One of the major factors in helping to rank for particular terms, especially in competitive and long-established industries, is the age of the website. This is the consensus opinion of search engine optimization experts, especially after the Google "Bourbon" and "Jagger" updates in 2005. Naturally, SEO's have experimented with this factor, as Jim Boykin explained also in 2005.
A recent thread at Cre8asite Forums, a member asks:
We all know that google like old domains. But does the domain need to have been live to benefit? For example, is a domain which was register(ed) in 2000 but has never be live, still a lot stronger than a domain which was registered in 2006 but has been live for 2 months?
Not many responses to this question yet, but two good comments include the important reminder that:
Domain age is just one of the factors.Also, the next reply moved towards the real question within this question: whether the domain has to have had content on it and links towards it in order to gain strength. Member "Phaithful" also cautions:
If you're looking to purchase an old domain simply to get out of the "sandbox" / "trustbox" then look for one that has links going to it still and has had content on it for some time through archive.org. That will increase your chances... but "buyer beware"... some old domains are being resold because they've been blacklisted or have been part of spam schemes and those domains are worse off than a brand new domain.
Many would argue that the old domain would really only be of value not only if it had content and consistent links, but also if the content was always at least generally-related. Join the thread and give your thoughts at Cre8asite Forums.