User’s Guide: How Domain Age Impacts the SEO Strategy of a Website

One of the very hotly debated issues in SEO is the impact of webpage age on the search visibility of a website. Whether or not DA is a search engine ranking factor is a cause of much controversy in the SEO industry. SEO experts greatly differ on this issue, some consider website age irrelevant to search ranking while there are others who believe it is included among the parameters, search engines use to sort and rank websites in its indexes. This article is written to help you understand the impact of age of domain on SEO and to do this effectively both sides to this argument have been included.

What does it mean?

Let’s start with the definition. It is the period of time for which it has been registered and active. The domain is the web address of website and its age is the time elapsed since it was registered. From a search engine perspective, domain does not start aging from the time it is registered but when that website is found and indexed by its crawler. So, a website may have been registered for 5 years but it will not be considered 5 years old by the search engine if it was indexed yesterday.

Effect on Search Visibility

The belief that age of domain is not important for SEO sprung from Google explanation on this matter. Google employee Matt Cutts explained the implication of domain age on ranking in a video. SEO experts who say it is not a factor in google ranking cite this video to validate their point of view. But the reality is, Matt Cutts never says it does not affect ranking at all in that videos. His statement has been misunderstood by a large number of people. In that video, he just downplayed the importance of domain but never once he said it is not a factor at all.

On the other hand, research carried out by leading SEO experts found the vast majority of the top ranking sites on the search engine result page have been around for a quite a period of time. The average age of the top ranking websites is more than 5 years. This goes to show the influence of age of domain on search ranking. Although one can say that the higher ranking of the old website might be due to quality back links which these sites have acquired over the years. Also, Old domains have won a trust of their audience as they have served their needs in the past.

Sandbox effect is another phenomenon that proves that website age matter when it comes to ranking. It has been found that a new domain does not generally do well in ranking. Research has found that new domains that are ranked in the top 20 position, either attained high position due to black hat tactics or these were based on topics that were trending. New domains do not see improvement in ranking even after going through a vigorous search engine optimization process due to the sandbox effect.

Therefore, it can be said that period of time site has been indexed does play a role in search engine optimization particularly for newer websites. It surely is one of the factors that Google use for ranking. But it might not be as important as content, links and some other factors are.

Strategies for New websites

If you are thinking about creating a new website or if you already have a website that has not been launched, the best thing that you can do is buy an old domain instead of registering with a new one. An old domain with a lot of authority can save you from a lot of hard work that otherwise you will have to do if you choose to register with a new one. You can buy an old domain that already ranks high in the search engine result page and avoid yourself the pain of having to start from the scratch. Particularly, if money is not a problem for you than the old domain is your best option.

Although, buying an old domain is convenient but you have to be careful otherwise you will not receive the expected benefits. The prospective domain you are considering buying must be old. It should have been around for some time. You can ascertain the age of any domain through online domain age checker tools for free. You should make sure that the domain, you are going to buy have a lot of domain authority. Domain Authority too can be calculated using online DA calculator tools and these tools are also offered free of cost. A domain with a very high domain authority score can still be useless for you if it not related to the topic of your website. You must make sure that the prospective domain is ranked for the exact same keywords that your website will be using. Following these steps will prevent potential misfit if you buy an old domain.

Buying an old domain is not your only option. You can decide to register with a new one. A new domain will have its own set of benefits. It can perfectly reflect your website as you can include your main keyword within the domain name. There will be no compatibility issue which is a possibility if you buy an old domain as some of the content or keywords of the old domain might not be relevant to yours. Starting with your own domain instead of buying a new one is beneficial in the long run. The only serious drawback of a new domain is it might take time to establish itself. You may have to spend money on the advertisement for your new domain at the start. You will have to develop an SEO strategy and implement it rigorously. These are a few difficulties that you may encounter if you decide to use a new domain but if you remain patient during the initial testing period your new domain will ultimately become successful.


The webpage age does in fact influence ranking although it is not as important a factor as quality content and inbound links from authoritative websites are. If you are creating a new website, you can still develop and follow strategies that can negate the harmful effect that shorter DA might have on your search visibility.

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