Domain age refers to the amount of time since a domain name was first registered by its registrant. The age of an existing domain has an impact on rankings. The longer a domain name has been registered and active, often, the better off it is in terms of search. To determine the age of a domain, webmasters often use a WHOIS database, which shows administrative, registration and hosting contacts. This information is not always available, however, due to domain-by-proxy, where a fee can be paid to keep ownership of a domain private.