Daily Poll: Does Domain Age Matter?

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Last week, Alan Dunn started a discussion on Twitter about domain name age:

When I am posting purchase requests, I almost always mention something about the age of the domain name. For instance, I tend to ask people to only send domain names that are at least 15 years old (ie registered in 2003 or prior). For me, this is more of a filter than an actual requirement. When I say “I want to buy a great dictionary word .com domain name,” many people seem to have a hard time understanding. By adding an age requirement, it makes my request a bit less interpretive so I don’t have to explain what I mean when someone sends me a nonsensical or unmarketable “dictionary” .com domain name they registered a month or a year ago.

I don’t buy trend domain names, and there aren’t too many exceptional names that make it through the full deletion cycle and have a more recent creation date. This filter helps eliminate a whole lot of junk people are trying to sell. Beyond this, I don’t think domain age matters. For instance, I am not going to buy Crappy-Domain-1000.com simply because someone registered it in 1995 and decided to renew it for 23 years.

I am curious about whether readers think the age of a domain name matters. Feel free to share additional thoughts in the comment section.


30 COMMENTS

  1. Extremely stupid tweet and statement by Alan. Obviously you want to be somewhat ”provocative“ on social media but anyone that sold 6 and 7 figure domains in the past knows that buyers are very much willing to pay a premium for .com domains that were registered before 1994. It‘s just a fact and not even debatable.

    • I don’t agree, and am surprised at the harsh (“extremely stupid”) response to an issue that is obviously not cut and dry.

      If Sex.com were to be deleted for some reason and go up for sale on DropCatch.com in an expiry auction with a creation date of 2018, it would still sell for many millions. I don’t think any bonafide / qualified buyer would say, “eh, I will only pay $100,000 for this domain name because it wasn’t created in 1992.”

      Yes, the most valuable domain names were registered back in the 1990s for the most part, but those are coveted because of their keywords and not because of the date they were initially registered.

    • Additionally, when I bid on a very good one word .com domain, I don’t care about the age. Phenoms.com and Advantageous.com were both created in 2016 (I won them both). Rosacea.com, which I unfortunately lost, was created in December of 2015. All three of these domain names have value that would likely not change if they were registered in 1998 vs the past few years.

  2. A bad domain is still a bad domain aged or not. A good domain with age is a slight bonus. If nothing else age is a good filter when scanning drops as odds are higher quality was registered years ago.

  3. A lot of ”ifs“ in that answer, Elliot. Sure, I guess we can construct an alternate reality in which sex.com expires or is deleted ”for some reason“ and it won‘t probably impact the value to an extend where it is measurable. Fair enough.

    • As I wrote in my second comment to you, Phenoms.com and Advantageous.com are two domain names I bought that were deleted and have creation dates in 2016. I don’t think they have any less value as a result of the more recent creation dates.

          • You don‘t have to but the market already determined that domains with first reg. dates of 1994 and older are more valuable because buyers are willing to pay a premium for them.

        • I agree, it is slight but it is factor. A buyer will likely see the creation date, domainers will use the data as filter. Then you’ve got other issues like “why was the domain allowed to drop”. Someone didn’t care about it that much. It may not have ever made it into the hands of an enduser. It may not have ever made much money, and someone forgot the renewal.

          Sex.com or Web.com would never drop. Even if the owner didn’t pay the renewal they still wouldn’t drop. Too important, too valuable. An old creation date is a sign of quality.

  4. A domains “original” creation date is the most important and adds value because of the digital footprint it created.

    The same domain dropping and creating a new date, is just part of the domains history IMO.
    The new creation date is not a full re-set of the domains history. You don’t just pretend that the domain never existed before. There are traces of the domain all over the Internet!

    • Sure, crap-crap-crap.com sucked in the 90’s and still does today.

      But a valuable domain like Web.com is worth more today, because it was registered in the 90’s. Simple reason, digital footprint.

  5. Anyone answering “yes” to this is the one who is not only being “stupid,” but hurting the industry and themselves.

    Those who answered “depends” can be forgiven because of all the dumb domainer-think brainwashing and misguidedness.

    “Age” is nothing but pure psychological bullsh*t. It has nothing to do with true value. Does it taste good like gravy? Sure. Would I mention it when selling a nicely “aged” vintage domain despite all this? Sure. But the problem in this industry is that so many people are stuck in “domainer-think” with their head up their arse instead of a true understanding of true value. That means true value in the real world to real end users. “Value” does not mean what you as a domain “merchant” can possibly sell a domain for, including if you regale a buyer with lavish pointing, chanting and bobbing up and down about age.

    I’ve mentioned Loans.com many times in the blogs as an example of one of the biggest steals of all time vs. what it sold for. When I say that it’s about real value, not what it theoretically could have been sold for. I’ve often said executives at BOA writhe on the floor in laughter over it every day before work. If hypothetically a domain like Loans.com became available today and they were able to buy it for less than even tens of millions of dollars, they would all go comatose and be on life support for at least the next year.

    • Oh and for the record, Loans.com is really at least a 9 figure domain in terms of real value, so even 8 would be a bargain and they’d still be laughing.

    • I haven’t voted on the poll, but I am confused by your identifying this as psychological bs. If the market is willing to pay 6 figurues for “psycho bs” as you call it, then who cares? Do you think I care if someone is cashing out to buy 8888.com and this means absolutely nothing to most of the world? However, that’s what the market dictates.

      Are “nice logos” also psycho bs? Social media handles? Is brand loyalty same category? Team loyalty, Nicks vs Bulls? Red Sox vs Yankees? Think about it. If thousands of people are willing to pay for “old domains”, isn’t that a market signal?

  6. Age and use are entirely two different factors. My point was around unused domains. There are a ton of external factors which contribute to value such as use, who owns the domain, relative value of money, trademarkability, etc. All of these are factors entirely separate from age. Web.com registered today is worth no more or no less than Web.com registered in 1994 if we are comparing the domain name itself. If someone wants to add value based on the domain name’s use, digital footprint etc then that’s a whole other equation and not scaleable as a general attribute to domain name values but rather very unique to a particular domain name. When looking at domain names in general people are often blinded by the “value” of older domains when in fact that statement is horribly inaccurate since it implies value corresponds with age. It doesn’t. There are many other factors which contribute to value. Age is a filter, a marker for potentially more valuable sure, but certainly not a defining factor of value by itself. Some agree. Some don’t agree – that’s fine with me.

  7. “It Depends”. Not all old domains are valuable but almost all valuable domains are old. Most assets fall into this category, highly valuable cars are mostly from the 50s/60s/70s, valuable wine is generally old, prime realestate was generally subdivided 100+ years ago. Same characteristic is true of domains. If the name isn’t old it is probably worthless, in 99.9% of cases it will be.

    When Alan says if Web.com were registered today it would have the same value….I don’t agree with that line of argument because names like that have never been available in recent times, they all went 20+ years ago. They are all “old names”.

    • “I don’t agree with that line of argument because names like that have never been available in recent times, they all went 20+ years ago. They are all “old names”.

      Exactly!

  8. I can’t believe that no one has identified the important benefit of an “old” creation date in regard to a UDRP filing, particularly when the complainant’s TM was granted after the original registration date.

    I would imagine there is some value derived from that attribute.

  9. Some people looks younger than their real age; and some people look aged than their real age. What are we going to do about this 🤣

  10. Obviously the date alone doesn’t determine the value of a domain, but it is a factor.

    Most good domains were taken a long time ago. Yes, you’ll have isolated cases where a good domain gets dropped for “some reason”, but most of the time the registrant will renew a good domain.

    Also, people are biased based on what part of domaining they’re involved in. Are you a domain investor/broker only dealing with names of intrinsic value, or are you a domainer who cares about traffic/revenue/development?

    I frequent Namesilo and Dynadot expired domain auctions, and the older domains (90’s – early 2000’s) are all being bought.

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