PALM BEACH – I stumbled on a post today about “domain age” and SEO and how it is a long debunked “myth” that domain name age matters when it comes to SEO, and that of course, it does not. But where did this (if even) false believe originate from to begin with?? Why do webmasters and domainers believe that domain age plays a role at all? Where did this myth come from? And was its source even reliable?
It came from the horse’s mouth when Google filed its patent for “DOCUMENT SCORING BASED ON DOCUMENT CONTENT UPDATE” at the time they applied for exclusive use of certain patentable methods and processes back in 2011. By 2012 I took a deep dive into this patent and the “domain age myth” when it was detailed in several sections where Google discussed “domain legitimacy”.
In section 94, Google discusses measuring the “legitimacy” of a domain name and how it could affect search rankings:
 In summary, search engine 125 may generate (or alter) a score associated with a document based, at least in part, on information relating to a “legitimacy of a domain” associated with the document.
In section 91, they explain why a domains registration period should be used as a measure of “legitimacy”
 Certain signals may be used to distinguish between illegitimate and legitimate domains. For example, domains can be renewed up to a period of 10 years. Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain and, thus, the documents associated therewith.
Although the above discusses the ‘length of registration‘ going forward (time left to expire), ‘age’ is a likely criteria as touched on in section 93.
 Also, or alternatively, the age, or other information, regarding a name server associated with a domain may be used to predict the legitimacy of the domain. A “good” name server may have a mix of different domains from different registrars and have a history of hosting those domains, while a “bad” name server might host mainly pornography or doorway domains, domains with commercial words (a common indicator of spam), or primarily bulk domains from a single registrar, or might be brand new. The newness of a name server might not automatically be a negative factor in determining the legitimacy of the associated domain, but in combination with other factors, such as ones described herein, it could be.
As with their summery of these examples, these are the “types”  of things being measured and analysed when it comes to a domain name and its history as well as its historical ranking factors    which could only be measured with time associated with a domain.
 In addition to history of positions (or rankings) of documents for a given query, search engine 125 may monitor (on a page, host, document, and/or domain basis) one or more other factors, such as the number of queries for which, and the rate at which (increasing/decreasing), a document is selected as a search result over time; seasonality, burstiness, and other patterns over time that a document is selected as a search result; and/or changes in scores over time for a URL-query pair.
The document includes scores more references and sections which mention “domain-related information” or using “a combination, of the types of history data”.
 Search engine 125 may obtain history data associated with the identified documents (act 420). As described above, the history data may take different forms. For example, the history data may include data relating to document inception dates; document content updates/changes; query analysis; link-based criteria; anchor text; traffic; user behavior; domain-related information; ranking history; user maintained/generated data (e.g., bookmarks and/or favorites); unique words, bigrams, and phrases in anchor text; linkage of independent peers; and/or document topics. Search engine 125 may obtain one, or a combination, of these kinds of history data.
To read the entire patent with my comments and opinions on these methods click here.
Now this does not prove that Google is using domain age as a ranking factor today, but it sure does indicate that they thought it would be a good idea in the past, and if detailed in this patent application, they where more than likely using it as a ranking factor at one time.
About The Author: John Colascione is Chief Executive Officer of Internet Marketing Services Inc. He specializes in Website Monetization, is a Google AdWords Certified Professional, authored a ‘how to’ book called ”Mastering Your Website‘, and is a key player in several Internet related businesses through his search engine strategy brand Searchen Networks®