How Important to Search Engines is Site Age?

Apr 4, 2007 • 8:59 am | comments (6) by twitter | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization
 

One of the often disputed factors when it comes to search engine organic ranking algorithms is the importance of the site's age. The SEOmoz ranking factor study included it, and it received a relative importance rating of 4, "Exceptional Importance," with relative agreement among the panelists. As with the other factors chosen by SEOmoz to focus on, Site Age is worth a discussion that can last days and weeks, as further research is completed by SEOs measuring this potential impact.

Cre8asite Forums, in fact, has been discussing this particular topic for a few weeks. The discussion was introduced by British member xyZed, who gave an example of an older domain he had owned for a while. He states that he was advised by respected SEO Ammon Johns to keep the domain, which he has owned 4 and a half years, and point it to his main domain, which is two years older. This particular question actually veers into another subject, the importance of having a .co.uk domain instead of a .com when doing business primarily in the UK. However, his worry is that if he switches the content and 301s from .com to .co.uk, he would lose some value form the age of the .com, which as mentioned is two years older.

A very interesting question which has so far drawn out some splendid responses. Join the thread at Cre8asite Forums.

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Comments:

Michael Martinez

04/04/2007 03:36 pm

Domain age doesn't matter nearly as much as SEOs believe it should. I can take any new domain and get it to rank for most reasonably competitive queries in 2-3 months. Does that mean I would turn a clean aged domain if it was offered to me? Probably not, but my reasons would be different from most people's reasons. As far as preferring a .co.uk domain over a .com domain for UK search, that makes better sense than preferring a .com over a .co.uk domain because of age.

Chris Boggs

04/04/2007 05:06 pm

Hi MM, good point. We have had plenty of success in ranking new domains as well. However, that doesn't necessarily address this particular issue, wich is whether domain age can be a factor in the algo.

Chris

04/04/2007 07:48 pm

Don't forget SEOMoz is the same place saying .edu or .gov links are worth more by virtue of their TLD alone. An opinion poll of people who spend more time making opinions than doing research is not a substitute for actual research. Furthermore you cannot possibly test this anyways in any realistic fashion because you cannot create a control for it. To do a proper experiment you need just one independent variable, and in this case you aren't likely to find such a situation. In reality older sites tend to rank better because crappy sites don't last too long, older sites have more incoming links, and older sites have more content.

Chris Boggs

04/04/2007 10:54 pm

Hi Chris, thanks for your comment, but this topic is about the thread at Cre8asite, not about the panel research at SEOmoz. However, whether or not SEOmoz believes in the power of TLDs is irrelevant when it comes to SEO, the research was conducted with a panel of others across the SEO sphere. This makes is valid research, in my opinion, because it gives a varied opinion as well as an overall rating based on a variety of different experienced views.

Chris Boggs

04/04/2007 10:57 pm

additionally, Chris, it is kind of ironic that you take a swipe at the panelists in the SEOmoz study by claiming that they "spend more time making opinions than doing research," and yet you dare to think we'll care about your opinion on the site age. c'mon now "older sites have more content?"

Munaz

05/21/2008 09:34 am

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