Does domain age affect SEO?

John Mueller in a tweet said domain age does nothing for SEO.

Domain age in SEO

It may be worth noting that domain age does show up in Google search results.

Click the three dotted line next to any search results and you will see the following

domain age in SERPs

Domain Sandboxing

Various webmasters have reported their domain to be sand boxed in the first few months of launching.

Sandboxing is when Google restricts new sites from ranking higher on search engines.

This may be despite you have a very good link profile.

Here is Rand Fishkin the founder of Moz.

Domain age sandboxed

Google denies the existence of sandbox.

google sandbox denial

June 2024 – You should take these denials with a pinch of salt. A recent leak of the Google content warehouse APIs does show the existence of a hostAge parameter.

hostAge (type: integer(), default: nil) - The earliest firstseen date of all pages in this host/domain. These data are used in twiddler to sandbox fresh spam in serving time. It is 16 bit and the time is day number after 2005-12-31, and all the previous time are set to 0. If this url's host_age == domain_age, then omit domain_age Please use //spam/content/siteage-util.h to convert the day between epoch second. Regarding usage of Sentinel values: We would like to check if a value exists in scoring bundle while using in Ranklab AST. For this having a sentinel value will help us know if the field exists or has a sentinel value (in the case it does not exist). 16-bit

However, having read many reviews of the recent Google data leaks and reading the docs themselves, these parameters do not indicate a sandbox for newer sites as a definitive.

Infact, the description reads that the data is used in twiddler to sandbox fresh spam in serving time. It also indicates this score is URL based. One thing is absolutely certain – hostAge matters.

Keywords in Top Level Domain

Having a keyword in your top level domain used to be a popular strategy back in 2010.

This was overly abused by webmasters with hundreds and thousands of domains registered by domain squatters and PBN builders.

It used to provide relevancy signal but now having a keyword in top level domain is not a ranking factor.

Domain History

In a video posted on YouTube by Google Search Central team, Matt Cutts the former head of webspam said that a penalty from an old domain may carry over to the new owner.

This is in light of abused by PBN builders who simply use 301 from old domains to pass authority to new one.

Just as the penalty would carry over to the new owner, in our tests with hundreds of expired domains, the positive authority also carries through.

It is always a good idea to look at Domain’s past ownership, content on that domain, history of registrations and also any wayback results pointing to webspam in general.