The short answer to the question is yes, domain age is an important SEO factor for your Google ranking. Among the hundreds of weighting factors that Google considers in determining how to rank search engine results is the age of your domain — in other words, how long that domain has been around.
It’s worth noting that domain age isn’t referring just to how long you have owned a given domain name, but instead how long it has been since Google first indexed that domain, or saw a link to the domain. Because of this many companies purchase “aged” domains that have been around for a while for the extra bit of Google oomph. Of course just because a domain has been registered for 10 years doesn’t mean that Google considers it 10 years old — it has to have actually had a site indexed by Google.
In other words a domain that’s been registered for 10 years but has no actual site up, or nothing that Google has ever found, is the same as a domain that you bought yesterday.
How Important is Domain Age for SEO & Ranking in Google?
There is a certain amount of debate about exactly how important domain age is to your ability to rank well, but testing and experience by SEO professionals paints a pretty clear picture that an older domain age competes for rankings a bit better. In fact, Google has even stepped forward to tell us a little bit about the importance of domain age, though as usual they’re still holding their cards close to their chest.
Here’s the basics of what we know:
- Domain age is a factor in determining Google rankings, and a part of our SEO.
- Sites are significantly devalued for the first few months after Google first discovers them. It is extremely challenging to rank well for competitive terms in those first few months. In fact, some SEO professionals simply won’t work with brand new domains.
- According to Google’s Matt Cutts, the difference between a domain that’s 6 months old and 12 months old is very small.