Secrets of the Ancients: Why Age Brings More Than Wisdom In SEO

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In the last post, I discussed one of Google’s last remaining SEO biases – its bias towards keyword optimized domain names.

Today, I want to look at something on the opposite end of the SEO domain spectrum – something almost impossible to influence…

…And then I want to show you some search engine jiu-jitsu that allows you to overcome this seemingly impossible SEO factor.

You see, there are a LOT of techniques that we use to try to come out on top in SEO – keyword placement in title tags and URLs, keyword-rich content throughout the site; submitting our pages to DMOZ and Yahoo! – all things that we can do almost instantly to make our pages more tempting to search engines.

But there’s one aspect of SEO that even the best Internet Marketer has trouble defying…


Some aspects of SEO just can’t be blitzed in the same way that others can – which is why search engines put a lot of “trust” in some factors above others when it comes to ranking pages.

For example – if you want to target your webpage to a specific keyword, within a minute you can immediately edit the page to add the keyword to the content. It’s not a hard thing to do, and it’s something you can influence almost instantly. So while having your keyword in your webpage’s content is beneficial, Google places little trust in this by itself.

A more trusted SEO factor is backlinks. Backlinks can be influenced, but it takes a lot more time and effort to build quality backlinks than it does to simply add a keyword to a page. Because this process is slow – because it’s harder to influence or manipulate or game – because it takes a lot of TIME and EFFORT to affect – Google can put a lot of trust into backlinks when it comes to deciding which pages should get top rankings.

But there is one “trust” factor that simply cannot be influenced using money or effort…

Domain Age.

If you purchase a domain today and your competitor has already existed for two years, then when you hit that two year mark they’ll still be two years older. There is just nothing you can do to make your domain age at a faster rate than another domain.

Remember the “outrunning lions” story from our recent blog post?

The one that discussed why we should look for ways to be as-good or better-than our competitors in as many ways as possible if we want to outrank them?

Domain Age is one area in which a new site can’t expect to beat a competitor.

If you’re competing against aged competitors, their domain age creates a huge area of uncertainty. We might be able to draw close, or beat them in other areas – but they will always be ahead in domain age.

So we can’t be sure how much extra effort we’ll need to put into beating them in other areas (areas that we CAN influence) in order to outrank them – or even whether that effort will be successful.

If all of this sounds a bit hopeless – like some aspects of SEO just cannot be influenced, no matter how much effort you invest into them, and your older rivals will always have at least this one advantage over you – don’t give up just yet.

Here’s a tactic you can use to sidestep time.

It’s clear that we can’t make a domain older than it is – so instead, if we want to influence Domain Age, we have to work the other way. We need to find domains that already have age, and yet suit our needs.

The answer is to simply BUY an Aged Domain.

Aged Domains are domains that have been purchased in the past and have either fallen into disuse or were parked and never saw the light of day.

They can be great sources of pre-cultivated traffic, backlinks, sometimes even content.

But most importantly, they have that key feature that we’re looking for – established domain age.

Rather than trying to build domain age over time ourselves, we simply let someone else do the hard work for us – and then come in to reap the rewards.

The theory is very simple…

But getting your hands on a pre-owned domain can be a little trickier.

Typically aged domains only become available if they expire, or if their current owner decides they want to sell.

Some domain registrars, and sites such as, have created online marketplaces for aged domains.

The unique feature of Flippa is that it allows you to purchase entire web-sites, including all content – not just the domain name, like many registrars and auction sites do.

(There are a lot of “how-to’s” and tricks here that I want to come back to and show you in more detail in a later blog post. But for now, make sure you take some time to have a play with Flippa. It’s something that is going to be huge for internet marketers in the next 12 months.)

What if you can’t find the “right” domain for sale?

Well, there’s always the proactive approach.

If a registrant’s contact details appear in WHOIS records you can also approach them directly via email or phone and make them an offer.

Obviously if a site is well established then the owner may be less likely to sell – but if the domain is inactive then the owner may well part with it if you make it worth their while.

Watch the market regularly

Finally – if you’re buying domains in your market for age or other authority factors, don’t just check the auction or sales sites once.

Make sure you keep a regular eye on them so that you see the relevant, high-value domains that pop up in your market – before they get bought by someone else.

It’s effort-intensive, and time-intensive to search through all of the auction sites, sales sites, and domain registrars on a regular basis – but it’s one of the few effective ways to get your hands on high quality domains as they become available.

Plus, the potential SEO and traffic boosts involved in getting your hands on just a single high-quality, matured, keyword optimised domain can often repay your time investment many times over through the traffic that it brings.


P.S. – So far, our previous two blog posts have received over 375 comments [wow!].

Among the comments were a lot of questions about choosing the right keyword optimized domain: keyword selection; adding prefixes and suffixes; hyphens or no hyphens; .org, .net, .com, .info, etc – which is best; etc.

I want to get as many of these key questions answered for you as possible in the next few posts, plus go through a lot of the “how-to’s” – so I’ve asked a friend and SEO domain name expert to help share his knowledge and experience in these areas. It’s shaping up to be some killer content, but give us a day or two to finish it for you – there’s a lot for us to get through here.

Brent Hodgson a co-founder of Noble Samurai, and an internet marketing specialist.

Brent has written 68 post(s) for Noble Samurai

130 Responses to “Secrets of the Ancients: Why Age Brings More Than Wisdom In SEO”

  1. Thanks you very much for the great post. I got my answers to my question that I asked in the last blog post. Currently I am unable to rank a website because of only Domain Age Factor. So, it will be best to buy a old domain and then create backlinks as well as good contents. Thanks again.

  2. I’ve heard there are one or two good places to buy expiring domain names. Can anyone make any suggestions?

    Brent Hodgson replied:

    Good question. There are about half a dozen good places to get aged domain names. I’ll make sure they get covered in one of the upcoming blog posts.

    Cesar Gonzalez replied:

    Great post Brent! Quick question — If an aged domain expires and gets re-registered within a week or two, does it lose its “domain age” in Google’s eyes? In other words, is it worth registering dropped domains since you can get them for $10 a piece?

  3. Great information Brent
    I have a question on domains. Will there still be SEO benefit if a domain simply points to another domain. i.e. You buy a used domain and use it as a feeder to your already established domain with content already developed.

    Brent Hodgson replied:

    “Will there still be SEO benefit if a domain simply points to another domain.” – yes, but it’s not anywhere near as high as using the domain itself. You will refer a portion of the “link juice” pointing to the aged site onto your site – however the domain itself is near impossible to rank.
    (There are ways, but they’re not really the best.)

    Chotrul Search Engine Optimisation replied:

    Yes, I’d absolutely agree with this – don’t point the domain – use it! Otherwise you are wasting its power.

    Brent Hodgson replied:

    Two quick examples.

    DomainTools has a domain – registrant search dot com. It redirects to their registrant search service using a 302 redirect.

    I saw this ranking for the keyword “registrant search” recently – however, when I check back today, the landing page is ranking (not the referring domain).

    James Schramko is the only guy I know who has developed a strategy for getting referring domains ranked – but it’s not a strategy I would recommend everyone uses as part of their core business.

  4. Really apreciate your insights. Great content. Thanks

  5. Andee

    I was going to ask the same question. I have heard about expired domains and even subscribed to a couple of services that would advise what domains were coming up for expiry. The one’s they would send me weren’t any good for me so I stopped the service.

    So I got thinking like Andee about redirecting domains. Is this an option?

  6. Brent,

    I also have the same situation as some of the other commenters. I searched for aged domains and found some quite good ones but the names did not fit my business.

    So I am interested in understanding the possibilities of redirecting the aged domain to my-named domain site.

    Would love to have any further information you could provide in regard to this and more ways to find aged domains and more sellers. (The only one I know of is the major domain registrant – who I would rather avoid.)



  7. I’ve learnt this last year and i’m taking actions in that direction.
    But i still have a concern about the extensions of domains. Does it matter whether we have .com , .net , .biz,….for SEO purposes?


    Victor replied:

    Yes the different TLD’s do affect SERP outcomes but NOT for the reasons that domineers will tell you.

    The search engines view all TLD’s equally the 2 biggest reasons that .com, .net and .org “seem” to do better based on anecdotal evidence are …

    1, Exactly the reason stated here – age, if its a good generic “with exact match search volume” domain you can almost guarantee that the .com or .net has age – ie someone probably registered the domain several years ago, this is a tremendous advantage over a brand new .biz that is still available today.

    2, If the domain really is that good the .com will get some type in traffic ie some searchers will actually type in “” even though they may not know that is the site they want.

    A little discussed factor in search algorithms is having some traffic that you generate outside the efforts of the SERP’s – dont think for a moment that having traffic that is looking for your URL in the Search Engines doesnt boost authority in a huge way, the default of the .com domain can help in this if your getting even a little type in traffic. Think about it would you give authority to a site that people where looking for by URL ?

    People don’t type in unless you have earnt it with mind share.

    Domineers that are sitting on 100′s or 1000′s of URL want you to believe that there is and will only ever be one TLD .com and I agree up to point given a specific word I would take a .com over any other TLD very day.

    However for a niche microsite that is part of a stable of sites I am not going to buy a $5000 for a domain so because of the biasing discussed in the previous post I would also take a perfect exact match .biz or other global TLD and plan of developing that out over a number of years rather than some hyphenated 3 word .com, .net or .org.

    One final comment you should also be aware that if you are interested in global markets you should stay away from country specific domains but if you are interested in one country marketing there is a HUGE bonus showing up in a countries directory if you own the local country domain.

    EG Check out where the Market Samurai are from # for “credit cards” in Australia is # 1 but when compared to the SERP for they would not stand a chance but are given the country specific bias.

    Brett replied:

    Hey Tiens

    I have the same question and have got partial answers to it. This is what I have found so far. In this order 1. .com 2. .org 3. .net 4. .us (if you are in the US). Then from there not really sure. I think the world is snatching up the .orgs currently. If you hear something different please let me know.

    Matt replied:

    I have the same exact question. There’s a .biz coming up soon for the exact domain name I’ve been after for a while, but I have no idea if .info and .biz domains can rank as well .coms and .nets.

    I have noticed some .orgs dominating a lot of great categories though.

    Quick money loan replied:

    I can tell you that 2 .info sites that i have don’t even show in the top 100 for the names even though they have been seo,d just for the name as an experiment.

    .com .net .org i am not sure how they rank because is on first page of g00gle out of 23,100,000 with the .com and .org no where to be seen in the first 50 results. But this .net is a younger domain and it outranks the older domains on g00gle. Now on yah00 it is third behind .org .com different algorithms?

  8. Great post Brent! I definitely appreciate you following up with all of the questions from the previous posts. Keep up the great work!

  9. 9

    I have recently purchased several aged domains, one is 8 years old and the other is 11 years old. And one of these has a PR4. I have several sites that I would like to ‘help’ with these sites I purchased. Would like expert opinion on 301 redirects, to boost my working sites.Hope you answer that question.
    As always, uber good information.

  10. Dang it you guys rock. I just got introduced to Market Samurai and have been impressed alone on that piece of software let alone your blog posts. Dead on again with this one and I appreciate your actionable and valuable content. Keep it up. :)

  11. Orvel,

    You’ll definitely lose PR by using a 301 on the domain. A few groups – including SEOMoz have conducted pretty extended testing and have established that you’ll leak PR. Matt Cutts of Google also verified this. See this article for details:


  12. You can get aged domains 10 years and older cheap on the godaddy aftermarket – $7-8 but don’t tell anyone shh..

  13. Nice Post. I’ve always wondered how to get better with the domain age. Mine is 6 years old which is pretty good but I’m up against ones who are 10 years old which puts me at somewhat of a disadvantage

  14. Ok so when is namesamurai coming out?

  15. Keep them coming! Newbies should read this one at least once a month :)

  16. Looking forward to your follow up post on this. Aged domains are good, but there are lots of “gotchas” like fake PR, redirects, etc… that people need to be educated about. Looking forward to seeing your info in the next post.

  17. Brent a cracking good post and at exactly the right time for me. I am just about to launch a new site on a new domain and was wondering about linking from aged sites and possible redirecting too.

  18. 18
    On March 25th, 2010 at 3:17 am
    Onlinepreneur said:

    These last two posts go great back to back, but a big question remains. If you have to choose one, which is better, a nicely aged domain name or a new keyword optimized domain name?

    Brett replied:

    An aged domain. You can build links to the domain that is new, but it will never have the time factor. So it’s better to get the older domain and then build the links with the keywords you want.

  19. If the prior domain owner had done anything black hat and gotten caught by Google, would the new domain owner be penalized?

    Victor replied:

    Yes the caution three factors that you need to consider when looking at aged domains are

    1, Why is it for sale ?

    Has it been cooked ie black listed? Years ago we regularly cooked domains to find the limits of how much you could get away with.

    You can get a reinclusion but its easier to buy clean non penalized domains.

    2, Watch out for fake PR, it is very easy to create fake PR on a site.

    3, Has it been dropped and registered, that resets its age.

    The key to getting a great aged domain is a domain that has seen continuous, populated development over a several years. Parked domains without links doesnt have the same quick start authority as real preloved sites.

  20. Remember keywords in the domain aren’t the only factor. So if you’ve got an aged domain, you can still send quality links to it for whatever phrase and content you want. Eventually Google will figure it out regardless of the domain. For competitive terms, I think domain age may be more important than the keyword in the domain.


    cd :O)

  21. If most of the auction sites have APIs could you not add this to your product – type in keywords and have samurai monitor all the sites for availability each time we open your app for example (or manually)?

  22. There is a new tool that I found through useing the seo tool on market samuri that you can get number 1 on google with 0 domain age 3 months for even a 3 word phrase like insurance.

    Brett replied:

    Please share

    Mary-Kay Perris replied:

    Steven, what might that tool be please, I am in the process of creating new websites. Thanks

    Steven Scheeler replied:

    The software is not cheap. It is $1,000 a month

    Mary-Kay Perris replied:

    Thank you Steven, that is a little rich for me at the moment. I appreciate yr responding.

    John replied:


    I shot you an email to you on your email


  23. Thanks for this post. In researching keywords for a new site in the forex market, I came across some expired domains with 2 and 3 word keywords. Guess I missed a beat in finding out if I could get them :)

  24. 24

    One thing I love about you guys – You go way above just being a software vendor! Thanks for the great tips. Looking forward to the SEO content you mentioned.

  25. I have a question related to this:
    – What about buying domains based on Page Rank Merit? I’ve heard that changing the WhoIs will cause a domain to lose it’s Page Rank.

    What are other pitfalls we should watch out for if we buy an aged domain based on it’s Page Rank?

  26. Thanks for this great article Brent! And for your software I recently purchased, very impressive. I was not really aware of domain age being a factor but I can now understand Google’s reason for taking into the PR formulas…
    However, I wonder: would Google look at the Whois info or something similar, or just in their databases (which effectively copy the entire accessible web and extract a lot of condensed info). If an old domain hardly had any content or no content at all, wouldn’t the age factor be less influential? I am currently working on a community site for a domain I purchased 10 years ago. I think I finally have a good and viable business plan. I bought it for $400 then – and several years it was estimated to be worth $10 K (but when I tried to sell it, th highest bid was $1300. My two main keywords, only 8 letters – I think it is worth a lot. But! In those ten years it has never been used…
    Do you still think its age makes it easier to get higher PRs when I launch the community?

    Thank again for all your great info! As interaction designer and front-ender I already know quite some SEO stuff, but I just gottakeep learning! ;-)

    Peter – The Netherlands

  27. Is it really worth the premium that some sites ask for and would it be better to look at network solutions and’s contact and make an offer on these sites and if so whata a reasonable offer to make?

  28. Good article brent as always…, it likely there were no way to outrank the domain age I will keep in mind that…

  29. Dead on, I have run up against the age factor recently, and am left with just sticking to my plan and forging ahead. I have bought aged domains for other ventures, but too soon to tell how well they will pan out. Thanks for the great content as always.

  30. 30

    Hehe sounds so nice but it is not that simple I’m afraid. It is the content and authority that counts, and if you put the fresh content on the aged domain that was parked for 4 years…I don’t think you will get any gains, your page will still be looked as fresh and new.

    But still it is a man’s right to dream ;) Good post for noobs :)

  31. I heard about Google banning website for life. If you purchase a website that was previously banned y Google, wouldn’t that affect the new owner?

  32. 32
    On March 25th, 2010 at 3:51 am
    SEO Merseyside said:

    I have a domain I registered 5-6 years ago but never use, it’s
    It could be used as a google PR8 or PR9 web directory. Does anyone want to buy it? Make me an offer. I have it as also. Jay

  33. A great article and relevant with Name Samurai and yesterdays blog post about domain name relevancy. The importance Google places on domain names and age is very significant.

  34. If one is to buy an established domain name you have to be prepared to pay a good bit for it. And as Juan, says, what about Google flexing its muscles leaving without a paddle?

    But I don’t really know much about domain name purchases and may be totally off the mark here.

  35. Age is a factor but not age by itself – it’s the period of time in a ranking position that counts.

    I always place a blank index file in my domains immediately after registering them. With that the search engines record an aging ‘ping’ on their first visit.

    Taking the logic being used here if I then put some actual content on them in 10 years’ time I should get the benefit of all that accumulated age, but it just doesn’t work like that.

    If I’ve got 10 PR4 sites all on the first page with similar backlink counts then yes, the oldest domain will tend to float to the top but only if it’s actually been ranked with good content during that period. All we’re proving to Google with an aged domain is that the site has ‘legs’, not that it’s rank-worthy on that factor alone.

    Age IS a ranking factor, but not enough of one to go spending a lot of money on. Content, backlinks and site size are far more important.

  36. 36

    please can anybody help me on website flipping guide. please i need a complete guide on it.

    Waz replied:

    Ed Dale’s “30 day challange” covers everything you need to build a site and then how you can flip it. It’s a good resource (very detailed) and it’s free. He does it once per year but you can join and start anytime.

  37. 37

    While I agree that domain age is a ranking factor, it is one of dozens of small factors that are only really put into play in very evenly matched cases.

    Rather than changing horses mid-stream, it would be better to focus on link building activities using the appropriate keywords, and the small handful of on-page factors that really do count.

    I have seen many cases of new sites outranking old sites based purely on the number of keyword-relevant links inbound (even if the old site has many more generic inbound links)

  38. 38

    Great post, thank you so much. I have bought recently a domain which was created 11 years ago (recording to, and was 7 years later given up by thw owner. I thought it was a 7$ bargain for me when I bought this domain. But now the whois tool tells me that the domain was created on March 12th 2010 (and not 1999, as I have assumed). So I am wondering if I still have any advantages of this “aged” domain. What will g**gle think about this?

  39. It seems Google always has a way to defeat the new websites. Thanks for the articles on SEO. Please keep them coming. I often wonder if a new kid will pop up and be the new elephant in the search engine domain. Then it will a new learning curve all over again.

    Victor replied:

    That’s the point that I like about these Market Samuari guys they really understand SEO, it doesn’t change for any of the search engines the intent is ALWAYS the same it is SO EASY to understand its only consultants that what to make it hard.

    This is all you need to know as a framework

    Sites that establish themselves and regularly, consistently add credible unique and interesting content being mindful to match their “lanquage” with the market, stay away from the hyper competitive niches unless they have the resources to compete and finally manage to get other sites with similar principals to link to them prosper.

    Almost every site that does well does this, sites that fail don’t it really is that simple and it is never going to change.

  40. Hi. Ive been following the last posts you guy have done. I great content. I’m pretty sure that even some people isn’t commenting they agree is good content. I’m just starting at this thing of SEO and I’m learning alot from you guys. I have the full version of the software and its a great tool. Highly recommended for any one that still doesn’t has it.



  41. I was wondering based on the age maths… If renewing a domain a couple of times the cost would be recouped! even if it was never really used etc, when it became time to sell?

  42. This is another one of those situations where you have to spend a little money and invest in a support system for your web site to get more ROI from it. So many businesses and people are unwilling to spend any extra money for online marketing – let alone supporting domains.

  43. I use samurai a LOT, mostly just rank checker and the seo comp thing. Going to explore other features of it when time permits. This article really woke me up. I checked the registration on a domain I never use. Check this out:

    Created on: 07-Jun-99
    Expires on: 07-Jun-10
    Last Updated on: 12-Jul-09

    I’m the original owner. I think I will do some big time SEO on this bad boy and see what happens.

  44. I can’t believe you give all this away for free. I usually don’t watch videos or read blogs etc but I happened to watch one video and ever since I read your stuff with excitement. I was using another software up until I was referred to you by Kelly Felix blog and wow am I glad I stumbled on his blog post.

    For a new marketer like myself this really dumbs it down where I am not going “what?”

    Thank you,


  45. I think google takes it to attention, I mean the info about domain owner change. If an owner changes, domain age factor decreases in the eyes of mighty Google.

  46. I love how you are making the posts to be con’t. Very smart and I will be integrating that strategy into my posts. Can’t believe I never thought of it. BTW, brilliant content as per usual.

    Oh! Have you ever thought about adding into MS a way to analyze the Google Maps Listings. I am local search expert with G-maps and have some great ideas. DM me if you are r interested.

  47. Great idea. What do you think about purchasing a somewhat broad domain that is aged, then SEO the crap out of it? Is it weighted more in favor of domain age than keywords-in-domain?

    Thanks for the article, Brent!

  48. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Flippa. I going to check it out before buying my next new domains.

  49. Thanks for the recent articles.
    I use MS along with some other tools.
    Your blog posts always keep me in line when I start to
    stray and lose focus.


  50. 50

    There are a number of questions here.

    1) Even a newly purchased domain that has previously been used for malware related actions can have the same deindexing applied to the domain despite the new ownership.

    2) As far as i’m aware Google resets domain age once the site has been reregistered with a new owner (likewise buying a domain based on is PageRank is equal futile)

    heavy metal cleanse replied:

    2) As far as i’m aware Google resets domain age once the site has been reregistered with a new owner (likewise buying a domain based on is PageRank is equal futile)

    Incorrect. I have bought domains because of page rank. They retain their page rank and their traffic

  51. Do you think with the ever changing google algorithm, will domain age be major determinant factor for ranking or will quality and credibility rule?

  52. How can w etest to make sure that anaged website hasn’t been blacklisted or do blacklists wear off?

    Archive org doesn’t always track a domain.

    But if a site has been used fo VRE keyword stuffing, badly, then it’s reputation might be trashed.

    What sort of due diligance can we perform here?


  53. Great tips! I didn’t realize you could by aged domains. Cool.

  54. Interesting concept for not only purchasing but flipping some of my aged domains. I may list one of them on flippa to see if I can make quick cash for a software that I want to purchase. Is it hard to sell websites on Flippa or is it similar to eBay?

  55. Very interesting facts. Thanks for the heads up.

  56. I need to Purchase 5 Domains with rankings 3 & 4

    I want to do Internet Marketing.
    I develop websites using weebly, hosted by weebly.
    I want to buy ranked without content & then use
    these purchased ranked websites, add content & Viola, I got a ranked website With all the associated benefits.

    Web Host: Weebly
    DNS provider:

    Can this be done? Your help will be so much appreciated

  57. Hi Brent great article on domain age,I am interested in how to create back links for my website.I have used the m/s tool to find the links but how do you connect them to the website?

  58. Do you think Google determine age by registration date or by when G first notices & indexes the domain(requiring content)?

    In other words please clarify if an ‘aged’ domain only needs to have been registered & ‘parked’ or will it have needed to be ‘live’ with pages/content ?

  59. That is a really good post. What I picked up from it rather build a site and then go hunting afer an aged domain, is to find a relatively cheap aged domain. Build a site for targeted at local markets and then sell it on or work to maintain the site and put up ads for a local shop or service provider.

  60. I certainly understand the value of having an aged domain, but I don’t think that age plays as big of a role as it is made out to be here.

    No, you can never overcome the issue of domain age…and, yes, Google give a little more “juice” to domains that have been around for awhile. However, if it was really that difficult to overcome the age factor it would be pointless for people to start new websites.

    It may take a little more work to overtake an aged domain, but content and backlinks (ie. authority/popularity) are more valuable in my opinion.

    I see your point that simply buying an aged domain will save time and work, but getting a quality one most likely will cost a good chunk of money.

    Just my $0.02!


  61. 61
    On March 25th, 2010 at 6:01 am
    tomartomartini said:

    Once again very good content –Name Samurai–pre-sales content and why not!There is a tiny weeny issue understandably not covered….which is how an aged domain losses its age.

  62. Another solid article on the importance of the domain in SEO. We sell a lot of aged domains ourselves and have at times sold what might otherwise be considered garbage domains for hundreds of dollars simply due to their age (they usually need to be 12+ years old for that to happen).

    The worst thing someone can do when they’re trying to start a business is look for the first decent available name to register and get it as the home of their business. A domain purchase is the single most effective use of money to help your business achieve success. It’s tough for many people though because it can also be the easiest way to blow a lot of money on something worthless if you don’t know what you’re doing.

    Anyways, glad to see MarketSamurai spreading the word on domain importance to SEO because that cannot be understated, and unlike links, PR, and other factors that come and go, the age of a domain is what it is as long as you keep renewing it, and the exact keyword match is what it is too. You can either stand on solid ground with a solid domain or do what most people do and choose to weather the storm in the oceans of PR/linkbacks as your primary SEO strategy.


  63. I own several websites which are all in use and several years old. Yet Market Samurai nor other tools (e.g. Alexa) seem to be able to determine their domain age (response = “domain age not available”).
    Yet their Google search ranking is ‘not too bad’ in Aussie terms :-).
    Don’t know why DA can’t be determined – anyone else have this too?

  64. Try using “register compass” not just to find “aged” “dropped domains” but using age as a criteria selecting whole micro niches. go to register compass and search for a domain in a broad category that you would like to be in. sort the domains by age and then pick a bunch that look like they may have a direct keyword corellation (last MS post) and run them through MS testing the keyword.

  65. Another great post Brent. Thanks for giving Flippa a shout out too.

  66. 66

    I know of this to be true…

    But you know something.. I am disappointed as I am building new sites each week with great content.. yet.. because I am using brand new domains… they will take longer to get found by visitors.. even though I have great content to offer my visitors… even more so then some of my competitors… yet they will remain infront of me for the time being!

    Kinda sucks that way…

  67. Great article and explanation. Is there any truth to improving a new domain’s rankings if you register the domain for a longer period of time…say 2-5 years instead of a one year term that you automatically renew?

    Thanks for the helpful insights!


    Late deal holidays replied:

    There’s a lot of rumour and VERY little truth. Google mentioned in passing that they were thinking of taking the length of registration into account, and the domain registrars jumped on it as an excuse to frighten people into spending more money registering domains for longer.

    Even if Google DO include this as part of their ranking algorithms, which has yet to be confirmed, it will only be ONE (probably pretty small) part of a large complex method of ranking.

    Bottom line: don’t worry about it!

    In case you aren’t convinced, go check the whois info for some of the biggest names on the web and see how long their domains are registered for. You’d be surprised!

  68. Another awesome piece of content man. We want more!!! I used to purchase a lot of good keyword optimized aged domains of at least 5 years on freshdrop dot net (most had good backlinks, PR) , but they recently switched to payed membership :( and I stopped using them. You could easily get a good Go Daddy auction closeout domain for like $5 USD several months ago.

    I kindly ask you to cover the business/keyword related pre-owned domains that people could get from GoDaddy auctions in your next post (if that’s possible)


  69. 69

    Great info, you are slowly but sureley filling in the blanks for me, keep it coming!

    Brian replied:

    I feel the same way Ian, you just said it better!

  70. You guys are the best at giving Practical advice; whether it’s keyword focused, SEO focused, etc.
    I’m a neophyte trying to drive traffic to my Energizing Your Health website.
    I appreciate your ‘noble’ efforts.

  71. I remember when Flippa was introduced at last year’s 30DC. it’s been a crown jewel for increasing my seo efforts in those rare cases where my clients HAD to have that keyword. Thanks again and i look forward to seeing what else you have in store for us here. Have a good one!

  72. I’m hoping Market Samurai can help me salvage a site: Tho aged over 2 years now and a well chosen keyword loaded domain – I’ve got the double whammy of both an overly competitive set of keywords and a Google penalty for overly aggressive backlink building. Bing and Yahoo like the site – but I just can”t make a dent with Google.

  73. It isn’t as simple as buying an aged domain. You have to make sure the domain hasn’t previously been removed from the Google index or you will be sitting there forever waiting to get indexed. The online history of the domain might be poor, not just in SEO terms but in reputation. Make sure you check everything thoroughly before purchasing.

  74. 74

    And I notice using the SEOC in MS that in some niches, in the top 10, the DA and PR are all over the place.

    Kinda makes me think that even though DA and PR are highly important, if you drill down deep enough, you can find keywords with pretty good search volumes and low enough competition (and 3 out of 10 competitors with poorly optimized sites) that a well optimized site will outrank an older site.

    We’ll be finding out – I published two such sites in the past week – and I expect to see them ranking well, soon; thank you very much, Market Samurai.

    I did get a few .edu and .gov links to “help the cause”.

  75. is a really old URL by interweb standards and yet even with a moderately optimized site, the benefits of age do not seem to present them-self as compared to new entries in the local maps. Furthermore, it is entirely possible that the various shift in hosts may muck things up. Clustered with the punitive damage that may come from ignoring web standards by the old and rusted domain, I question the true return on investment in the untangling of older domains misgivings.

  76. I had heard that registering your domain for multiple years (i.e. paying upfront for 2 or 5 years, rather than just one year) – had a similar effect. It (supposedly) shows that your planning grow the site over the long haul…

    Do you know if there’s truth to this? And, I have to assume that the effect from it is *less* than actual aging, right? Thanks :)

    Late deal holidays replied:

    Please read my reply to post number 67 above

  77. Buying domains that fit my purpose is something I have not been able to do. There many sites out there for sale, but many dont really have good page rank or traffic which I guess is not such a big deal, your going for domain age. Will continue to keep that in mind as I continue this journey.

  78. Great article Brett.
    I have briefly looked at in the past, and after reading this post it is definitely something I will look into & learn more about.
    When buying your domains it makes sense to checkout whats domains are available or for sale on Flippa, you never know what gems you may find.

  79. I think we shouldn’t worry much about domain age, because what’s really important is how to define your top 10 listing on Google, the strength of your top 10 listing on Google. I’ve done it many times, out ranked an aged domain using a domain less than a year of age. How? Backlinks!

  80. Can’t wait for the flippa shopping tips! I tried before, but would like some guidance through ‘flipping’.

  81. In fact there are just sites that deal with domain auctions like Go daddy and and many others. Its hard to find an aged domain with Keyword enriched names and you may pay $1000 + USD for a 5-10 year old domain easily.

  82. Brent another good article
    When i found the name lake tackle i thought i would pick it up just to hang on to. Imagine my supprise when market samuri revaled the domain age was 7 years old. No wonder its first on google out of 3,730,000. I think i really should do something more than an a store with it though. I am very new to the internet marketing world and do not know how to make the most out of what i have , any ideas from from anyone with experience would be greatly appreciated.

    Brian replied:

    Hi Lake Tackle,

    I’m just a newbie but my immediate thought on your need for direction, and again I don’t know how much effort you would have to put into this but, how about setting up an affiliate program of some sort?

    Websites can be made to just run locally if you want. So if you had others (even myself) advertising for you who knows what that might do for your sales.

    I will check out your site. I enjoy fishing also eventhough I haven’t gone in a while.

    Just an idea.


  83. Hey guys. Thanks for the great post. Look forward to the next one.

  84. 84

    I am really impressed by Brent update on internet marketing. Having gone through 30DC with my website established, I am looking forward to sell it one day to cover the cost of keeping it.
    Thanks Brent for the update.

  85. What a great info and new knowledge for me. Domain Age is good for ranking but is it possible to get high targeted Domain Age?

  86. So simple and makes perfect sense. Thank you!

  87. My domain has heen for 3 years and it took awhile to start to rank well in the major search engines. I will check out aged domains to see first hand the benifits.

  88. Woohoo! I am sooo excited by this post! Thanks Brett!

    I have been telling techie friends and clients about my theory of the age of domains for such a long time, and everyone (well, most) thought I was nuts :-)

    I tell everyone, “If you have an idea for a domain, buy it today – even if you don’t use it for a couple of years. You’ll thank me later.”

    I am so pleased to see this spelled out so clearly … and to know I got it right :-)


  89. 89

    Thanks for the info. It made me think of the situation where you rebrand a business and create a new name and url. e.g. the old url may have been which may have been around for a couple of years, and you rebrand the business What impact would this have on SEO? Is there anyway to leverage off the old url?

  90. Thanks for another well written and informative post! I always look forward to your new posts due to the quality and usefulness of the material! Thanks again!

  91. I’ve heard it said that when purchasing a domain one is better buying minimum 2 years rather than 1 year and keep renewing as Google holds more weight towards domains registered for longer periods as well as aged domains, is this correct?

  92. Hi, thanks for the post

    I bought 2 x 5yr old domains with meaningless, generic names and used one (I’ve put the link here as my website) by attaching a subdomain with the keywords I wanted for testing, but on samurai, I see that the domain does not show up as 5 years old. What have I stuffed up?

    Sandra (and Dieter)

  93. Oops, gave wrong link to website above.

  94. I just got a 5 YEAR OLD AWESOME domain name for 10 bucks! Thanks for the tip!

  95. hi..i’m new as a user of market samurai…anybody can help me to explain how to use this market samurai clearly?

  96. 96

    Hey Brent,

    The last couple of posts have been great for me, being a newbie and all. This stuff all makes logical sense. I’m just getting my first campaign off the ground here in a week or two. I wanted to have it going by now but can’t quit my “day jobs” yet. REcieving your emails is encouraging and motivating.

    Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!


  97. Neat tip. I hadn’t thought about this before but such a great, yet simple idea. Thanks for the tip and the grat software :)

  98. Thank you, for this post. One thing one can add: When you continuously post new content you can outrank an old domain.

  99. I have always said domain age plays a big part in the ranking of a site. I have also realised if you register teh domain name for a long time ie 5 years or 10 google seems to like it a lot so every year I would register a good domain that has been earning consistently for a couple of years and register it for 10 years.


  100. 100

    Don’t know where to ask this question:
    Is there a way to find out how much
    a keyphrase is searched from mobile
    devices versus ‘regular’ desktop internet?



  101. So this doesn’t get lost in Comments – sending thru Support.

    The BIG BIG Question about Domain Age

    Which is correct as far as Google is concerned:

    Is Domain Age the number of years since it was “created” in ICANN database?

    Is Domain Age the number of years since Google included the domain in its Index?

    There are 1000,s of domains with no pages or a parking page. What is the opportunity with these “aged domains” versus a domain/site that was indexed and contains pages with PR and history in Google’s index.

    Answer this one definitively and you’ve contributed the missing link to this ongoing debate over aged domains.


  102. Hey Brent… great post with some interesting points to consider. I’ll look forward to the upcoming guest posts that you mention too about “adding prefixes and suffixes; hyphens or no hyphens; .org, .net, .com, .info, etc – which is best; etc”

  103. Thanks for the good explanation. This does explain why some of my older sites rank better than some of the newer sites. It does make sense to purchase older domains to get the same effect.


  104. One of my SEO places I pay for says that .ORG is currently a hair better than .COM. My next blog will be on a .ORG just to test it out.

    Never buy a .INFO if you want to rank for anything. Google doesn’t trust them as so many spammers use them because for 1.99 they are cheap throway domains.

    I’ve been lucky and have some really good, old domains. Even if you have no use for the domain at the moment put something on it and some adsense ads and let it sit until you need it.

  105. Good post Brent, thanks. Here is a slightly different question. I have several domain names I’ve purchased, that I just have parked waiting to use one day.

    What is the best way to get these to age gracefully, so that when I do want to use them I’ll be of to a good start.

    I assume setting up a real site along with some real content and backlinks is a good start.


    Brent Hodgson replied:

    “Age Gracefully” – I like the way you put that :)

    What I do with my domains is set up a WordPress Direct blog on them, put up some keyword targeted content, put up some links and let them sit (if I’m not going to be doing anything with them for a while.)

    Ridiculously(!), some of these blogs are now ranking in the top 10 spots in Google for their targeted keyphrases… Before I’ve actually got around to doing anything with them!

  106. Thanks Brent. When you say “put up some links” – are these back links to the blog’s?

    I do have one domain that has been up for quite a few years and has relevant content, but does not come up on Google at all. I have never done any SEO on the site and it is just one page, but it has no backlinks, nor from memory any links at all.

    Neville (aging as ungracefully as possible) :-)