“The difference between a domain that’s six months old versus one year old is really not that big at all.”
– Matt Cutts

This seems like something minor, but what other details aren’t you thinking about? Oftentimes we excel at the things we know about but are hurt by things we haven’t even considered. For example, are you considering snapping up one of the new TLDs that are arriving almost daily? You may want to reconsider. Here are a few other things to keep in mind when setting up your site.

Country TLD extension: Having a Country Code Top Level Domain (.cn, .pt, .ca) helps the site rank for that particular country… but limits the site’s ability to rank globally


Site Uptime: Lots of downtime from site maintenance or server issues may hurt your ranking (and can even result in deindexing if not corrected)

Server Location: Server location may influence where your site ranks in different geographical regions. Especially important for geo-specific searches

Domain registration length: A Google patent states: “Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain.”

Keyword As First Word in Domain: Moz’s 2011 Search Engine Ranking Factors panelists agreed that a domain that starts with their target keyword has an edge over sites that either don’t have the keyword in their domain or have the keyword in the middle or end of their domain


Keyword in Subdomain Name: Moz’s panel also agreed that a keyword appearing in the subdomain boosts rank

Public vs. Private WhoIs: Private WhoIs information may be a sign of “something to hide”. Matt Cutts was quoted back in 2006 – “…When I checked the whois on them, they all had “whois privacy protection service” on them. That’s relatively unusual. Having whois privacy turned on isn’t automatically bad, but once you get several of these factors all together, you’re often talking about a very different type of webmaster than the fellow who just has a single site or so.”

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