Jul 31, 2008
The age of a domain name plays a vital role in search engines. Just like offline businesses where companies that have been around a while increase in credibility to customers as opposed to start ups. Search engines do look at the age of a domain name as a factor. While it is not a killer to start ups it is looked at. There are two things that are looked at.
1) The age of a website
2) The amount of time the domain has been registered
The age of a website is looked at as the amount of content that has been built up, how long of time has the site been promoted, and how frequent the last update has been made to the site. When starting a website you will have to prove yourself just like any other business.
Google uses a sandbox theory in order to minimize spam. The theory is that Google will not index the site for 3-4 months in order to see if the website will stick around. Google has not come out officially to declare they use a sandbox, although many webmasters do feel there is one. If you are able to stick around for a while then Google takes notice and then quote unquote takes you out of the sandbox and lets you play with the adults.
The amount of time the domain has been registered is not only a factor but also how long the domain has been registered for: 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years. This will also carry some weight.
So what do you do while you are new and trying to prove yourself. Use this time to start to build content on your site by adding information, start building backlinks by writing articles and submitting them to article directories, write press releases to spread the word about your company as to who you are and that you are now launching. While it may take a while to receive PageRank, if you do continue to work on promotion and building inbound links then after the sandbox period you may receive good PageRank when Google finally assigns you a PR.
If you are just starting you may see your site listed in Yahoo and MSN faster as they seem to crawl newer sites faster. If you are planning on building a business online you may want to look at domains that have been previously owned and register the domain for a longer period of time. The theory is fly by night companies are just that, registering for a short time period.