How much does a domain’s age affect its ranking?
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How much does a domain’s age affect its ranking?

We have a question from JZ, in Ohio who asks: How much weight does the number of years a domain is registered for have on your ranking? My short answer is not to worry about that very much, not very much at all in fact. Danny Sullivan had asked about this recently because there were some registrars that were sending around emails saying: “Did you know that Google gives you a bonus in ranking if you register your site for three or more years?” And just to clarify that is not based on anything that we’ve said. The only thing that that might be coming from is that we did file a patent that basically said we can use historical data in our ranking, so you could, in theory, look how many years of that site has been registered for, just like you could look at the history of a site to say whether you think it’s high quality or low quality. But we have a lot of ideas and we file a lot of patents and that does not mean that all of that gets used in the ranking. So, I don’t want people to jump to the assumption that just because there was one patent filed in 2002 and 38 claims down somebody said: “well, you can at look how many years a site is registered for and to jump to the conclusion that we use that in our ranking. So my short answer is, make great content and don’t worry nearly as much about how many years your domain is registered for, just because someone is sending you an email that says, Google does or even may use this in ranking, does not mean that you should automatically take them at face value. Uhm. What makes a really big difference is the quality of your site and the sort of links that you have pointing to you, not, you know, is my site registered for three or four years, instead of one or two years.


  • videonovice08

    This answer doesn't make any sense. Google favors blogspot blogs to get higher page ranks (even if they are relatively new) compared to self-hosted blogs running on a different platform.

    It seems that Matt Cutts is playing around the bush and making it appeal to everyone that content is king when in fact a large number of blogspot blogs have a very low quality to the very least some are just download sites that claim a high page rank.

  • Zohar Kiaav Kowlesar

    For almost any question that's answered by Google 'great quality' or 'quality content' is always pointed out. I guess that would always be the way to go in your sites.

  • Emarketed

    Thanks Matt. I do feel it plays a role though and if you have a domain around for 10 years it's going to do better than a domain that's 2 months old..

  • Ronnie Bincer

    I think your version of the question is valid..the issue is "Google's Sandbox". The age of a site/domain does seem to be taken into account when giving it "value". That value may be in the form of "trust" which seems to make a difference. It appears that links to a site are valued more if they come from an "older" more established site, so one might imply that the site from whence they come might be valued higher if it is older.

    Kinda nerdy, but it seems that the Google Sandbox effect is true

  • Hairyfrankfurt

    I find that a lot of people trust older domains that have acquired popularity and it's harder for new domains to get the same popularity that older ones have. But I see where you're coming from, Matt 🙂

  • CoachTerp

    "..don't worry about this much, not very much at all" does not mean it doesn't have at least a nominal amount of weight. He just "doesn't want us to jup to the assumption…," but never does he unequivocally state that it has no impact. 😉

  • Ronald Makalintal

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  • Thelondonplanet

    i love google
    matt has changed a lot looking more and more sharp and providing even a great service , they will need to create google university

  • Don Niam

    I went to register a domain for 2 years based on the fact that i read longer reg. improves SEO The price was 3.00 more per year. I called the registrar and there answer was due to the economy prices go up and the initial registration was usually about 5.00 less than the following years as you get a discount on the first year.Not true as my past renewals were the same, so i registered for one year.

  • beau bequette

    Kind of just went around the question there didn't he. The question is if a company has a website out and hosted for 10 years does it rank higher than one that was just created? With equal links and content. I threw that last bit in so he couldn't say well there are a lot of factures to consider.

  • Spook SEO

    Thank you for this video. It was explained well in the content that domain registration could actually affect it. On the one hand, it will be your responsibility as an owner to actually work your way up in the time that you were given. Everything will not come in a silver platter.

  • pabbananna

    Pubcon (2003?) was pretty explicit that it mattered, not sure if it came from google advice or not. A Pubcon (2002?) host told the whole audience he was looking to buy any domain that had been registered since the early 90's as they were so valuable at the time (as the guerrilla guru perceived at that time anyway).
    Long story short: build a good website that people want to visit. SEO is dead. That said, I register our business domain in 8 year increments.

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