Like a fine wine or bottle of whisky, many domainers place a high value on “aged” domains. The idea is that the best domain names were registered a long time ago, so the older the domain’s registration date according to the Whois database, the better the odds that it will be a desirable domain. This can be true, but there are lots of caveats. Let’s learn a bit more about domain age, break down the case for using domain age when evaluating domain names, the case against it, and how you should properly implement this practice.
About Domain Age
Every domain has a registration date in the Whois database. This database includes a timestamp of when the domain was first registered. For example, if you look up the domain GoDaddy.com in Whois you’ll see a creation date of 1999-03-02. This means the domain was registered on March 2, 1999. Symbolics.com, the oldest .COM domain name registered, has a creation date of 1985-3-15. Most domains were originally registered in or after the year 2000. There were approximately 10 million .COM domains registered in 2000, but now there are over 150 million. With all of this in mind, you can see why it might be somewhat rare to find domains that were registered before 2000.
The Case For Using Domain Age
The best domain names were registered decades ago. Savvy early adopters registered domains in the 1990s and have held onto them for a long time. So when evaluating domains for purchase, such as buying an expired domain, the older the domain the better. You can’t go back in time to register great domains that people snagged up in the ’90s. But if you have the opportunity to buy one, it’s likely to be a better option than something you could have registered in 2005 or 2021. Therefore, an “aged” domain is often a sign of quality.
The Case Against Using Domain Age
A domain names age can be misleading and isn’t necessarily a mark of domain quality. First, in addition to the great domains registered in the 1990s, people also registered some domains of little value back then. Looking only at the age of the domain in Whois to determine quality is not sufficient enough. Second, many domains that were registered early on later expired and were newly registered by someone else. A domain might show a 2010 registration date in Whois even though it was originally registered earlier. Third, lots of new terms have entered the world since the earlier days of the internet. Terms like “blog” and “cryptocurrency” meant nothing back then, and the best domains related to these topics weren’t registered until later. Therefore, the age of a domain is not always a sign of quality.
The Right Answer
The right answer is somewhere in the middle. Domain age can be used as an indicator or filter, but an old domain doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good domain. Some domain investors use age as a filter to make sorting lists easier. They set a minimum age for domains when sifting through lists to weed out domains that are less likely to be valuable. However, this is just a starting point. Investors won’t buy a domain just because it’s old. They will also consider metrics such as the popularity of the keywords in the domain, how many top level domains are also registered, market potential, and more. The takeaway is that domain age is a useful metric for evaluating domain names but it’s just one of the many things to consider.
How To Find ‘Well-Aged’ Domains
There are several websites you can use to find aged domains. If you don’t mind losing the original registration date in the Whois database, then use a website like ExpiredDomains.net to see domain names that are expired and will be available for new registration soon. These will lose their original registration date when they drop and you begin a fresh registration, but you can still filter by their current Whois registration date. You can also use GoDaddy Auctions to find domains that have expired at GoDaddy and are available to buy. Purchasing a domain from GoDaddy Auctions will retain it’s original registration date because the domain will never “drop” and be open for new registration. Instead, you will purchase it through the auction, GoDaddy will renew it, and then GoDaddy will place it into your account.
I don’t believe it’s a must factor for domain investing.