When old is gold in SEO

By | November 3, 2007

Today’s one of those rare times when I blog about SEO…

Everyday, the Web is being added manifold by hundreds of thousands of new pages, or websites. How does a search engine keep up with the huge increases everyday? One of the most important things they look at, with regards to a website, is age.

If you look up on many search terms in Google, one of the things you notice is the age of the top listed sites. There may be hundreds or thousands of new sites vying for attention these days, but according to many SEO experts, age is one of those things that cannot be faked, and Google especially, has factored this into their algorithm.

Would you be willing to trust an old site more than a new site? If you know the answer, than you would know why Google likes old sites more than new sites. Old sites, especially those that are often updated, are perceived with greater respect then new sites.

According to SEOer Aaron Wall, 5 reasons why old is gold in Google’s eyes is due to:

  1. Domain age
  2. Link quality
  3. Link age
  4. Usage data
  5. Delayed monetization

Now, my understanding of domain history is almost similar. But,I think Google takes into account the previous usage data as well, on the particular domain. I don’t think domains without valid sites all this while, would be as valued by Google as domains that had fully working websites on them dating back many years.

Google actually became a domain registrar two years ago, with the main purpose of gaining access to a lot of domain data. So they do know when a domain was registered, when did it change ownership, how long was it being used as a website…and so forth.

Usage data would be the demographics of a site, how visitors behaved on a site, how many visits in a given time, and so forth. These are the metrics that I believe influence the reason why Google is often wary of old domains redeveloped as new sites on new content.

Likewise, link quality and age would be directly linked to any relevant links from relevant, quality sites over the years. For example, a link from Dmoz is still very valuable because of this. But, Dmoz does not simply take in new sites; your site needs to be old, to stand a chance of being listed! That age factor again.

Delaying monetization basically means running your site on a non profit basis, until the right time comes 🙂 This is perhaps the hard part for many webmasters; indeed there are hosting bills to pay, scripts to purchase, directory submissions to pay, advertising costs, and basically the biggest cost of all – time.

At the end of the day, it is no wonder that the age of a site has become such an important factor in “trust rank.” Trust rank is a term I suspect we’ll be seeing a whole lot more in future.

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Category: SEO