analysis Does Domain Name Age Matter?

Catch.Club 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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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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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?
This is not legal advice, and I am no expert re UDRP, but I believe that you say is true. The case about earlier registration is weakened if the name has moved to new hands, since they will try to consider whether the investor who later acquired it knew, or should have known, of the TM at that time. If the original registration was prior to the TM and company operations, then it is impossible they knew about the TM. If, however, the name is later acquired by someone else, then that is no longer the case. But it is not a simple situation, and each case is looked at on their own merits. And of course all 3 points must be satisfied for a UDRP.
Age ain't nothing but a number to certain end users.
Domain age matters, for those that age domains as if they matter.

Domain age matters to me, as my focus is on being the original registrant and value-aging /working names. Indefinitely.

Of course I drop & replace names, YoY, as pruning has its place. But I've only bought a few names in the aftermarket, over the years -and I had a buyer on-the-line when I got those.

I'm thinking, unless you can replace the quality of the name, don't sell it. Work it.
The pump-n-dump aftermarket domain game looks like an exhausting exercise for diminishing rewards.

So, at any given time I'm holding ten or so industry (domain) face card (sites) in my hand that I can play.
The fact that I'm often holding a better (domain) face card than some 'real' industry players works to my advantage in selling services.

The fact that I am the original owner, the domain is aged, ranked, and 'clean' -also helps, and normally gets more respectful offers, that I most often refuse... because I know the registrar factory ships -with their AI driven name radar, are drift-netting the cyberseas, leaving us fishurlmen with an increasingly smaller catch, of smaller fish.

So quality domain age, and ageing, matters... know more than ever.

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