't have much in the way of backlinks though.

I think I've likely got all the value of a brand new $8 domain :), but I'd be happy to be educated otherwise.

12:36 am on Oct 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I would take the 10 year old domain name, popular or not, over the new domain name any day. It is tough to say if the new domain name will not be able to rank as well as the older domain name in the short term, but in the long run they both should be fine.

Personally, you may want to consider taking both and see which one works better then do a 301....

7:14 am on Oct 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The place I work for has a 4000 day old domain. I don't think it helps much but I guess it would be kind of hard to benchmark test it against anything.
12:27 pm on Oct 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If that old domain has a clean record, has been in Google all this time, is still crawled with relative stability, and really IS on topic - considering you want to use it for something not just related but... *closely* related to what has been on it thus far - its 'age' certainly can help.

Well, as I said, it's not really the age, but a clean *history*.
If it's not (clean)/ isn't crawled, has 0 links to it, just forget about it right now.
But if it has been OK all these years, and has at least 1 or two links:

The ups are... crawl-, link- and content ( context- ) history, ie. Google already knows that this domain is about XYZ and won't (re)evaluate its relevance once such stuff appears on its pages. ( People tend to forget that Google is - after all - a search engine trying to find relevant stuff ). You might not rank immediately but will certainly gain ranks much faster for any rewarding activity - including the introducing of related topics. If they match your theme, Google won't throw the domain into the 'waittaminute, lemmecheck' loop of semantic + relevancy / phrase co-occurrence / spam filter examinations every time you add a single word. Or even if it does, the site'll have a pedigree that'll make it pass in an instant. TrustRank might be relatively high ( for a niche site ) with just 10 links pointing to it from day one.

The downside is... if the domain had virtually no activity for years, and all of a sudden it changes its layout, content, pages, URLs and starts acquiring links in a pace that's never been experienced ( if there really was no activity... you know, 0 x 100 = 0 ) that might flag it for evaluation. Perhaps for but a month, perhaps for longer, if the changes are too rapid or too radical, it'll start from scratch as far as relevancy/Trust goes. You'd want to avoid the 'oh,this domain's been sold, huh?' filter. ( OK they don't re-evaluate sites only because of a change in their WHOIS, but that pretty often comes in combination with a change in the theme/targeted phrases... like when a domain expires and the next day a generic MFA site takes its place. ).


On another note, if it has some... just *some* on-topic quality links that match its age... like half a dozen... it'll probably have no problems if you slowly revive it.

I'm speaking from experience btw.


I have in the past 'successfully' flagged age old domains for being changed too drastically, but in most of the cases, the new sites worked like a charm. ( Although even if you mess up the pace, you won't have lasting problems. In that case, you'll need to keep on running forward and ...get more links. )

Just don't alter the original theme too much ( stay close to / start with already introduced phrase sets ), get links in a natural pace and everything's going to be more than fine.

2:03 pm on Oct 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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For what it's worth, I have two domains that go back to 1994 (both owned solely by me) and it seems like no matter WHAT I put up on either of these domains, it flies to the top of the rankings immediately and usually stays there. Obviously I don't want to abuse this, but it's definitely something I've noticed (and very carefully utilized). At this point, if someone offered me a ten year old domain at a reasonable price, I'd land on it like a duck on a june bug.
4:24 pm on Oct 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I too bought an 11 year old domain which had 2 inbound links (aged). The domain had a small website over the whole time so i kept to the theme and it ranked well very quickly and has remained there. Also 1/3 of the traffic was type-in which was nice and type-in continues to be a nice source of traffic.

So chosen carefully yes I think aged domains are well worth it.

3:25 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Well it must be industry/competitor related then if everyone else thinks there's great benefit in old domains.

Our domain is an .EDU domain and we have many backlinks that are 10+ years old, but then again so does every .edu domain that we're competing against...

5:28 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have seen older domains that have little or no SEO done to then sit in high positions for long periods.

One thing i would be careful off is changing the domain ownership records if you buy the domain - this could be a problem, but try setting up a contract with the person you are buying the domain from. I have had first hand experience of buying older domain, having the records changed, then in two weeks the site is no where.