In my recent article, How the Office Products Industry has Failed the Office Products Resellers, I built my argument for this failure around various internet terms, such as domain age and authority, the website's "grade", its backlinks, and its global traffic rankings. I realize not everybody may have a complete understanding of what each of these terms means and, therefore, why each of them is so important for a business to focus on.
So, I'm going to publish a series of blogs to explain them.
Part I - Domain Age and Authority
I'll publish these once every day or so over the next couple of weeks and they'll fill in some gaps that may have been left from my previous article.
What is domain authority?
Domain authority is calculated on a 100-point logarithmic scale and is used as a measure of the power of a domain name and a predictor of how well a website will rank on search engines. The domain authority score will constantly fluctuate, both up and down, with it being much easier to get from 10 to 20 than it is [for example] from 60 to 70.
How can I find out what my domain authority is?
You can click on the following link "How do I check my domain authority?" and check a specific URL at the SEO Review Tools site or, use this embedded link to https://www.Moz.com and install their free Moz browser extension. Once the extension is installed you have the option to display a toolbar in your browser that shows the domain authority, the page authority, and spam score. Every website you then visit while signed into Moz will automatically display its domain authority.
The clock starts ticking, in terms of the effective age of the domain, once the search engines have crawled the site. Generally, well established and reputable sites have older domains, whereas spammers quickly register and drop domains. Google and other search engines are likely to treat newly registered "one-year" domains cautiously or even suspiciously, at least until the site operator starts to place high-quality content and to accumulate quality backlinks. Of course, sites that search engines treat with suspicion are not returned in search results because the search engines want their users to stay away from them.
No one really knows how much weight Google [for example] places on the age of a domain and its impact on search results. However, it's fair to say, the age of a domain in conjunction with numerous other factors, plays an important role in terms of how highly a site may rank in search results.
The website age in conjunction with its backlink profile
Over time, the owner of a domain has the opportunity to build high-quality backlinks
However, if an owner neglects this task then, even an old domain with stale content, few backlinks, and not optimized for mobile, will rank lower in search results than a newer site that is.
Search engines reward sites with frequent content updates and well-structured internal links between individual site pages. New sites with high-quality unique content, active and frequent updates, are mobile responsive and display an increasing numeric trend of high-quality relevant backlinks are, almost certainly, going to be ranked higher than older sites lacking these attributes.
Domain Age & Authority
There's an important difference between the "effective" age of a domain and the date on which it was first registered.
A domain may be registered and then "parked" without being taken live or populated with content. But, it's only when a site goes live and the search engines are able to index it, that any "credit", or domain authority can start to accumulate. In other words, registering a domain and then leaving it dormant for months of years, isn't going to do the owner much good with regards to the longer term goal of building domain authority.
The future term of a domain registration is an important consideration of the search engines. An owner who registers [and necessarily pays] for a domain five or more years into the future is considered to be making a statement of intent and commitment to the future of that domain. Conversely, a domain with a registration expiring in a few months may send an alert to the search engines that it's about to be closed or left to expire. This may be particularly so with a domain registered less than 12 months because it mirrors the behavior of spammers and is a profile the search engines are programmed to flag.
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The older a domain the better but, only if it has a history of frequent updates with high-quality content, authoritative backlinks and a registration extending a significant time into the future. Other requirements also come into play such as the need for a well-structured site with logical internal page links and, particularly so in our increasingly mobile era, is fully responsive to multiple screen sizes.
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