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Brand-New Isn't Always Better: This Is Why You Need an Aged Domain

We live in a world where tons of competitors are out looking for your users, and they'll do anything to get them.

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Startup founders too often neglect the power of a domain's age, history and authority. Aged domains, also called expired domains in the SEO community, are an enormous competitive advantage that anyone can tap into. However, they're very frequently overlooked by startup founders who think new is better because it doesn't have any baggage or barriers to entry.

A new startup's best bet for success is to use an aged domain rather than a brand-new one. Since many people don't value domains as much more than website names and extensions, most startups opt for purchasing the latest available name with no history associated with it.

However, this isn't the best strategy since using an old domain can actually increase trust in your business because of its age and track record on the internet — essentially letting potential customers know that you've been around long enough (and successfully) to establish yourself online before they even knew about your existence. 

Back in the early days of Google, search results were displayed based on how many links a page had pointed to it — if you had a lot of good "quality" links pointing to your site, then it would show up higher in search results. In order for people to find your website and get those links though, you needed an aged domain that was authoritative enough that potential webmasters were willing to link their sites to yours. 

Related: 6 Ways to Jump-Start Your Online Business

Search engines and aged domains

Search engines have been updating their algorithms constantly over the years to provide users with the best results possible. This has created many ranking factors that websites need to consider when optimizing for a search, like link building, page and site speed, bounce rate, etc.

These updates have also taught webmasters how to trick Google into thinking their sites are authoritative by creating a lot of low-quality links or purchasing aged domains that already had high authority associated with them.

Both startup founders and big brands have caught on to these tricks, making it quite difficult for a business's website to rank well — unless you take steps such as using age as a factor to boost your domain authority and trustworthiness. Sites that receive more visitors will get more links and social attention, resulting in a higher domain authority and helping them rank better.

Related: Do's and Don'ts of Securing a Domain Name

Domain authority vs. age vs. trustworthiness

Many online marketers falsely believe that they can increase their domain authority by simply buying an older domain. However, this isn't always the case because age doesn't necessarily equal trustworthiness.

Some domains may have "aged" but still lack credibility and authority if they haven't been updated or maintained over time. It's important to keep in mind that links and content are what adds value to a website, so even if you purchase an aged domain, it might not be worthy of being ranked higher just yet.

Startups should focus on using well-aged, authoritative expired domains. I have seen plenty of my competitors use aged domains to 301-redirect them to their website and rank higher in the search-engine results pages (SERPs). These domains usually have hundreds or even thousands of backlinks and will immediately rank better in the SERPs. A single aged domain can be worth more than $20,000 just by looking at its backlink profile

Some domains become more trustworthy over time because they've had the opportunity to prove themselves through consistent, high-quality content updates and positive user feedback. As a result, these domains are often given higher rankings than newer sites.

Related: The Benefits of Using Multiple Domains for Your Business

The path forward for your startup

Building authority isn't easy; it takes patience and dedication.

Aged domains will help your startup secure a strong positioning in the SERPs. It's also important for any business — not just startups — to remember that time is of the essence. No matter how you look at it, tons of competitors out there want your users, and they're willing to do anything they can to get them. The only way you'll be able to fight back against these other companies successfully is by constantly changing with the times.

It's time to stop thinking of the internet as decaying and instead start seeing it for what it is — a powerful resource that will help you take control of your business. The more patient you are and willing to adapt, the better your chances for success. 

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