30 Oct 2005

Playing with Google’s Domain Age Factor

Being a CEO of an SEO company, who does sales too, I try to be as “realistic” as I can about what it’s going to take for a website to obtain “good” rankings in places like Google, Yahoo, and MSN over a period of time when speaking with potential clients. At one point, all prospective clients all ask, “how long will it take to get good rankings?”.

It is why one of my first questions to them is “how old is your website”, and then I cross it with this wbp backlink tool, or I’ll use the Cool SEO Tool. (to check their site againt the top 10 for phrases they’re targeting).

When leads come in from people who are seeking natural search engine rankings on new websites, it creates it’s own unique set of what I think is “realistic predictions as to search engine rankings”.

In case you didn’t hear, I like em old….but in case you misunderstand, the “I” is Google.

We mostly pass on leads for new sites because the games that need to be played to get a site in the top 10 with a new site  is not something that I (nor I think most our staff) really like doing (unless the client is content on waiting a few years).

I have had a few people really push me into “what it takes” to get a new site ranked, and the conversation goes something like this:

  • Existing Client: Jim, I’ve got have a new site, and I want to be found in Google for relevant phrases so that I get traffic.
  • Jim: That’s great….We’ll consult you on making the world’s most relevant and best site for your topic….We’ll help you to build your site up so it’s the best resource on the planet. We’ll explain all about ways to create great content, give away free stuff, build a community, etc. We’ll add our on page optimization, and start you on a link advertising campaign.
  • Prospective Client: That’s great! That’s just what we want. Now, how long will it take for Google to rank our wonderful great resouce site in the top 10 for some relevant phrase?
  • Jim: …well….there’s this thing called the Google Sandbox….”age of links”, “natural link growth”, bla bla bla….. If we play our cards right, in a few years Google will “validate” this “aged site” with it’s great old natural links following a aggressive (but hopefully not too aggressive), “natural link growth”, bla bla bla….
  • Prospective Client: Did you say a “few years”?
  • Jim: Yes…..that’s what Google wants….I’m just telling you…bla bla bla….see our cool seo tool to analyze the top 10 (take note of the age and links)…bla bla bla…..Google hates new sites..bla bla bla…
  • Prospective Client: Oh, isn’t there some kind of “work around” so we don’t have to wait years? 
  • Jim: We’ll there’s Google Adwords and there’s Overture (yahoo). (followed by solutions)
  • Prospective Client: What about getting our brand new site ranked in the Natural results, but not having to wait years?
  • Jim: Well….understand that everything I said about having a great ole resource, the best site in the world, building a respected “community” is still all good stuff……and no matter what, if you’re thinking long term, then you should still have your main site be the best it can be…..but, if you want to get into some tactics that you could use on some “secondary site” that are a little more aggressive (thus might be frowned up by the engines) I could tell you about those….but mind you, doing things like that might bring that site an overnight ban by any of the engines for being that aggressive.
  • Prospective Client: Please tell me more. I do want the worlds best site, and I’ll do everything I can to do just that….but I can’t wait years. Tell me other options.
  • Jim: Well for one, you can get space on another website (and bla bla bla), you can buy and old site and bla bla bla, 301 bla bla bla, etc…Or we can take your new site and just slam it with tons of links and aim for Yahoo and MSN….but that might hurt  your site long term in Google….and bla bla bla.

I try not do this these things…..but If Google’s going to play with an age factor, then I might have to play along sometimes. I don’t want to….Google makes me.

How do you guys play?