Domain Age, Alexa Rank, and Google PageRank – Do these metrics still matter?
In the early days of SEO, practitioners were obsessed with reporting metrics that would justify their efforts in growing their website popularity and traffic. Since SEO and digital marketing were in their infancy (talking about 2010 – 2016), leaders were keen to know if they were making progress; hence, they resorted and depended on these old metrics.
The difference between Domain age, Alexa rank, and Google PageRank is significant in understanding the history and myths of SEO. Domain age (not to be confused with DA as Domain Authority) is when a website has been registered, while Alexa Rank measures web traffic and popularity (retired in May 2022), and Google PageRank is a measure of a website’s importance or authority.
Does domain age affect Google rankings?
Domain age can be a factor in SEO because it shows how long a website has been around. The longer a website has been around, the more likely it is to have built up trust and authority with search engines. However, domain age alone is not enough to guarantee good SEO results. In an old video of Matt Cutts in 2009 (yes! This is the only available official statement about Domain Age as a Search Engine Ranking Factor), he answered the question, “how much does a domain age affects its ranking on Google?”
Matt Cutts said not to worry about it too much as link data is way more important than the site’s age. He then said:
“The fact is it’s mostly the quality of your content and the sort of links that you get as a result of the quality of your content that determine how well you’re going to rank in the search engines.”
So don’t believe some domain registrar suppliers selling you old domains with SEO as their pitch. It’s useless!
Does good Alexa Rank mean the website has good SEO?
I remember years back when I used to work for an E-commerce giant in the U.S. We used to include Alexa rankings as part of our SEO report. We were presenting the data to our leaders because it’s a good indication of how fast our website is growing in terms of traffic versus other competitors in the industry.
Alexa rank is a good indicator of how popular a website is. The higher the Alexa rank, the more traffic a website gets. However, Alexa Rankings is independent of Google, so there is no direct correlation between Google Rankings and Alexa Rankings. A straight answer from Mike Maynard at Quora about this topic:
Alexa retired its services on May 01, 2022. Thank you, Alexa, and farewell! Your rankings and toolbars will be missed.
Google PageRank is a more complex measure of a website’s importance. It considers the number and quality of links pointing to a website and the quality of the website’s content. A high PageRank indicates that a website is an authority on its subject matter or topic.
Page Authority (PR) scale from 0-10. This scale moves way slower than Domain Authority and is much harder to impact, so if you see some positive movement, it’s a cause for a celebration (only if your client/bosses will understand).
I remember in the early days of SEO, everybody went crazy about this metric, as this is a proprietary algorithm of Google during the early days.
“The Google search engine has two essential features that help it produce high-precision results. First, it makes use of the link structure of the Web to calculate a quality ranking for each web page. This ranking is called PageRank and is described in detail in [Page 98]. Second, Google utilizes link to improve search results.”
— The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine – Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page
However, as Google launches its new alteration and improvements to its algorithm, PageRank is rarely mentioned in SEO strategy planning and reports.
Still, if you’re curious, you may check your site’s Google PageRank in this link. Make sure you include your http/s.
Domain age, Alexa rank, and Google PageRank are all essential factors to consider when benchmarking your traffic acquisition and SEO efforts. However, they are just one part of the puzzle. Other important factors include the quality of your website’s content and the number and quality of links pointing to your site. If you focus on these factors, you can improve your website’s SEO and visibility in the search engines.