You'll find quite a bit of disagreement on the topic of domain age and its significance to expired-domain buyers.

Some analysts claim that it means absolutely nothing, while others insist that focusing on domain age is an essential part of building your online brand.

As Google continues to update its algorithm and alter common SEO best practices, the confusion only deepens.

Was domain age once important to buyers of expired domains, but not anymore? Or does it still have an essential function?

If you're wondering what domain age is and why (or if) it's important, you aren't alone.

In this overview, we'll explore some key terminology, examine how domain age can affect your page ranking on Google, and show you how to find out how old your domains actually are.

What is a Domain?

What is a Domain?

Before we address domain age, let's look at basic vocabulary for those just starting to look at older domains.

Essentially, a domain is the digital "location" where someone builds a website. In this sense, it's related to a plot of real estate. Looking at a conventional URL, we have:

http s:// www.spamzilla .io /

In this case, "spamzilla" is the domain name. ".io" is the domain extension, also called the top-level domain (TLD). As you can probably guess, the most sought-after TLD is .com.

Don't confuse a domain name with an IP address, which is the fixed virtual location of a physical device like a smartphone.

The fact to note about domains is that the "owner" of a site does not really own the domain.

Instead, they rent it for a period of one to ten years from a domain registration service (a registrar).

If the person, business, or other entity who's leasing a domain fails to renew it by the agreed-upon date, the domain expires after a 30-60 day redemption period.

What are Expired Domains?

An expired domain name is precisely what it sounds like: a domain that the registrant has not renewed.

The registrars that own these domains have had the site data-wiped and, in most cases, have resold it to a new client.

Because a domain comes with all of its former metrics and rankings, expired domains are a valuable tool for businesses to acquire and use to spread their brand and achieve better marketing results.

One of the most valuable aspects of an expired domain is how many backlinks it has.

This metric refers to links from other places across the Internet. Having a high volume of backlinks from various sources helps determine your site rank.

Hundreds of articles can tell you about buying and trading expired domains.

The benefits it brings to building authority and establishing your online presence make this industry a big deal in 2021.

What Domain Age Means

Now that we understand the fundamentals, let's talk about domain age. This metric refers to the amount of time a domain has existed since being registered.

Older domains are more likely to have accumulated certain perks, such as a Google index and a sizable backlink portfolio.

By giving their site an established presence, a business increases the most important benefit of a high domain age: Google ranking.

This metric determines where a site appears when someone searches for related keywords and phrases. The higher your ranking, the better your chances of being noticed.

Domain Age and SEO

Domain Age and SEO

Domain age is traditionally considered an essential tool for SEO (search engine optimization).

SEO analysts work to understand search engine algorithms in order to help pages rank higher on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and elsewhere.

By this standard, domain age certainly seems to matter - tests of multiple websites with the same content have often favored the site with the older domain.

One controversial way to increase SEO is by buying bulk domain names of a certain age and then using these domain names to create blog sites with a large amount of content as well as backlinks pointing to a single "money site."

When all of these blogs get administered by the same entity, as they often are, it is called a private blog network, or PBN.

Can Search Engines Tell the Difference?

Google's algorithm seeks out and deindexes any websites or web services it suspects of being part of a private blog network.

If you've created one and plan to buy aged domains to support your reputation, you'll want to make absolutely sure your domain leaves no footprint.

Plenty of aged domains are full of established backlinks, but few have the means to hide from Google or any other search engine for long.

Should you suffer a deindexing, you can always restore your domain to its last backup.

If you aren't diligent about keeping your backups present, this could mean resetting to the point at which you registered the domain.

Domain Name Age vs. Website Age

Domain Name Age vs. Website Age

While there's a lot to say in favor of domain age, SEO experts nowadays are skeptical that it matters all that much to Google's current algorithm.

According to some specialists, the thing you really want to watch out for is website age. As opposed to domain age, this means how long the site attached to your name has been live since launch.

A website's age resets when a domain officially expires, meaning your only chance of catching one is by:

  1. bidding at an auction while the previous owner can still renew, or
  2. making a private deal with the current owner.

In either case, the odds of securing a powerful aged website are much lower than finding a domain with a solid backlink history.

Ultimately, the age of a domain is one of many SEO tools you can use to increase Google site ranking. It's a factor to consider, but you should remember that many other factors are at play.

How Can I Tell the Age of a Domain?

If you want to find out exactly how old your domain is, both domain-hunters and search engines use three common methods to check the age.

The easiest way to check domain age is to find a domain age checker and type your chosen name into the search box to check the age.

These tools are available on the internet and will, in most cases, show you how old a registered domain is in years and days.

Many age checkers will also tell you the expiration date and, importantly, the last time anyone updated its registration data.

This last piece of information can help you filter out spam sites which no longer have the metrics they once did. For details about specific online domain age checkers, see below.

You can also use the WHOIS lookup database to find out how old a domain is. WHOIS is an archive of domain data, including, among other things, the creation date of every domain on the Internet.

Multiple platforms have a WHOIS link enabling you to search this information with ease.

The third method of checking domain age is the Wayback Machine. This resource uses a page crawler bot to take a snapshot of every website with open permissions.

Using this resource, you can type in a domain name and see the date of the earliest image. While the domain, of course, existed before this point, it gives you a rough estimate of its age.

Is There a Free Domain Age Checker?

Yes! As a matter of fact, a domain age checker to find out the age of a domain name are almost always a free resource.

Since the creation date of a domain is public knowledge, competitors are allowed to search a domain age checker at their leisure.

Few of these resources show you more than a domain's registration and expiration dates, but they're convenient research aids nonetheless.

  • (As an aside, Webnots also has a free WHOIS lookup tool).
  • Website SEO Checker
  • Small SEO Tools
  • Rankwatch
  • Self SEO Tools
  • LXR Marketplace
  • SEOmastering
  • Search Engine Reports

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