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:
Domain Age is NOT a ranking factor
- When asked on Twitter if Domain Age matters in SERP Ranking, John Mueller replied:
John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, was asked on Twitter whether Domain Age matters in SERP rankings. He replied “no”:
no— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) April 12, 2017
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.
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
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.
About the author
Jonathan Griffin. Editor, Hosting Expert, SEO Developer, & SEO Consultant.
Jonathan is currently the Editor & CEO at The Webmaster. He is also an SEO Developer offering consultancy services, primarily to other web development companies. He specializes in the technical side of SEO, including site audits, development of SEO related features, and site structure & strategy.
In his spare time, Jonathan has a passion for learning. He regularly undertakes professional courses on subjects ranging from python, web development, digital marketing, and Advanced Google Analytics.