(K9) More seo musings…..
A few things to consider. Are we talking about rankings improvement, or traffic?
For traffic, on it’s own at least, in my experience,I don’t think so. Having a ten year old domain that Google knows nothing about is the same as having a brand new domain.
Rankings in Google come down to opportunity and TRUST.
It’s akin to saying you trust an older person over a younger person just because they are older. Is this really a measurement you can trust – ON IT’S OWN?
I also hear if you have no credit history AT ALL, you’ll find it hard to get credit, because of a lack of, well, trust built up over the years, that you can actually pay back.
Likewise, do you trust someone implicitly you met in primary school and haven’t heard of in 35 years?
People judge each other by their actions over time, so would it be reasonable to think Google going into 2010 is the same?
In a better situation, you trust a friend you’ve known consistently for 10 years. Other folks cite them as trustworthy. As you get to know them better, you believe in them more.
A 10 year old site that’s constantly cited by, year on year, the actions of other, more authorative, and trusted sites? That’s valuable.
But that’s not the age of your website address ON IT”S OWN in play as a ranking factor. A one year old domain cited by authority sites is just as valuable if not more valuable.
Perhaps Domain age may come into play when other factors are considered – but I think Google works very much like this on all levels, with all ‘ranking factors’, and all ranking ‘conditions’. I don’t think you can consider discovering ‘ranking factors’ without ‘ranking conditions’.
Some rankings may improve over time if a site is highly relevant (I’ve seen this) and has done nothing to break Google’s ‘trust’ but perhpas this is just because Google is getting better at finding relevent content?
It’s worth noting that this slight ranking improvement probably gets beat down anyway as competitors concentrate on geting more weighty benefits to their site (ie links from other trusted sites).
I work with a lot of domains over 10 years old, and this age metric doesn’t stand up wel, on it’s own, to more likely rewarding Google ranking factors. For instance – I’ve got an exact match domain I made 3 months ago on page two of Google for it’s main term with one link.
I think you’ve really got to be thinking like a Google engineer when considering ranking factors and under what conditions they may be of benefit to your seo, or to its detriment, while it can be fun to surmise about these factors.
I prefer to theorise about the actual psychology of rankings from the engineers point of view, rather than just simple building blocks that form part of a jigsaw.
Domain: 13 factors from SEJ
- Domain age; (NOT ON IT”S OWN)
- Length of domain registration; (I don’t see much benefit ON IT”S OWN even knowing “Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year.”) – paying for a domain in advance just tells others you don’t want anyone else using this domain name, it is no indication you’re going to do something Google will reward you for iMO).
- Domain registration information hidden/anonymous; (possibly, under human review if OTHER CONDITIONS are met like looking like a spam site)
- Site top level domain (geographical focus, e.g. com versus co.uk); (YES)
- Site top level domain (e.g. .com versus .info); (DEPENDS)
- Sub domain or root domain? (DEPENDS)
- Domain past records (how often it changed IP); (DEPENDS)
- Domain past owners (how often the owner was changed) (DEPENDS)
- Keywords in the domain; (DEFINITELY – ESPECIALLY EXACT KEYWORD MATCH))
- Domain IP; (DEPENDS – for most, no)
- Domain IP neighbors; (DEPENDS – for most, no)
- Domain external mentions (non-linked) (I Don’t think so)
- Geo-targeting settings in Google Webmaster Tools (YES – of course)
I considered doing something similar in 2010 as the above, but you’ll get more benefit from Google sticking to the simple stuff than trying to identify for sure if anything but the very obvious is at play in Google rankings:
- How Niche You are
- How Relevent You Are
- Better Crap Links You Have
- More and Better Quality Links from real sites wether they are relevant or not
Perhaps what I am saying is I focus on other more obvious ways to improve rankings. I try and do what others have done only better. None of these signals on it’s own regarding domain age or registration is a sign of trust Google would take on it’s own merit.
I don’t think it’s where your at, it’s what you do next, what you flag as your intent (! don’t ask !) that is more important to improve rankings in 2010, with a new site especially, using traditional seo methods – not that real time crap.
Do check out Anne’s great post at SEJ, and let me know what you think? I have tweetbacks turned on for this post so you can DISAGREE or AGREE just by tweeting also if you can’t be bothered to comment :)