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Is Domain Age a Google Ranking Factor?

Does the algorithm take your domain age into account when Google ranks search results? Does Google favor older, established domains in its search results?

Does buying a brand new domain name put you at an SEO disadvantage?

These are just a few of the questions surrounding domain age as a ranking factor – a topic that has been hotly debated and debated over the past two decades.

We know that Google saw this as part of its document scoring algorithm, at least at one point in time.

Read on to find out if domain age is really a Google search ranking factor.

Disclaimer: Domain Age as a Ranking Factor

The statement here is twofold:

  • The longer Google has a domain name in its index, the better it will benefit your search rankings.
  • The longer your domain name is registered, the more favorable your search rankings will be.

Basically, here are the parameters:

Suppose you registered two domain names, one in 2010 and the other in 2020.You never posted anything on either site until three months ago.

This means that Google will consider the 2010 domain "stronger" - just because it was registered more than 10 years before the second site, and it should be easier to rank for.

Does this seem logical?

Evidence of Domain Age as a Ranking Factor

Back in 2007, some in SEO considered domain age to be one of the top ten most important ranking factors.

Recently, some people pointed out that this video of Matt Cutts was a factor in Google rankings.


Because in it, Katz said, "The difference between a six-month-old domain name and a one-year-old domain name is really not that big.

To some, it sounds like Google is using domain age as a ranking signal – although probably not a very important signal.

Evidence against domain age as a ranking factor

The thing is, that video is from 2010.

Here's what else Katz actually said:

  • Registrar data is not important at all.It's too hard to gather, and Google doesn't get enough information to be a reliable signal.
  • What Google is able to measure is when the site was first crawled and when it was first linked to by another site.

Even so, he said,

"The truth is, it's mostly the quality of your content, and the type of links you get because of the quality of your content, that determines your ranking in search engines.

In 2005, Matt Cutts, Paul Haahr, and several others filed a patent application called "Information Retrieval Based on Historical Data" that gives us a deeper look How Google sensed these domain signals at the time.

The patent outlines a method for identifying documents and assigning them scores composed of different types of data about their history.

These data include:

  • Information about its start date.
  • The elapsed time measured from the start date.
  • How and how often the content of the document changes over time.
  • The average time between changes, the number of changes in a period, and the rate of change in the current period compared to the rate of change in the previous period.
  • At least one of the following: the number of new pages associated with the document over a period of time, the ratio of the number of new pages associated with the document to the total number of pages associated with the document, and the percentage of document content that was changed over a period of time.
  • The behavior of the link is related to at least one appearance and disappearance of one or more links to the document

There are many more, but you can already see that this patent was never just about domain age.

There are also elements of links and content quality/freshness here.

Domain age may have been a factor at the time.But there is no clear evidence that it is a direct ranking factor, but a weak signal in a more comprehensive document history score (and this was/may still be a ranking factor...Maybe).

In any case, John Mueller has been very clear on this point.

Domain Age as a Ranking Factor: Our Verdict

Google has said that domain age is not a ranking factor

The length of time you have registered your domain name has nothing to do with Google's search algorithm.

Buying an old domain name won't help you rank faster or higher.In fact, you may inherit spam links or other negative associations, which can hurt your SEO efforts.

But again, it's not purely because of age - it's what happened in that field during those years.

Bottom line: Google does not use domain age as a direct search ranking signal.

(米国生活Doubt this, Maymurgh China is based on actual own experience. )

Extended reading:

Is Direct Traffic a Google Ranking Factor?

Is the deep link ratio a Google ranking factor?

Top 8 Google Ranking Factors - What Really Matters for SEO

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