An interesting post over at the NameBio blog about aged domains:
Recently, I came into possession of a domain name registered in 1991. This domain has been continuously renewed for 17 years. (its almost old enough to vote!). However, Ive run into a few question marks, specifically in regards to determining value. Clearly older domain names have Value, they are garbled up at the expired domain auctions quite consistently, and although most caliber domainers will say that “age is but a small factor” when it comes to a VERY old domain, it can certainly become one of the most important factors.
Why is age so desired? Primarily because all the good domains were taken first, thus in theory all of the quality domain names, should be old. I find this too be a reasonably accurate statement, with exceptions on both ends. Yes, some new domains are quite valuable (new technologies, new trends) and some old domains really have nothing to offer but a history of continuous renewal.
However, when we start talking about the very beginning of the Internet, thats when things get interesting. Think about this for a moment; this 17 year old domain was registered 3 years before sex.com.
Finally, aged domain names have advantages when it comes to Search engines. Google had acknowledged that they in fact take a domains age into its massive algorithm to help determine rank placement. How much of an impact this has on rankings is really debatable.
Unfortunately, its a bit complicated to sort domains and sales prices by the age of the domain name, which is another reason the feature is not currently included on NameBio. Perhaps in later versions this technology will be added, but until then. I may just have to let the domain market itself determine value.
I agree with most, especially considering that I still have my portfolio of aged domains. One of my oldest domains is celebrating its 15th birthday these days: unitedis.com I also have a couple dozen other similar domains that are 10-15 years old. I’ve sold half of my original ‘aged domains’ portfolio to end users who bought the names for development, so they were ready to pay good prices for domains that were mostly available for $60 on snapnames.
Among other benefits of older domains, I believe age is apart of google’s ranking algorithm, among other 200+ things that affect the serps age contributes significantly to the domain’s authority. And authority has now become the leading factor in google. Just look at how wikipedia has all the rankings.
I also frequently check the age of the domain before buying it. Age usually helps determine the quality of short domains or generics, because we can assume with a fairly low amount of risk that the best domains at each time were being registered, so on average if you take a random 12 years old generic domain and one that was registered only 2 years ago, usually the older one is of much better quality and value. Moreover most premium generics were all registered throughout 1996-1998, so younger domains are most likely not as “premium”
I also use the age to quickly determine an LLLL.com domain quality. As we know they were all bought out in October 2007, so 4L domains that were registered during the last few months before the buyout were “crappy”. Quad premium LLLL’s were all registered by 2005-2006 and triple premiums, without q were gone before the final countdown.
Obviously that method doesn’t always work as many domains drop which resets their registration date and many worthless domains were registered long ago and still held. In general though checking the age is always useful before buying.