Using Internet Archives for checking Domain Age

internet-archive-as-domain-age-checkerChecking the first archive page is a good indicator of domain age. The largest and most popular archive is the Wayback Machine which contains 10 billion pages collected as early as year 1996, just a year before Larry and Sergey first crawled the internet using a program named Googlebot in year 1997.

A number of Domain age checkers such as webconfs.com are using their library index for domain age. Archive-it and WebCite are other alternatives but with only limited index usually images, pdf’s and newspaper articles.

How to check the age of domain using archives:

  1. Go to Wayback Machine page.
  2. Enter the homepage of the domain. i.e. http://www.heraldsun.com.au
  3. Click “Take me Back”
  4. The first archive page would presumably represent the first published date. For http://www.heraldusn.com.au, it’s November 5, 1996.
  5. Do the math. So for heraldsun.com.au, as of today Jan-2011, its age of domain is about 14 years old.

It’s a quick and easy process. Before launching up any SEO startup campaign, further understanding on the background of domain age would be an instrumental part in your competition analysis phase then draw conclusions by investigating your methodology’s pros and cons:

Advantages:

  • Has information in which are not available in Whois Registration details.

Whois sometimes provides limited support to some sites with different local TLD’s such as .com.au and other countries. Checking its local internet registrar doesn’t help either, all it provides is its date of the latest modication of the domain registration details unto which does not provide much helpful insights to SEO.A whois lookup for www.heraldsun.com.au will on return the latest modification date of the domain name.

  • A very good indicator of when the site started publishing content.

Google takes into account when it started publishing content, getting readership and acquiring backlinks. This is the key element of correlating age with authority. Domain registration details hold an ill-defined description of the Age-Authority concept. Some domains are parked, blank with it was first registered –therefore not drawing enough recognition for SEO score.

  • Provide a webpage snapshot back through time.

A lot could happen for a domain within 5 years. It could have expired, dormant or purchased,  offering a different topic. For a site to earn authority through time, it should be consistent and dynamic.

Disadvantages:

  • Limited information size.

Web spiders for these archives can only support a small part of the overly large size of the internet web pages. This signifies that some sites may not be found in internet archives at all.  Since most of these organizations are not well-funded and offering these services for free, it is only fair to concur and make use of what’s available.

  • Inaccurate age

Its archive technology would predominately rely on links for the spiders to recognize new web pages.  A new site with poor online promotion would have an inaccurate domain age which is consequent to late archive dates.

Internet archives provide the best SEO component for domain age. This demonstrates how the site accumulates topical authority over time.  Showing the best results ranges down to relevance and authority –authority in the form of on-page and off-page groundwork. 80% of these is derived from links — quantity and most importantly quality; 20% coming from on-page –content quality and the age of your domain, which is the summation of your expertise and trust value as you go through time.


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This is a DoFollow blog. Comments providing helpful insights are highly encourage. Please don't spam. Thanks!

    • Buddha Blessed
    • January 9th, 2011

    Before, I prefer to use whois details for domain age, and even resort sometimes to using the modification date, which now I think as a very poor gauge.

  1. Thanks for the share. this is a very good tool on finding out the domain age of a competitor site or even when looking for a good site. Thank you much.

  2. thanks for this post its really interesting i bookmark your site for future stuff..

  3. Truly said archive is a better option. You know I hadn’t take archive into consideration before, but it’s amazing ?
    Thanks for sharing such a useful tip with us. Keep writing will be waiting for your valuable tips.

  4. Good stuff. I guess that the Wayback Machine has uses other than digging up your old teenage blog ;)

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