Age is a very important factor in Search Engine Optimization. There are several different types of age that can play roles in how Search Engines rank websites. Knowing these factors can be helpful in determining how long it will take for a website to rank well. Keep in mind age is only part of the algorithm, as other factors such as link popularity and keyword rich content will play a major role as well in rankings.
Every few months the factors that affect the Search Engines’ ranking algorithm may change sometimes slightly, sometimes dramatically. The best thing you can possibly do is stick to your guns and get good quality links to your site and get good quality “original” content on your site and grow your site with new quality content as often as possible.
Yahoo and MSN like clean, well written, well-linked sites as much as Google does.
In the past we noticed a certain order in rankings, whereas MSN would pick up changes first, then Yahoo, then Google. We now see Yahoo takes the longest. So age may be a big factor for Yahoo’s current algorithm. Google has always put a high priority on age, hence, we have the Google Sandbox Effect, where new domains are reported to take 9 months or longer to rank. MSN places more importance on Content, Keywords, and Links, so younger sites have a chance to rank in MSN. Knowing and understanding age factors is part of the battle, these are the factors that no one can fake. Popularity can be faked or handed out via networks of friends or businesses, but Age cannot be manipulated, it’s the purest factor in rankings, however, it obviously does not count for quality.
When we talk about Search Engine Optimization, Age is:
- Domain Age – Age of your domain.
- Link Age – Age of links pointing to your site.
- Site Age – When the site was first found by each Search Engine (this is not always the creation date, that would be domain age).
- Page Age – The Age of the page when first found by a Search Engine (this is not always the creation date of the page).
The one factor in search engine optimization that no one can fake is when the Search Engines first found the website and the data they have about the site at that point. Early data can effect your long-term rankings, so how sites start can be important for their future rankings.
Determining these age factors can be useful to get a realistic understanding of how long a site can take to rank well. While ranking well can be an endless time cycle for competitive terms younger sites that are becoming aware of the importance of Search Engine optimization, can have a realistic goal.
For instance, anyone claiming that a brand new domain will be able to rank at the top of a particular Search Engine in 3 months for any competitive term is pulling your chain unless you own the domain with the vanity keyword term in it and that is the term you want.
It is important to consider age as part of an SEO process. Utilizing existing age and existing aged links and anchor text can turn very competitive long-term campaigns, into successful campaigns with a realistic time frame for rankings.