Title: Surviving Google's Aging Delay
Author: Lawrence Deon
Word count: 1,382 - 65 characters per line
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Categories: SE Tactics, SEO, Link Popularity, Business, Internet
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Surviving Google's Aging Delay
by Lawrence Deon
Google has always been the search industry’s innovator and that’s
just what Google’s aging delay symbolizes, the evolution of search
innovation... yet another significant step forward for Google.
Google’s success as a search engine can undeniably be attributed
to its ability to consistently return the most relevant search
engine results. That’s what kept the search giant on top of the
pack and leading the multi-billion dollar search industry &
that’s what’s going to keep them there!
Now that said, is it any wonder why Google incorporated the
infamous aging delay into their ranking criterion? The simple
truth is, Google’s aging delay is a full frontal assault on
artificial link inflation.
With the induction of multiple clever off-page reciprocal-linking
strategies engineered to artificially inflate link popularity and
PageRank, Googles aging delay wasn’t only necessary and long
overdue; it was the next logical step in the evolution of search.
The confusion and misunderstanding of the aging delay among site
owners is nothing short of amazing. Many of my clients are
confounded because their new sites are well positioned in Yahoo,
MSN & the other large search engines while they’re site is no
where to be found in Google’s search engine result’s pages (SERPs)
except for perhaps on the most obscure search terms.
Current and unconfirmed speculation has been misplacing the blame
on Google’s ‘sandbox’ effect. While this is a possibility I
believe it’s also highly improbable.
The sandbox holding period is typically anywhere between 90 to
120 days, the aging delay appears to be much longer. I’ve seen
new sites delayed for up to 6-8 months.
The premise of the sandbox delay theory suggests that new sites
are being penalized for gaining too many links too fast. To date
I haven’t seen a scrap of evidence to support that claim.
The sandbox theory is further disproved by the fact that newer
sites engaged in procuring relevant links experience the same
delay in climbing Google's SERPs as other new sites utilizing
scores of purchased text links. This lends credibility to my
thought that new sites are not being penalized on the premise of
acquisition or quantity of inbound links and; supports my theory
that it’s the reciprocated links that are being delayed by an
It just doesn’t seem ‘reasonable’ for Google to penalize sites
for acquiring legitimate directory listings & building an
optimized reciprocal link based network. In my opinion,
mainstream SEOs are confusing the existing sandbox effect, with
Google’s new ‘aging filter’ that arrived on the search scene
earlier this year.
It seems more likely that Google’s aging filter is weighing the
‘maturity’ of inbound links and not the new site itself. Meaning
that in addition to the traditional ranking criterion, the age of
a sites inbound links are also now considered.
My own theory is that newly acquired inbound links are placed on
a ‘probationary’ status until they’ve ‘matured’ before they’re
considered. For example, a new and relevant inbound PR 6 link
would not be given the same weight or consideration as a
‘grandfathered’ PR 6 link until the aging delay expired.
By placing newly acquired links on a probationary period and
delaying the ranking of newer sites Google has effectively offset
the instant free ride to the top of their SERPs. Purchasing
volumes of brokered links to that end is now a moot point. After
all, your site will still be delayed regardless of the amount of
links you purchase and you won’t see any return on investment
(ROI) for at least 6 - 8 months.
Existing Site owners interested in immediate (ROI) are now
strongly motivated to build new pages or expand existing sites in
order to avoid Googles lengthy aging delay. With the ‘all-the-rage’
mini-network strategy shifting to more of a long-term commitment
it seems likely that’s exactly what will happen!
Whether by clever design or not, the only alternative to riding
out the aging delay that produces immediate results in Googles
SERPs is to advertise through Google’s AdWords Program. So it
seems that Google’s solution vis-à-vis the aging delay has turned
out to be an excellent vehicle to promote Googles own AdWords
Program as well. Hmm...
How do you survive Google’s aging delay? By taking pro-active action!
I haven't seen any new sites with new domains appear at the top of
Google’s (SERPs) since early to mid 2004. I've consulted with and
tracked many of my clients’ new sites and despite the fact they
have hundreds of #1 positions in Yahoo, Alta Vista, AllTheWeb &
MSN for their keywords I’ve yet to see any remarkable results in
Google until the 6 - 8 month period.
The trend I’ve noticed suggests that new sites are initially
indexed; ranked accordingly in Google’s SERPs for a week or so
and then literally vanish from the SERPs for several months. In
most cases they can’t even be found with the most obscure search
terms... including their own name and address.
If you’re launching a new site don’t panic. Once you’ve
registered your domain name and configured the hosting, you
should set up a few temporary pages. Obtain links to them from
other sites in Google's index to start the aging delay count down.
I recommend launching a site immediately with enough content to
set up and facilitate the requirements for directory listings to
start. The sooner Google is aware of your domain the better. Just
don’t hold your breath waiting to see results... It could be as
long as 6 - 8 months!
Gauge your optimization efforts by where your site ranks in the
other search engines. Provided you’re not engaged in unethical
practices and followed Google’s Webmaster’s guidelines this
should give you a ballpark indication of where Google will rank
your site after the aging delay, just be patient.
To that end, don’t keep tweaking and changing your pages source
code and trying to manipulate your rankings until your site has
been in Google’s index for at least 6 - 8 months. In other words,
there’s no need to reinvent the wheel here because it doesn't
seem to matter what you do, your site will still be delayed
Don’t keep submitting your pages to Google either! It won’t make
Check your server logs to confirm Googlebots’ crawl and then
forget about it. Googlebot will find your site again if you’re
actively reciprocating links so your time would be better served
building an optimized reciprocal link network to get your site
out there and linked to as early as possible.
If traffic from Google is crucial to your marketing and promotion
plan, and I don’t know anyone who would argue otherwise... budget
to run an AdWords campaign for a few months until the site is
indexed and positioned. You might even consider running an
Overture campaign as well!
If you purchase non-directory links, reallocate that budget to
It’s pointless to purchase links when you can invest in an AdWords
or Overture campaign. Purchasing links is an investment you won’t
see a red cent ROI for at least 6 - 8 months while an Adwords
campaign will drive targeted traffic to your site that can convert
immediately. Keep in mind that Lycos, HotBot, AOL, Ask Jeeves,
Iwon, Netscape & Teoma also receive paid results from Google!
MSN, AllTheWeb, AltaVista & Yahoo receives paid results from
Do other search engines have an aging delay?
Google provides primary search results to other search engines. It
only seems reasonable to expect that your site may be delayed in
Google’s partner sites as well.
One-way you may be able to work around this, and I can’t emphasize
this enough; is to make sure you submit your site to DMOZ, the
open source directory. Google, in addition to the other major
engines, receives directory results directly from DMOZ.
Yahoo and its partner sites don’t seem to be utilizing an aging
delay, nor does MSN, so focusing your early efforts on these
search engines might give you a competitive edge in the Yahoo
At the end of the day when it’s all said and done surviving
Google’s aging delay is just a matter of time. The days of
purchasing instant link popularity and PageRank are over and in
due course you will see Google give your site the recognition it
Copyright 2005 Lawrence Deon
About the author: Lawrence Deon is an SEO/SEM Consultant and
Author of the popular search engine optimization and marketing
model Ranking Your Way To The Bank.
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