Domain Age For SEO Is EXTREMELY Important
Hey WooNation! Long time no blog...
For the last three years We've been non-stop coding up new features and ideas up for SERPWoo. After thousands of experiments - mostly failures - but the ones that did succeed made it to the interface. Well within the past several weeks we've been secretly releasing some of the first wave of features within SERPWoo's interface to see how user's react and use them - one of the features is a refresh of the 3rd party metrics in the SERP Dashboard for a keyword.
Now when you login you'll notice that we now have WHOIS information, social signals, and have updated PageRank - yes that's back, don't worry about what the people "Not-In-The-Know" don't know - there is a reason the competition keeps trying to copy our features.
 SERPWoo only queries 3rd party data domains and URLs within the Top 20 results of keywords we track. If a URL or domain enters ANY top 20 results of a keyword within the last 28 days we will pull 3rd party data for it. If a URL or domain hasn't been seen in the Top 20 results in the last 28 days, we'll stop querying 3rd party data for it.
As I was doing a quality check for the new 3rd party data I kept switching to different random keywords, and that's when I noticed something a bit disturbing. The Domain Age for the top 20 hardly had any domains that were under 1 year old - like almost zero. So I kept digging, and for about 12 hours straight that night I kept querying keywords and looking at the 3rd party metrics - nothing, but then every now and then I'd find something but it came out to maybe a 1 in 200 chance.
It got so bad I went into the code and highlighted in green whenever a domain was under 1 year old to make data easier to see, screenshot:
The thing is, it was rare the domain was within the top 10, It would always be in no-man's land of under top 20 or top 30 results (page 2 and page 3 respectively). Now Jason and I have always had a theory that once you are in the top 3 positions it's almost solidified that you'll be there barring you doing something stupid, and that's been the case based on an experiment we are putting together, but this is the first time we've had visuals so you can compare side by side the WHOIS data - and it paints a bleak scenario for new websites and domains trying to enter a niche and get search engine results.
Here is the real kicker - the Domain Age bullying was surprisingly also happening on long-tail keywords (4 words or more) - those keywords that we tell newbies to go after until you get enough age and backlinks and authority that you'll start taking on shorter and shorter tail keywords (3 words or less).
In fact in order for me to find instances of multiple domains that were under a year old in the top 20 I had to navigate to the "Super Spammy Niches" that employ the darker side of SEO. There I could find "some" but realistically if it was still a short tail keyword the Domain Age would be ridiculously high. I came up with some quick side-by-side comparisons of search terms I'm tracking. I tried to showcase a macro overview across different topics and niches against the level of aged domains you can expect to go up against.
Random Skim of Domain Age of Top 20 Search Results
|Search Term||Monthly Volume||Type||Niche||Youngest||Oldest||Average Age|
|Cheap Beats By Dre||14,800||Long Tail||Discount||1.6 years||30.7 years||16.9 years|
|Beats By Dre||673,000||Short Tail||Brand||11.1 years||31.5 years||16.8 years|
|Buy Garcina Cambogia||2,400||Short Tail||Buyer Intent||3.3 years||23.0 years||13.9 years|
|Buy Morphine Pills Online||50||Long Tail||Spammy||7.7 months||21.6 years||5.4 years|
|Hotel||165,000||Short Tail||Generic||13.6 years||24.8 years||20.9 years|
|Apple||3,350,000||Short Tail||Brand||10.1 years||30.7 years||22.1 years|
|Amazon||55,600,000||Short Tail||Brand||12.7 years||30.7 years||20.9 years|
|Beyonce||2,240,000||Short Tail||Celebrity||12.3 years||30.7 years||19.1 years|
|Natalie Dormer||246,000||Short Tail||Celebrity||10.0 years||23.5 years||18.5 years|
|Kanye West||1,000,000||Short Tail||Celebrity||12.3 years||23.8 years||19.3 years|
|Kim Kardashian||3,350,000||Short Tail||Celebrity||5.5 years||30.7 years||19.0 years|
|Taylor Swift||1,500,000||Short Tail||Celebrity||2.9 years||24.1 years||19.1 years|
|Where Can I Buy Alprazolam Online||30||Long Tail||Spammy||2.9 months||19.0 years||5.4 years|
|Keywords For Search Engine Optimization||20||Long Tail||Business Services||3.4 years||21.6 years||13.9 years|
|Keywords Suggestion Tool||20||Short Tail||Business Services||2.5 years||20.1 years||11.4 years|
|Social Media Competitive Analysis Tools||20||Long Tail||Business Services||3.0 years||22.4 years||10.2 years|
|Search Engine Marketing Professional||70||Long Tail||Business Services||5.4 years||23.2 years||15.5 years|
|Search Based Keyword Tool||10||Long Tail||Business Services||3.4 years||20.1 years||13.7 years|
|Search Volume For Keywords||30||Long Tail||Business Services||1.0 years||20.1 years||11.9 years|
|Chicago SEO||1,900||Short Tail||Locality
(Chicago, IL USA)
|2.4 years||20.1 years||11.1 years|
|Pay Per Click Management||140||Long Tail||Locality
(Chicago, IL USA)
|2.6 years||23.1 years||14.1 years|
|Website Design||27,100||Short Tail||Locality
(Chicago, IL USA)
|5.8 years||22.5 years||14.5 years|
(Chicago, IL USA)
|6.1 years||23.1 years||15.5 years|
|Chicago SEO Company||390||Short Tail||Locality
(Chicago, IL USA)
|3.8 years||20.1 years||11.4 years|
|Buy Valium Online Legally||170||Long Tail||Spammy||1.8 years||20.5 years||7.9 years|
|Louis Vuitton Replica||5400||Short Tail||Spammy||10.7 months||23.0 years||14.3 years|
|Online Pharmacy Ambien ||50||Short Tail||Spammy||6.8 months||20.1 years||4.0 years|
|Black Friday Online Sales||2400||Long Tail||Discount||10.1 years||26.5 years||18.8 years|
|Cyber Monday Sales||14800||Short Tail||Discount||4.9 years||24.1 years||17.4 years|
|Boobs||1,220,000||Short Tail||Adult||4.9 years||22.5 years||17.5 years|
 "Online Pharmacy Ambien" had 5 domains within the Top 20 that were under a year old - WOW.
You'll note all the pink throughout. Those are for domains at least 5 years old, and it's all throughout the averages for the above terms. I queried at least 300 different terms within a 12 hour period. I was obsessed since I didn't want it to be true.
Now some of you are going to say "Carter that's just in your stuff you're skewing it!" I honestly wish I was my friends...
When I first started seeing the numbers I hit up people like Grindstone and a handful of other top SEOs I respect and asked them to query their own niches and tell me what they got back.
And what they got back... Let's just put it this way - YOU need to login to your account and view any keyword's 3rd party metrics within the SERP Dashboard - don't just do one, multiple, over and over, do long-tails, do short-tails, and then come back to me and tell me if I'm crazy or not.
Here is the new reality:
#1. Big brands have won the SEO war. Your domain has to be at least 5 years old to get some serious long term rankings going. And this sort of rounds out Ahref's post about How Long Does It Take To Rank?
#2. It'll take you a lot longer to rank in the top 20 for your keywords if your a new domain than it did say 10 years ago - Damn don't you miss 2007?
#3. To combat this you have to get powerful authority back links or to go semi viral within your niche with some really killer content pieces - not high quality content pieces KILLER CONTENT pieces. You need news sites within your industry to pick you up, you need to have associations within your industry to pick you up, you need influencers to pick you up - then maybe you can start ranking within six months if you have a brand-new domain.
The Death Blow For SEOs?
I really had a hard time and struggled about whether I should even write this blog post. It confirmes so much of what we sort of know in our gut but never want revealed out in the open like this. We sort of hide behind the curtain like the hunchback Quasimodo and want to believe the fantasy of what could be in the end. SEO was suppose to be a "feel-good" bedtime story we tell kids and dream about ourselves - when we get to the Top of Google we'll live happily ever after...
If I was just getting started with SEO, seeing something like this type of data within my niche would be disheartening for a newbie with a brand new website.
Most sensible people aren't going to wait 2-3 years and HOPE they start ranking within their niche - yet we can't leave this SEO game cause it's just too damn profitable.
I already know people have been taking my advice from years back and buying dropped domains for TRAFFIC not SEO, but now the smarter ones will start buying websites and domains that are no longer updated - negotiate deals to acquire aged domains and keep it moving forward. However I also prefer having multiple solutions versus leaving things just hanging in the air. So I'm working on a guide that should drop within the next couple of weeks or so that should help SEOs take their game to the next level with the killer content angle.
The Gold Rush Is Over.
I mentioned this before at Builder Society and want to harp in on what it is going to take to stay in the online marketing game.
The "Dawn of the Internet" is coming to an end. Now the hoodies are turning into suits.
Everything has matured - that means the new kids on the block the Googles and Facebooks are now the Titans of the internet like the previous generation's titans - the Microsofts and IBMs of the world. They are now the power houses - if you let them be.
When Google Penguin hit a ton of SEOs went to work at 9-to-5 jobs. Those SEOs went to work as in-house SEOs at organizations that needed a leg up in an environment they didn't understand; Now those SEOs run the shows at these big brands and have the resources to command more and more SEO traffic - this encroachment has been happening for years.
It's not a coincidence these big brands "got their game" together after Penguin. The Blackhats, greyhats, and "perhaps" a couple of whitehats, took their knowledge and applied it properly on aged domains - the mega big brands they work for now. At the same time Google continued tightening the grip on the SERPs and increasing the barrier to entry for newbie SEOs - filtering out the people that are in it for a quick buck.
It has resulted in the environment we have today. One could say that as the internet ages, domains grow older - but it's impossible to overlook the data when it's lined up in front of you like in the SERP Dashboard. When you see maybe 1-5% of your keywords have domains that are under a year old within the Top 20 - that's systematic, that's controlled by an algorithm, that's not a coincidence - newbies have a mighty uphill battle.
Staying In The Game.
#1. You Need A Solid Marketing Plan - here is a secret we've kept in-house at SERPWoo for a long time. Over 95% of SERPWoo's paying customers are from referring traffic - affiliate or online marketing efforts. Less than 5% are a result of SEO traffic. As a business it would have been impossible, and in fact detrimental, for us to wait 3-4 YEARS before we get enough rankings to gain customers.
That same hustling mentality is what you need for your own business. If you don't already have one don't worry - the SERPWoo Team and other prominent SEOs came together and release a free Digital Strategy Crash Course at BuSo (Builder Society) - it's so free you don't even need an account. All the techniques we used to grow SERPWoo and our other online assets we talk about extensively in there.
#2. The whole internet is a traffic source. If you start thinking of Google as a single website, and then step back and realize there are 100,000 websites in the Alexa top 100,000, duh, you've got 99,999 opportunities to generate traffic from the most popular websites. That's where the BuSo crash course comes in along with Jason's Bonus Content #3 that's coming soon to paid users.
#3. You need a coordinated offline gameplan. Yes things like word of mouth are still critically important in getting business, and it works well online and offline. Leverage offline partnerships, activities, and try some bum-marketing - take more risks to get the exposure you need. Check out Every Door Direct Mail from the United States Postal Office (Day 19 - Offline Marketing).
#4. You need Killer Content ideas that gets the buzz going for your business within your industry. NOT "Quality content", you need Killer Content - Glengary Glen-Ross content - content that's for closers, they type of content that has the masses spreading your name far and wide for you - further than you can ever get.
When you create Killer Content - whether it's newbie guides in your industry (example - BuSo digital crash course), help resources', or pull data together from multiple sources and make an infographic or whitepaper you are taking your "content game" to a higher level.
Killer Content isn't easy.
Killer content is hard.
Killer content is difficult to create - but it's what you share left and right with your family and friends without knowing it. It either makes you feel good, or makes you angry enough that you end up spreading it's message - like a virus... viral - get it. Something just clicked for some-one...
#5. Keyword Golden Ratio - this is a controversial one, cause it's a bit bottom of the barrel if you really have no where to go, and someone told me it's not "CCarter worthy" content but if you literally have ZERO options this is worth looking into. The concept is finding keywords that have a "Keyword Golden Ratio" - basically The amount of "AllInTitle" divided by Search volume. The reason it is a bit bottom of the barrel is because you are looking for keywords with more search volume than there is content on the subject within the internet - literally mining for diamonds at the bottom of the ocean. But it's definitely worth practicing the technique since it can sharpen your keyword research skills and give you an edge within your industry. There is a thread at BuSo about this concept: Keyword Golden Ratio = All In Title / Search Volume
Some members have already gotten and posted results of their efforts, so it could be definitely promising if you find yourself in a niche with overwhelming age and you've got little to no resources and simply want to ONLY focus on the SEO route - which is disastrous IMO for any business - SERPWoo wouldn't literally be here if we only focused on the SEO waiting game.
My challenge to you is to look within your own niche and tell me whether you are seeing the same pattern of WHOIS data. Am I just monitoring the wrong areas, or is it true that big brands, aged domains, have taken over the SERPs? The difficult questions to ask and then research is what SERPWoo was made for. In an environment where all the other tools look the same and only show you the same type of data - a tool that pushes the boundaries is the only thing left to give you an advantage.
So where do we go from here?
There are a number of updates and features we are bringing online that should help more with in-depth research, but more importantly I'm working on a new guide to help you with that Killer Content aspect that's missing in the SEO realm. Check out the BuSo Digital Crash Course in the meantime, and if you want to take me up on the challenge I layed out in the newsletter to get the bonus code - I'll see you on the frontline.