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Do You Have Domain Name Seniority?

November 29th, 2007 posted by · 4 Comments

Domain seniority is basically how old your domain name is and when it’s set to expire. Why does this matter? Well, it could have a lot to do with how high you rank in the search engines and how fast your site is indexed. Recently I did an experiment with an old domain I’ve had since 1997 but haven’t done anything with. I also took a domain I registered last year and performed the same experiment.

Domain #1
Registered in 1997
Set to expire in 2010

Domain #2
Registered in 2006
Set to expire in 2008

At the time of this experiment both domains weren’t included in any search engine because I had them hidden using a robots.txt file (no index, no follow) etc. On October 29th I set up two simple pages including the same keywords, headers and title and meta tags. I linked to both websites from various message boards and even this blog. On October 31st I noticed domain #1 was indexed in Google and Yahoo!. That’s pretty quick – two days and it wasn’t even a blog, just a normal HTML site.

Domain #2 was indexed by Google on November 14th and Yahoo! on November 15th. It took two weeks to index the newer domain, set to expire sooner than the first. In case you’re wondering, both domains had similar keywords and were both .com’s.

So what did this show me? Seniority matters. I recommend registering a domain name for at least 5 years. Search engines love it and your visitors will also take notice if they’re the web savvy type who care about that sort of thing.

But Chris, isn’t set to expire in July 2008?

Yes, and the truth is when I registered my domain I wasn’t planning on having a long term site. I registered it with the plan only use it for e-mail. As you can see, my plans changed and I’ll have this domain for years to come. I should really register is for another 5 years, but 1) I’m extremely lazy and 2) Why shell out $49.95 for a 5 year registration ($9.99 x 5) right now if I don’t have to until July? 😎

The lesson… if your domain is old or if you’re registering a new domain for a long term, you’re on the good side of search engines when it comes to ranking and getting indexed quicker.

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4 Comments so far
  1. Teejay MyAvatars 0.2

    Wow! I have heard of domain seniority before and I didn’t think it was true. Doing that experiment surely made this ‘theory’ a reality.

  2. Matt Ellsworth MyAvatars 0.2

    Thanks for doing the research. I had been told about this from godaddy – in fact they called me to tell me… I thought they were just pulling my chain – then they sent me documents from 2005 when google had patented the concept that it would be a factor….

  3. Jay MyAvatars 0.2

    Very interesting! The idea does make sense, though, when you think in terms of Google. A more relevant website is certainly one that will be around for the long-term.

    I’ll have to put on my list when domain renewals come up to not just go for the one-year renewal.

  4. How To Pick a Domain Name That Doesn’t Suck - Money Making Scoop MyAvatars 0.2

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