Does Domain Age Really Matter in Google Rankings?

For years, the role of domain age in SEO has been a hotly debated topic. Many webmasters claim that age influences the search engine results but Google engineers continue to dismiss this as a myth. Although Google has never stepped forward to tell its users the value of Domain Name age, there’s a lot of evidence pointing to its impact on SEO and ranking. For example, it is evident that established and reputed sites have old domains. While their reputation can be attributed to the quality of their sites, the role of the domain age cannot be dismissed.

What is domain age?

A domain that has been around for some time is said to be “aged.” Domain age refers to how long Google has indexed a domain or how long it has been since it first saw the domain. This means that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve owned a domain if you have never used it to build a site.

What is the ideal domain age?

As a domain ages, it gains trust and builds a reputation, and its Google ranking improves. A 6-month old domain should rank higher than a brand new domain, but its rank difference to a 12-month old domain is negligible. This begs the question, ”how old is old enough” or rather, what is the prime age of a domain? The answer is that there’s no ideal domain age. As long as your domain name has been around for some time, you should have the edge over newer domains and be able to compete with the oldest of them for the #1 Google ranking spot.

Since spammers are in the habit of registering and dropping domains every so often, Google keeps every new domain in the sandbox. The sandbox is the filter Google employs that makes new websites rank lower on keywords than older sites. Since illegitimate domains hardly remain operational for more than a year, it is the minimum time a new domain stays in the sandbox.

Why Google loves aged domains

Domain age as a lone metric may not be a very strong ranking factor but other aspects of a mature domain influence ranking on Google. These include backlinks and site content. Aged domains carry a lot of weight due to the backlinks and associations they have amassed over the years because of having quality content. Quality content attracts users, and the Google bots follow.

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