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Url Age


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#1 dhirubhai

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 08:41 AM

I'm sure that this has been answered a million times but, for whatever reason, I can't find any posts on the subject. I have definitely seen them before but my search "url age" brought nothing up and neither did a fairly lengthy trawl of the forum.

Anyway, does anybody know the details of how Google treats URL age?
Does it still penalise against brand new URLs?
How old does a URL have to be before a its rankings are un-penalised?
Is this now all rubbish?
Does anyone know?
Does Google even know?

I've a feeling that Google doesn't really bother about URL age anymore, as long as the number and nature of inbound links appears to be 'natural'.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

#2 PatrickGer

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 07:09 PM

Feelings about such things are usually useless. You have the feeling that Google doesn't really bother about URL age anymore, but simply about inbound links....and on another well-known webmaster/internet marketing forum someone had the feeling that Google has discredited the importance of inbound links altogether :-) - seriously I read this just a few days ago.

Not trying to knock you (I think you got your fair share of that in the other thread lol), but is there any kind of even anecdotal evidence on which you base that assumption, that url age doesn't matter anymore? I mean..did you analyze a set of SERPs and look at their domain age and saw that there were many brand new domains in the top 10 that you wouldnt expect to see there?

really not trying to be negative, but feelings (without any evidence) are simply useless when it comes to understanding how google's algorithm works.

#3 Michael Martinez

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 11:04 PM

QUOTE(Jon Hollis @ Sep 19 2010, 06:41 AM) View Post
Anyway, does anybody know the details of how Google treats URL age?
Does it still penalise against brand new URLs?
How old does a URL have to be before a its rankings are un-penalised?
Is this now all rubbish?
Does anyone know?
Does Google even know?


It's not the age of the URL (or age of Website/age of domain) that Google cares about. It's what the site has done in the time that it has been active in terms of publishing content, linking out to other sites, and obtaining links from other sites.

Some sites are trusted more than others, when it comes to linking out, and newer sites that quickly receive links from those trusted sites may be likely to receive a special link-assist boost in several ways.



#4 PatrickGer

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 03:07 AM

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Sep 20 2010, 06:04 AM) View Post
It's not the age of the URL (or age of Website/age of domain) that Google cares about. It's what the site has done in the time that it has been active in terms of publishing content, linking out to other sites, and obtaining links from other sites.

Some sites are trusted more than others, when it comes to linking out, and newer sites that quickly receive links from those trusted sites may be likely to receive a special link-assist boost in several ways.


Michael, you got me curious, now - have you done any testing on this or any evidence from making observations?

Or is it just a logical conclusion, because you believe the age of the domain/website in itself wouldnt help google as a ranking factor? (i can see that this one might make sense, actually..)



#5 Michael Martinez

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 04:43 AM

QUOTE(PatrickGer @ Sep 20 2010, 01:07 AM) View Post
Michael, you got me curious, now - have you done any testing on this or any evidence from making observations?


The short answer is "yes", but a lot of information has been published by Google itself through patent applications, Webmaster guidelines, and employee disclosures. Matt Cutts even referred to one aspect of their "trust filters" on his own blog, when a very large, well-known site reconfigured its URLs and triggered a major filter as Google recrawled the site.



#6 PatrickGer

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:36 AM

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Sep 20 2010, 11:43 AM) View Post
The short answer is "yes", but a lot of information has been published by Google itself through patent applications, Webmaster guidelines, and employee disclosures. Matt Cutts even referred to one aspect of their "trust filters" on his own blog, when a very large, well-known site reconfigured its URLs and triggered a major filter as Google recrawled the site.


At first I thought I didnt get your point...and then I realized I should have only quoted the first part of what you said. I didnt mean the trust part, I meant the "its not about the age of the domain or the website, but what has happened during a certain time span"-part, basically.

I could imagine that it's true (that the age of the domain or the website has nothing to do with it and that its exclusively about what has happened..but i really dont know).

If someone registered a domain, now and created a website...but didnt do any SEO or link building...and only started doing that 2 years later...would google treat it like a completely new website?

#7 chrishirst

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:38 AM

It's a "new site" the moment a search engine finds it's first link to the pages. Otherwise how would "they" know of it's existence.


#8 Jill

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 07:31 AM

QUOTE
Anyway, does anybody know the details of how Google treats URL age?
Does it still penalise against brand new URLs?


There's a difference between a new URL from an existing domain and a new domain.

Which were you actually asking about?

New domains used to have an aging delay that lasted a good 9 months. They don't seem to have this anymore.

As to a new URL on an existing domain, as long as it's internally linked in a sufficient manner, I don't believe there's any significant aging delay applied to them.

For the record, Google never penalized new domains, they just didn't provide them with much trust. Thankfully they stopped blanketly doing that many years ago.

#9 Michael Martinez

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 09:56 AM

QUOTE(PatrickGer @ Sep 20 2010, 03:36 AM) View Post
At first I thought I didnt get your point...and then I realized I should have only quoted the first part of what you said. I didnt mean the trust part, I meant the "its not about the age of the domain or the website, but what has happened during a certain time span"-part, basically.


That's what I was replying to. Google has disclosed a lot of information about what it *might* be doing and/or what it *seems* to be doing. They look at a Website's on-page and off-page history, as part of all the other stuff they look at.


#10 dhirubhai

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 10:09 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Sep 20 2010, 01:31 PM) View Post
There's a difference between a new URL from an existing domain and a new domain.

Which were you actually asking about?

New domains used to have an aging delay that lasted a good 9 months. They don't seem to have this anymore.

As to a new URL on an existing domain, as long as it's internally linked in a sufficient manner, I don't believe there's any significant aging delay applied to them.

For the record, Google never penalized new domains, they just didn't provide them with much trust. Thankfully they stopped blanketly doing that many years ago.


Thanks for the info. I was referring to a brand new domain.

My feelings were derived from conversations I've had on forums, with peers and with other SEO chaps. None of which were based on any testing that I've personally done or any evidence that I've seen. The current thinking amongst my peers, albeit inconsistent, conforms with the above but there does seem to be a lot of confusion around it.

We currently tell clients that it's not an issue for domains older than about 6 months and that we aren't really sure whether it is or not for ones younger than that. The main issue is whether the number of inbound links to a website looks 'natural' or not.

Most SEO companies seem to peddle the same line - that Google does penalise against new domains - but I've never been given any evidence by them. I've been given various 'definite' timelines from 6 months to many years.

#11 Jill

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 10:55 AM

QUOTE
Most SEO companies seem to peddle the same line - that Google does penalise against new domains - but I've never been given any evidence by them. I've been given various 'definite' timelines from 6 months to many years.


They would be mistaken.

#12 PatrickGer

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 06:27 PM

@Jill:

So the whole "sandbox"-thing does not exist anymore? hope im not confusing anything, but thats what the sandbox was all about i guess..? I somehow feel reminded of a blog post by jim boykin "Sorry, but I wont do SEO for your new website" lol, didn't you have a discussion with him going on in the comments of that (old) blog post? Sorry, if I totally confuse something (its been a while!) hehe

@Michael Martinez:

will have to read what you typed again, because it just didnt click...but good to know that you did mean the part i was asking about (not the other one)!..will try to figure it out

@hollis3162:

okay..conversations,etc. is what i'd count as "at least anecdotal evidence". what just amazes me is when people have feelings about algorithms (or other things in life) without even having that! wink1.gif

@chrishirst:

This might be a flaw in my thinking (perfectly possible), but isn't google a registrar, too? and has access to data showing them when a domain was acquired? I must admit my understanding of the technical workings of the internet need some improvement... though not a priority for me, right now.

Wasnt this the logic why buying old sites can't work (even though of course quite a few people have stated doing this successfully wink1.gif)? because google could see the owner of the domain switched, because of them being a registrar, too?

Wait - is google really a registrar?like can i register a domain with google being the registrar?

#13 Jill

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 07:06 PM

QUOTE
So the whole "sandbox"-thing does not exist anymore? hope im not confusing anything, but thats what the sandbox was all about i guess..? I somehow feel reminded of a blog post by jim boykin "Sorry, but I wont do SEO for your new website" lol, didn't you have a discussion with him going on in the comments of that (old) blog post? Sorry, if I totally confuse something (its been a while!) hehe


Yes, some called it a sandbox, but it was an aging delay. We have a whole forum devoted to that (where I suppose I should move this thread). You can read through it to see some of the old happenings.

And yes, I remember the discussion on Jim's blog. I believe that was when there still was an aging delay.

Don't get me wrong, brand new websites have a heck of a time still to get rankings, but that's because you have to build up links from scratch. It's not an age thing like it was before though.

#14 PatrickGer

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 08:31 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Sep 21 2010, 02:06 AM) View Post
Yes, some called it a sandbox, but it was an aging delay. We have a whole forum devoted to that (where I suppose I should move this thread). You can read through it to see some of the old happenings.

And yes, I remember the discussion on Jim's blog. I believe that was when there still was an aging delay.

Don't get me wrong, brand new websites have a heck of a time still to get rankings, but that's because you have to build up links from scratch. It's not an age thing like it was before though.


I find this totally interesting (seriously). Im surprised I didnt hear anything about this on the forums/blogs I read (then again I spend most of my forum time on highrankings, nowadays, anyway...) until now, as that s eems like a pretty big algo change (more interesting than most of the tiny algo Chang es ive heard about during the last year or so).

So, say I tried to start a website in the average local business niche..and tried to rank for the most competitive keyword: "where we are" + "what we do" - e.g. "window repair in las vegas".

Would it be nothing but a matter of decent on-page optimization and building up a better backlink profile than the top sites to get into the top10 even for a new site?

If you did that within 3-4 months, would you expect that site to rank in the top10 right after those 3-4 months?

Or would the fact that the links themselves are still so new, be a barrier to ranking well?

PS: I think you know Im inquisitive by now lol, and this is like the first really interesting algorithm change, that Ive heard about in a long while. will definitely check out that forum ,right now!

#15 Michael Martinez

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 12:52 AM

QUOTE(PatrickGer @ Sep 20 2010, 06:31 PM) View Post
I find this totally interesting (seriously). Im surprised I didnt hear anything about this on the forums/blogs I read (then again I spend most of my forum time on highrankings, nowadays, anyway...) until now, as that s eems like a pretty big algo change (more interesting than most of the tiny algo Chang es ive heard about during the last year or so).


The Google Sandbox Effect was first documented around April or May 2004. Around that time an SEO named John Scott reported that he had heard from someone who knew a Google employee (yes, this is a three-person chain of reference) that the effect really had nothing to do with sites so much as it had to do with links.

Several years later, after much really bad speculation by the SEO community about what caused the effect (which did not actually impact all sites -- just the majority of new sites that were not really notable), some information started seeping out of Google. They more-or-less confirmed that they had been evaluating links in a completely different way from what the SEO community had assumed.

So, typically, a new site would obtain some easy-to-get links in various well-known, frequently used places. Google apparently didn't care about those links. Instead it waited for what could be called "a better sort of links" from well-established, highly trusted sites. And it took more than just a handful of such links but not a great number of them to reach some (still undisclosed) threshold where a site could then start to rank competitively.

Since then, more years have passed and Google appears to have altered its link evaluation methods in yet more ways. Many people have noted that it is now easier to get new sites ranked in Google no matter how unnotable they may be, but occasionally someone still seems to suffer from the Sandbox Effect -- where a site cannot rank, not even for its own name -- simply because it doesn't have any (or perhaps enough) trusted links pointing to it.

Of course, many people have devoted years to building up networks of trusted sites to help launch new sites into the trusted space that has become the highly coveted first stop on the road to Google success.

In a way, things have become more complicated AND much simpler since all this came out. People are no longer obsessing over the Sandbox Effect -- they just know they have to get some value-passing links from somewhere. But whereas six years ago the SEO community wasn't really set up to create/obtain those links (either legitimately or illegitimaely), now most people have at least a few trustworthy resources to work with.

I should note that a very small number of SEOs had all along encountered few instances of this Sandbox Effect. These people had from the 1990s on been practicing good link development already, and their clients benefitted from that work, even though they were obtaining links for traffic and visibility rather than to manipulate Google's search results.





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