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How does domain age impact SEO?

There is a myth about a domain age where many believe that an older domain will rank better than newer domains. Since Google and many search engines do not reveal their ranking algorithms, so no one knows for sure whether the age of a domain impacts SEO. A logical view of this myth would suggest otherwise because some very popular domain names are bought for the purpose of cybersquatting (a.k.a domain squatting) and domain flipping.

Another myth we often hear is the expiration date of the domain name would have an impact on SEO. A domain name that would expire in 5 years would rank better than the one that will expire in 8 months. From Google's eye, the domain owner is committed to keeping the domain name for a longer period of time, and it would give a positive effect on SEO. However, this is just a myth and I would highly doubt it will affect searching rankings in any way.

What is cybersquatting?

Cybersquatting is a practice of purchasing a domain name that is the same or similar to someone else's trademark name and then offers to sell the domain name back to a trademark owner for a higher price. Cybersquatting is also known as " domain squatting", and it is purely buying a domain's name to prevent others from purchasing it. The purpose of cybersquatting is to resell the domain name at a higher price to someone who desperately wants it. Cybersquatting is illegal since 1999, and congress adopted the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) to allow trademark owners to recapture their names. The ACPA protects domain names from someone's company name, trademark name, and person's name.

What is domain flipping?

Domain flipping is the practice of buying a domain name in an anticipation of selling at a higher price. Some of the popular 2-word or 3-word domain names are good candidates for domain flipping. Due to the globally unique nature of the domain names, popular names are very scarce and can worth big dollar amounts at a later date.

Does domain age impact SEO?

It isn't clear whether the domain age has an impact on SEO, but even if it does the impact will be very minimal. What matters is the site age as not all domain owners create a website when they acquire it. Some people may wait up to 10 or more years before they build a site, and others may have built it but do not maintain them for many years before they become serious about adding good contents.

If all things are equal, building a site on an older domain may have an advantage but the impact would have to be very small if at all. Some experts say that the domain age used to matter, but it no longer matters today. It is more about creating great content and building inbound links that will differentiate the winners from losers.

The newer sites may have trouble ranking well in the first several months. Google and other search engines have to filter out the spammy websites, and the sites that come and go so the website has to be at least a year old. Anything beyond that would have to be from other factors. But, having a website longer period of time would have a better chance of earned more backlinks which in turn would affect positively. Another claim from the SEO community is that Google has to weigh higher for older domains because the site has to be of high quality otherwise why would they been around for so long?

Conclusion

The domain age has a very minimal effect on SEO and its rankings on SERP. What matters is the site age, having great content, and an ability to generate inbound links. Although domain age by itself may not directly impact SEO, there are other criteria built-in that may positively affect rankings.

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