We all should know that older domains seem to rank better on Google, this is due to a mixture of trust and the link profile they have managed to build. The longer you have been around the more links you are likely to have, right?
I have done a little research on domain age to see if it really is that big a factor, it comes out of my own frustration with the Google rankings. We recently hit the first page for “google seo“, great only 6 months to achieve it, however evey now and again Google takes us down a couple of pages to simply move us back up after a week or two. Is this the effect of domain age? Is Google telling us, “yes you have a nice link profile but you need to grow up a little before we cement your position”?? I like to think so as we have checked every other area of our optimisation. So… here is what I decided to do; I took 5 broad keywords:-
- SEO services
- search engine optimisation
- seo company
- internet marketing
All very competitive keywords and hopefully all the sites ranking for them will have all the basic elements of optimisation right. However I also wanted to see the effects of domain age on some related longtail keywords;
- internet marketing in the UK
- search engine optimisation seo service
- seo made easy
- search engine optimisation and marketing
- seo companies in the uk
Still competitive but no where near as competitive as the broad terms. The idea is that the less competitive keywords should have a lower average domain age, this would back up the theory that domain age adds to ranking ability. Below are some of the findings from the testing, get ready for a whole load of excel graphs
The first aspect I compared was the average domain age on page one compared to page two for the broad, high competition keywords.
As you can see for two of the keywords, the sites on page 2 have a higher average domain age. Surely if domain age played a big role in ranking the sites, page 1 should have a higher domain age?? Doesn’t look that way to me. Anyway next I looked at the ‘longtail’ keyword differences form page 1 to 2.
Again we see that 3 of the keywords have a higher average age on page 2 not page 1, how can this be if domain age holds so much wieght??
As part of the test I also wanted to look at how domain age differed between ranks, if domain age holds a lot of weight in the rankings, surely the first 3 spots are going to be the oldest domains? This first graph shows the average domain age for the sites ranked in position 1 on Google.
Again the first 2 positions on Google are dominated by sites with a lower average domain age. These should technically be behind the older sites. Let’s compare average domain age between broad and longtail keywords.
Here we see that longtail keyword searches actually attract a higher average domain age, compared to broad terms which rubbish’s the theory that domain age does not matter when targeting longtail keywords. Now you’re probably thinking wow, all the site in this study still lseem to be 5 years old and above, how am I ever going to get to the first page of Google??? Ok I am going to give you a little light at the end of the tunnel, you see there are some sites mingling with the big boys who have only been around 18 months, how have they done that? Why are they ranking so high?? Let me first explain a little better, using more lovely graphs;
Average Age of Sites on First Page of Google
Let’s take a look at the break down of sites on the first page of Google for competitive terms.
So, as you can see from above 23% of sites on the first page of Google are under 3 years old and as I said above some only 18 months for keywords such as “seo” and “search engine optimisation”.
It can be done regardless of domain age, the trick is knowing how to get in that top 23%, how to optimise like the top 23% of sites that rank despite domain age. Let me round up my thoughts from this study and then leave you with something worth coming back for next week.
- Domain age in my opinion plays a minor role if any, on rankings within Google.
- The reason older sites seem to rank higher is simply due to the fact they have had longer to build their link profile.
- There is no difference between longtail and broad keywords in terms of SEO. The only factor that determines where you rank is how well optimised your page is for the keyword compared to the competition, whether long or broad keywords.
- If your domain has a strong link profile you are better able to rank for new pages as you hold more trust
- Unless your site is 12 months or older you have little chance ranking for competitive terms, and even after this period you need to have optimised like an expert to sit at the top
and…… If you want to rank your site on the first page of Google for high traffic keywords sooner rather than later then you need to optimise like an expert, to find out how the top 23% of seo’s are optimising, come back next week when I will go through step by step what these sites have done to get on the first page of Google so quick
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Author: Tim (294 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.