How You Can Rank a New Site Higher Than an Old Site

In the world of SEO, there is a common belief that an old domain will always beat out a new domain in search rankings.

In other words, the older the domain the better.

The truth of the matter is that’s simply not true. With the right strategies a new domain most certainly can beat out an older, more established domain.

Let me show you what I mean.

Does the age of your site even matter?

Let’s pretend for a minute that you have two sites…one that was launched in 2005 and another that was launched in 2010.

Every SEO factor is equal with both sites…the same number of links from the same sites pointing to the same pages with exactly the same content.

Most people will argue that the older site will rank higher than the newer site. That’s probably true. But in this case it might be because the age of the domain is the only factor that is different than the two.

But the newer site could out rank the older simply because it got all the right SEO factors into place faster. Here’s what’s really happening. The older sites have simply done the right things over time.

  • Great domain names – Sites that have been around a lot longer were able to pick up great domain names because there was less competition for them. Names like useit.com, bowling.com or realestatemarketing.com.
  • Exact match domain names – Similar to the example above, the older sites could cherry pick the domains with exact matches. This is true for brand names, too, like vans.com or apple.com. Nowadays new companies need to think of domain names while they are thinking about a company name to see if it is available. This usually leads to some obscure words like supyoinc.com.
  • Short domains – In the early days all of the short names were available so it was easy to grab golf.com, poker.com or wine.com.

However, even though older websites had these advantages, those factors, while important, aren’t the reason why those domains are ranking so high.

The reason they are ranking high has to do with them doing the right things…things you can do too!

They’ve Built Newsworthy Brands

First off, it’s more than likely a domain that has been around for a number of years has not been idle during all that time…in fact, they’ve been very busy building a solid brand:

  • They’ve create an attractive work culture that gets some press every year because it ends up in a “Best Place to Work” list.
  • Each year they release the coolest products that money can buy…and their products get pretty darn good ratings in consumer review publishers.
  • The company hosts or sponsors a competition or festival every year related to their industry for the last ten.
  • The CEO is repeatedly doing some wild stunts that gets him an occasional front page scoop in a major newspaper.

In effect, what these companies have done is a brand that people easily recognize. And each time it’s mentioned in the press…it gets a link from a high-authority website.

Naturally Google is going to look at the value of those links, press mention, social signals, etc. and think that this domain is very relevant when it comes to relevant search queries.

For certain it will rank better than a newer site that lacks all of those attributes. So what this all boils down to is that if you want to make your newer site rank higher than older, established sites…then you need to do what they’ve done.

Just faster.

It’s like you have to become good at disciplines like public relations, publicity, marketing, networking and advertising. Sheer SEO alone won’t get the job done. This is why a site like Huffington Post can seem like it blew up over night…

Arianna Huffington had tons of money and connections she could throw at that site. She didn’t get the rankings that she gets because of SEO or the age of her domain.

Maybe you don’t have the money or connections of an Arianna Huffington…but that doesn’t matter. You just need to employ some of the following strategies.

Create a Product Killer

The first thing on your list of to-dos for beating the competition in the rankings is to build a better product. If your product isn’t very good, it’ doesn’t matter how much publicity or SEO you do…it will back fire on you.

Neil Patel
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at Quick Sprout.

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11 thoughts on “How You Can Rank a New Site Higher Than an Old Site

  1. Great article! I was actually having this discussion the other day. I’d like to highlight what you said about branding. Keywords are so competitive these days it’s better to form a brand around 2-3 keywords. Thanks!

  2. Thanks Neil, for sharing this informative and detailed article with us. I’ll catch this all topics in my next meeting with my Team. i liked your topic Create a Unique Value Proposition and it’s steps.

  3. Hi Niel,

    Thanks for this article. Coming up with remarkable contents attracts links, repeat visitors and strengthens brand. It is a surefire SEO activity. Two thumbs up for this article!

  4. This is finest compilation of useful tips. Again content and presentation both are superior from your end. This will surely help my Blog to rank high with ethical practice. I will try to balance all the points to avoid Penguin or Panda hit.

  5. Superb article Neil! Our site is a definite proof of concept as you lay it out here in this post.

    When WE launched in November 2011, WE were not sure how important SEO truly was. Our domain was brand new so how could WE possibly compete with the big boys who were on the scene years before WE came along? WE had a limited budget at that time so most of the available SEO services were too expensive. WE did the research, decided to do all our SEO work in-house, and got moving.

    Within a few months, through our dedication to SEO, our site gradually moved from the 10th page of search results on Google, Bing, & Yahoo to the 1st & 2nd pages. Our platform is a “Social Commerce Network”. We are proof that by following the tips listed in this article, your company can also get all the benefits of SEO without paying the big bucks to service providers.

    If your company does not take care of their SEO, other important things like conversions and ROI will be an uphill battle.

    Thanks for the information.

    Steve Kavetsky
    Co-Founder/President
    AgooBiz.com // The Social Commerce Network
    “WE work greater than me”

  6. Im really hoping age only stays a priority for sites who have good content. Though things change, we are in a minimalists world now, and if someone can present information quickly and easily than it is likely to be preferred by people. GREAT ARTICLE!

  7. I think you hit the nail on the head particularly when speaking of creating remarkable content. It seems that if you can consistently put out quality, useful content, be it images, text, videos, etc., people will link to your site and that will in turn drive up your rankings.