Is Domain Age a Google Ranking Factor?

Using an older domain is NOT a ranking factor, although new domains may be supressed for a couple of months for anti-spam reasons.

Summary:

Domain Factor
Myth

  • Domain Age is not a ranking factor.
  • New domains may be dampened for a few months to help fight spam.
  • Old domains may positively correlate to better rankings due to other factors.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Menu
Jonathan Griffin. Editor @ The Webmaster

. Hosting Expert & Editor @ The Webmaster:

Looking over the information about this SEO ranking factor around the web, many commentators are incorrectly reporting that an older domain does increase rankings. John Mueller has clearly stated on behalf of Google that it is NOT a ranking factor, and the only positive references historically relate to anti-spam measures that dampen a new domain for a couple of months. We have posted all the sources below, so you can see for yourself.

Will an older domain improve your Google rankings?

We took an in-depth look at what the Googlers \ Experts had to say:

  • When asked on Twitter if Domain Age matters in SERP Ranking, John Mueller replied:
    No.

Commentary

John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, was asked on Twitter whether Domain Age matters in SERP rankings. He replied “no”:

This clears up any ambiguity as to whether an old domain provides any ranking benefits, but there are a couple of things worth noting from previous sources

How Google Determines Domain age, plus discussion on New domains and webspam.

  • Matt Cutts said in a video that new domains may take a few months to rank in order to prevent spammers abusing new domains.
    Domain age is not necessarily determined by date of first registration, but instead may be based on their historical search data; i.e. the date they first saw the domain.
  • And even then, Cutts confirms the difference is very minor:
  • The difference between a domain that’s six months old vs one year old is really not that big at all. As long as you’ve been around for at least a couple of months, you should be able make sure that you can show up in search results.

Commentary

With the most relevant patent not revealing too much issue on the topic, a video by Matt Cutts, former head of Google’s Webspam team, published on Oct 26, 2010, can provide some further insight.

Google’s patent ‘Information Retrieval Based on Historical Data.’

  • A patent granted in March 2008, states the following, under the heading "Domain-Related Information":
    Individuals who attempt to deceive (spam) search engines often use throwaway or "doorway" domains and attempt to obtain as much traffic as possible before being caught. Information regarding the legitimacy of the domains may be used by search engine 125 when scoring the documents associated with these domains.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Domain age??

Domain age is the length of time since the domain was first registered. For SEO purposes, Google may use other sources of data, such as historical search data, to determine the age of a domain.

It has been suggested that Google may calculate the age of a domain based on when they first discovered it. I.e. when did Googlebot first visit the website.

Jonathan Griffin. Editor @ The Webmaster

About the author

Editor at The Webmaster.

Jonathan Griffin has been the Lead writer at The Webmaster for the last 5 years. Having provided technical SEO, WordPresss development, and hosting services for clients, his passion remains to help small businesses and bloggers develop their online presence.

In his spare time, he loves to push his technical knowledge further, and regularly undertakes professional courses on subjects ranging from python development, digital marketing, and Google Analytics.

Find out more about Jonathan Griffin on our About Page.