You probably judge a book by the cover, but do you judge a company by the domain age?
It’s not just humans that look at the cover before reading the content. Search engines do too.
Website authority is one of the indicators used by search engines to decide rankings. If you look in detail at website authority it’s made up of a number of components; domain age is just one of them and it’s a very simple one for search engines to judge. Domain age isn’t subjective, it is what it is and it can’t be faked.
Companies tend to talk about the day they were established with some pride. ‘Since 2000’ or ‘over forty years’ helps reassure us at face value that a company is trustworthy.
Website authority is the result of complex algorithms that go on behind the scenes when search engines select which sites to present to us when we search online.
Anyone looking for a domain name would do well to pay attention to the ages of the domains available, as it’s an important indicator of authority online.
Domain age website authority example
For example, imagie right now you want to start a dog walking company;
- Dog-walking.com was registered back in 2002.
- Pawprints-dog-walking.com isn’t registered yet (as at the date of this article).
If you’re up for walkies, registering the domain that’s been around for almost 20 years would make more sense than picking up a brand new domain. It’s a domain that has more website authority than the one that isn’t registered.
Overall website authority isn’t just about domain age - although that’s a big part of it. Authority is also determined by many other factors, such as the number of sites linking to a domain and the authority that they have. For example, if your dog walking domain has previously been linked to by the American Kennel Club, that will give it added authority.
As another layer of authority, websites with two-way links to multiple, credible sites, on multiple pages will have more authority than those that simply have home page links to business directories.
If you are researching website authority and domain ages for a new domain, be careful. You don’t want to buy a domain that’s got a bad reputation on Google as you’ll be starting from behind the line in SEO and website authority terms. If you are buying a pre-registered domain, use a site like archive.org (Way Back machine) to see old versions of your target domain. It may have had a murky past that would be bad for business today.
Domain age tips to get the best authority from your domain
As part of your overall Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) plan, focus on the incremental benefits you’ll get from developing your website authority to its full extent.
- Got a business idea? Register the domain as soon as you can, it’s gathering age and authority whilst you’re designing logos.
- Consider the domain extensions (known as Top level Domains or TLDs) as part of your message - .com? .io? .net?
- If you’ve plans to build your brand, buy the domain derivatives so you can own as much domain space as possible and prevent people camping out on your domain.
- Consider who you link to and how to get credible websites linking back to you.
An example of website authority in action:
We are linked to by a site that offers reviews of email validation companies. It’s a site that is supported by a competitor, and it links to us to improve traffic. Our domain has been around for a long time relative to other email and domain validation companies, so it has great authority and credibility. Because we don’t want to give any authority to competitors, we won’t link back to the review site. We want no involvement and have asked to be removed from the listing, but the owners are keen to keep us featured as our website authority in the email validation sphere helps give the site kudos and adds an incremental value to the domain authority. Our traffic feeds their traffic.
Website authority is a ‘tell’ that adds value to a domain. If you’re in a competitive market and your business model relies on search based web traffic, don’t overlook it.