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analysis Does Domain Name Age Matter?

Catch.Club
The question of whether aged domain names have greater value has been discussed in various NamePros threads over the years. Here are a few of the points expressed:
  • Age by itself does not determine the worth of a domain name.
  • In the past, there were fewer domain names registered, and a better selection of available quality names, so it makes sense that the strongest names are aged.
  • The fact that someone has held the name, paying renewals, for many years is an indication of perceived worth.
  • However, for a name that was used, or held for some project, age may not be an indicator of worth.
  • It used to be true that an aged domain name had a SEO advantage. Now, however, unless the name has been developed, age alone appears to have, at most, a minor impact on SEO.
  • It might be argued that a name that has been listed for sale for many years, and never sold, is a negative indicator for that name.
  • Considerations of domain name age don’t apply to names in new sectors, or to names in extensions that have not been around long.
  • Prior use of a name could be a positive or a negative, depending on how the name was used.This should be checked at acquisition time.

    @barman nicely summarized the situation like this:
    Just because a domain is old doesn't mean it's good. But great domains are usually old.

    @Eric Lyon wrote a great post on some of the considerations around domain age.
    The age of a domain can be an indicator that a domain name may be good because a lot of the best domains were registered long ago and if someone kept renewing it for many years, then there's a good chance they believed it was good. However, the age by itself doesn't make the domain better.
    Read his full post that also discusses search engine optimization.

    I wondered how many good names are missed when you filter based on age. So I set up an experiment to find out.

    The Experiment

    I wanted a selection of mainly retail sales at a single venue over a variety of prices. I used Sedo .com sales as reported in NameBio. Note that only Sedo sales of $2000 and up are reported, unless individually submitted by seller.

    To have data that is current, I only considered domain name sales from the previous 12 months, measured from when I started the data analysis in early December, 2022.

    To get a dataset of manageable size, but with domain names with a variety of prices, I selected the first 25 names starting at each of the following price points.
    • $2000
    • $5000
    • $10,000
    • $15,000
    • $20,000
    • $25,000
    • $50,000
    • $100,000
    Not all price ranges had 25 available sales, so I had a total of 189 sales in the analysis.

    I used the bulk age check tool from WebFX to get the official current age for each domain name at the time I checked, Dec. 12, 2022. But I wanted the age when the names sold, so I computed the time since sale using NameBio data, and applied the correction.

    Most Sales From Aged Domains

    Most of the sales were from rather aged domain names, as the following histogram shows. There were some sales of domains that were only recently registered, mainly names for NFTs and sports betting.

    AgeHistogramAllPrices.png

    It might seem from the graph that if applying a filter like 5 years or more age, you won’t be missing a high percentage of .com names that will sell for more than $2000, in fact only about 9%. However, that interpretation is not valid, as I explain below.

    Most sales in the true distribution are from the lower prices, so it is not valid to directly use percentages from my analysis distribution, which over-represents the higher-value sales. I did that to have sufficient data in all price ranges, while keeping the overall dataset size manageable.

    About 47% of all Sedo sales from past year are $3000 or less. Therefore, applying a rough correction, it is probably true that you are not missing more than about 20% of .com names that will sell at $2000 or more if you ignore names with ages less than 5 years.

    Does Price Correlate With Age?

    Next, I looked at correlation of sales price with age. The graph below suggests there is a pretty weak correlation of price with domain age, with lots of scatter. The numbers support that, with an R2 correlation coefficient of just 0.06, a very weak correlation.

    RegressionPriceAgeTotal.png

    Even with scaling so one sale was off the above graph, it is difficult to interpret, so I changed the graph scale to better show the price range where most sales occur.

    RegressionPriceAgeDetail.png

    While the correlation is weak when taken over all the sales in the analysis, it does seem that the oldest domain names tend to sell at higher prices.

    Age Distribution and Price Range

    As another way to study this, I divided the data, looking separately at sales of $5000 and less, and only sales of $25,000 and up. The tendency for the high-value sales to also be aged domain names is indicated. About 25.2% of the sales at $25,000 and up were 20 years aged or more.

    AgeHiLoDistributions.png

    Length As A Filter

    I wondered if the length of the domain name was a better filter than domain age, since requests sometimes mention name length, and I know some investors use ExpiredDomains filters based on length. It turns out that length is more weakly correlated with sales price, just R2=0.03. Length alone is a poor filter for domain worth.

    CorrelationLength.png


    NamePros Discussions on Domain Age

    There have been many discussions on the topic of domain age. Here are links to a few:
    Have Your Say

    So how much do you weight domain age when considering an acquisition?

    Do you use age when filtering domains for consideration?


    My sincere thanks for NameBio as the source of data for this analysis. Also, appreciation to Sedo for making much of their sales data open to the community. Finally, thanks to WebFX for the bulk age checker tool. I used various functions and sorting features in Numbers, an Apple product, for this analysis, as well as the creation of all charts.
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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The best domains are aged like fine wine. 🙂🍷
 
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Thanks for this great info
You proved that domain age matters
It seems the sweet spot is 15-20 years old for domains below $5k which is also the sweet spot for BIN pricing.
Nice to know!
 
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Age alone does not bring value, but aged domains tend to be of higher quality on average. This is because better terms were available at the time they were registered.

If you registered a domain when there were only 5M .COM regs the quality is likely to be higher than if you registered it when 160M were taken.

However, there are many old terrible domains. You can look at the drop list daily and see how many 20+ year old domains are not even worth a hand reg.

Brad
 
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Domainers age like fine wine. :-D

I've held domains for up to two decades that sold quite handsomely. I'm not referring to domains that were acquired in the aftermarket when already aged.

Holding onto one's aged assets requires confidence about their quality and potential in the open market. This means making decisions of purging unnecessary assets as time goes by (which means that even that loss, to be reclaimed, has to be under a corporate ownership entity.)

From a different angle, aged domains that are also short/generic e.g. in demand due to their existing rarity, make excellent sales. In other words, they sell well because they are short/generic and eventually someone will pay up vs. down to acquire them.
 
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Domainers age like fine wine. :-D

I've held domains for up to two decades that sold quite handsomely. I'm not referring to domains that were acquired in the aftermarket when already aged.

Holding onto one's aged assets requires confidence about their quality and potential in the open market. This means making decisions of purging unnecessary assets as time goes by (which means that even that loss, to be reclaimed, has to be under a corporate ownership entity.)

From a different angle, aged domains that are also short/generic e.g. in demand due to their existing rarity, make excellent sales. In other words, they sell well because they are short/generic and eventually someone will pay up vs. down to acquire them.
Yes, there is no substitute for time when it comes to making end user sales.

There are terms I have bought some years ago that might have started say 10-20 domains at the time, now years later they might start 60-80 domains.

Basically as time goes on, more people come online. The pool of potential buyers only grows when it comes to quality domains.

Brad
 
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It's a positive factor
 
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Leo2k

Established Member
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True. Let the domain be 10 or 20 years old. But if it was used for spamming or other unacceptable uses, it has just No to Low value.
  • Age by itself does not determine the worth of a domain name.
 
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Mister Funsky

Top Member
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Great information Bob...thanks again!

In my experience it is: Yes...more often than not age matters (as long as it has an acceptable history).
 
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lee333

New Member
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loved this Bob
 
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palombo88

Established Member
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Excellent details, Mr. Bob. Once more, many thanks!
 
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It would be interesting to see how wholesale prices correlate with age. I may do that at some point in the future.

Also, would be interesting to repeat a study like this, but for the other legacy extensions. If one took a 5 year period, probably enough data for .org and .net. I suspect results not hugely difference, but I would guess an even weaker correlation, since the strong words were not dominantly registered as early in time.

Finally, wanted to stress that while the correlation is interesting, even though weak, it does not mean that every aged domain has value, or that age makes a domain name more valuable. It is just that domains that are more valuable, because they are great domain names not because they are aged, tended to be registered a long time ago and held since then.

Thanks to everyone who has read the article, and for the comments and positive support.

-Bob
 
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Holding onto one's aged assets requires confidence about their quality and potential in the open market. This means making decisions of purging unnecessary assets as time goes by (which means that even that loss, to be reclaimed, has to be under a corporate ownership entity.)
Thanks for adding this important view that was not mentioned in the article. Both the side of having confidence in good names, and being diligent in deciding which should be let go, even though they have been held for years. I didn't try to do this, but would be interesting to look at how many of the aged domain names had been in multiple hands, versus one person who felt confident of their value and held them for 15, 20, 25 or more years.
Thanks,
-Bob
 
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yMASTER

Established Member
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great info bob
 
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Recons.Com

Top Member
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Age is valuable for:

- sentimental value. Some even are collecting those based on age
- search value. There are some indicators showing that search engines might use this info as quality parameter, as the spammy sites tend to be on younger domains
- proxy for quality. As many have pointed out, the better names tended to be registered earlier.

So, yes, any sales data should point out that overall for any given price range the aged domains would perform better.

Which doesn't mean that you should pay crazy premium just for age. It is just one of the variables that doesn't mean anything just by itself.
 
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biggie

GreenFriendly.comTop Member
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Hi

i don't look at age before buying a domain, because it's not a question that endusers ask about.

most aged names sell for higher prices, simply because the quality is better for traditional categories.
and most names that become aged, like Theo alluded to, are held by those who have confidence in it's future potential.

kinda like back in the day, when you could hand-reg 4 letter.com.
now many of them are 15 > 20 years old, some have value and some... not so much.

imo...
 
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LoveCatchyDomains

Daring to LiveTop Member
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The domain age may matter even more if it was being held and not available to the public before. If it's been around for 15-20 yrs, but unable to be sold, that's a very different matter.

Thanks for the great article, as always.
 
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brandpainvestment

Top Member
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Thank you a lot for the sharing!
 
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NameInbox

Established Member
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Thanks for the great article, as always.
Sometimes I use age when filtering domains, as some age domains are good for SEO .
 
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Astner

Established Member
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Domain age clearly doesn't matter to any end-user, they just want their domain. Resellers on the other hand tend to put a lot more stock into it. I suspect this is because resellers want to be able to compare it to sales of domains that were registered at a similar time to shape the client's perception of the domain's value.

But like people have said before, if a domain was registered early it meant that the registrant had more options. It also means that it's been hold on to for a long time, which means it's more likely to be valuable, because the only reason to hold on to a domain is to a domain is for future use or to sell it.
 
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comRaid

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I was under the impression that the age of the domain will save you from UDRPs. But only recently learned that after the change of hands, the age of the domain may not have the same value in a UDRP situation. Can somebody concur with it?
 
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Aged domains often have more backlinks. You have to be careful that the domain was not banned by google in the past or used for spam. Aged, domains even if crummy tend to carry more value then better fresh-handregs.
 
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I came to write, "Not all aged domains are great but all great domains are aged", but it looks like Bar beat me to it,
 
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@Bob Hawkes Aged domains as usual can buy at auctions as Dropped. I have one such domain from 12 November 2013. This when this domain had been created first time. I bought it in the past 2022. And what now? Is it bad because the Age even not 1 year?

I found out that my domain has 2000 backlinks and Domain Authority 12. But because the age 4 month the domain is bad?
 
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and what now? Is it bad because the Age even not 1 year?

A very successful seller with lots of sales said at NamesCon that they had never, ever had any end user ask about the age of a domain name.

So I would not worry. Age may be useful in helping investors filter a list, while accepting that if they use it they will miss out on some worthwhile names, but it seems from this, not that many. Age is correlated with worth, although lots of scatter, but it does not cause value.

I pick up many names that have dropped as well. Nice that ExpiringDomains makes it easy to search for these. Best wishes for your domains!

-Bob
 
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