Brett Tabke Asks For Practical Experience With "Domain Age"

Jan 16, 2007 • 10:17 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Brett Tabke, founder of WebmasterWorld, created a thread at WebmasterWorld (1) placing the age of a domain a top five factor in Google rankings and (2) asking for hands on advice on what this exactly means. Here is Brett's post:

Most of us know that the age of a domain is one of the single most important criteria of the Google algo. I'd put it as a top ten - maybe top five - filter. It is a gate keeper. The real question to me is if that matters on a parked or doa domain? We have some domains 10years old this month that have never had sites on them. I am wondering if there is a default value there because of the age? Is it a pure whois thing? Or is a age of inbound links thing?

Now, here are some excerpts of responses to Brett's question:

I'm thinking that so many people own a warehouse of stockpiled domains for experiments and possible throw-aways that it can't be just a pure Whois thing. - Tedster

And likewise there are surely enough people who just threw up a blank index page (or even "Coming Soon") with a title that it can't be just age of domain...(or, if it is, there will be a rush of people searching for underconstruction.gif) - Stever

I think there is something to the domain age, but I think general history of the domain and pages and rate of change and ranking on similar terms means a LOT more. - BigDave

Those two are key factors. It is not just the age of the domain but also how long it has been in the index. I don't think parked domains count (much). Or do they?

Another factor, WhoIs turnover. Has that domain exchanged hands once, twice, thrice?

Age of inbound links.

All sorts of stuff. This is a loaded question. ;)


IMO whole "signals of quality" thing factors into the question of parked and dark domains. Right or wrong, we distinguish between the two kinds when it comes to potential for launching a new site. Based on our own experience/judgement/guesswork, if we think a newly acquired domain will be turned into a real site in the relatively near term, we do NOT allow the domain to resolve to a parked page.

IMO, age of domain matters, age of inbounds matter, age of inbounds is factored by quality of inbounds and growth pattern of inbounds (which can produce positiveor negative influence), templates matter, content matters, page update patterns matter (and sitewide issues play a role here), IP's matter.

Food for thought:


Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Chris Beasley

01/16/2007 06:43 pm

Brett is one of the worst people to listen to for SEO. He really has no idea what he is talking about. He said in what? 2002, how outgoing links will be very important for the future? His crystal ball was way off. He just isn't a good critical thinker and it is things like this that get on my nerves. The guy made a crappy webmaster forum in the 90s and just because he was the first one to do so doesn't make him smart or mean he knows whats what. There was a study done that indicated that children who came from homes with new appliances did better in school. Brett would be the type of person to say "Okay, appliances must make kids smart." Instead, the truth is that wealthy successful parents tend to be smarter than the average person and they raise smarter children. New appliances and smart kids shared the same cause, successful educated parents, but were not directly related to each other. Same thing here. You may see older sites doing better in the search engines, and assume that age itself causes the success. It isn't so. Older sites tend to have more content, more incoming links, more good incoming links, and if they've survived a number of years they can't be that bad to begin with. This is why they rank better.

Michael Martinez

01/16/2007 08:07 pm

So many people have been able to boost young domains into the top ten search results for targeted commercial queries the past two years, you'd think this myth would have died by now. I guess we're stuck with it along with so much other "conventional SEO wisdom".


01/16/2007 08:19 pm

My experience has been that age and quality of inbound links is more important than the age of domain name. Google has been linkchecking since day one, but only registrar checking for the past few years. Good rankings lie in the links, not in whois.

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