The Domain Age Problem
So you’ve bought your website building software, figured out how it works, built a website to target your chosen niche, and added what you consider to be quality content. You’ve worked hard to get this far, but this is just the beginning. You need to get your site seen by as many people as possible. You need to drive as much traffic as you can whether it be through a pay-per-click campaign or via organic traffic.
Let’s say you decide to target organic traffic. In order to do this, you need to get a high ranking in the search engines for words or phrases related to your niche. Hopefully before you began building your website, you used researching tools to figure out the best words or phrases to use. Your entire website, from headings to meta-tags, to meta-descriptions and anchor text has been optimized for these words.
Next you begin your back link campaign spending hours trying to get quality links back to your website. Social bookmarking takes over your life for days on end, you post on relevant blogs and forums, you set up your own blog, submit articles to article directories and submit your site to SEO-friendly website directories.
Yet more analysis follows, as you begin to study your competitors’ websites. You investigate what keywords they are targeting and study the links that they have developed and develop strategies to be better than they are. Slowly but surely your website climbs the rankings. You are constantly adding quality content and before you know it your site is fast approaching the first page. A steady trickle of traffic flows on a daily basis. At this rate you should soon be top of the rankings and then… the sky’s the limit!
Unfortunately it doesn’t usually quite work like this. Yes it is true that if you have picked some long-tail keywords to target you may be able to get somewhere near or even at the top of the rankings. In most instances, the traffic won’t be all that significant since long-tailed keywords usually aren’t used very often by internet searchers.
For popular keyword phrases it can be incredibly difficult to replace the top sites from their positions, even if you think that you have better backlinks and better content. Why not? Well it could be something as simple as the age of your domain.
Google places a lot of trust in quality backlinks, but it also places significant trust in sites which have been around for a significant period of time. This is especially true if they are frequently updated. In many cases the top ranked sites are trusted sites as far as Google is concerned because they have an authority status due to the length of time they have been in existence. If your site is an equal to a competitor’s site in terms of content and back links, but it is a far newer domain, there will be little chance of you dislodging your competitor from the top spot. The site that has been online for years carries a lot of trust with Google.
To replace these sites in the top spot can require tremendous effort, and even then you may never achieve it. It can be done – you just need to be aware of what is going on and keep persevering. Some internet marketers have resorted to buying old domains in an attempt to overcome this challenge in building the website around the domain. There is still some debate on exactly how Google reacts to this, especially if you are adding new content on a continual basis. Does the domain itself carry an inherent trust because of its age or is it the content that carried the trust from the old website?
Either way it’s worth exploring as one of the tactics you could adopt in an attempt to get higher rankings and start grabbing some of the traffic that comes along with the top spot in the search engines.