PALM BEACH – I stumbled on a post today about “domain age” and SEO and how it is a long debunked “myth” that domain name age matters when it comes to SEO, and that of course, it does not. But where did this (if even) false believe originate from to begin with?? Why do webmasters and domainers believe that domain age plays a role at all? Where did this myth come from? And was its source even reliable?
It came from the horse’s mouth when Google filed its patent for “DOCUMENT SCORING BASED ON DOCUMENT CONTENT UPDATE” at the time they applied for exclusive use of this method back in 2011. By 2012 I took a deep dive into this patent and the “domain age myth” when it was detailed in at least two separate sections where Google discussed “domain legitimacy”.
In section 94, Google discusses measuring the “legitimacy” of a domain name and how it could affect search rankings:
 In summary, search engine 125 may generate (or alter) a score associated with a document based, at least in part, on information relating to a “legitimacy of a domain” associated with the document.
In section 91, they explain why domain age should be used as a measure of “legitimacy”
 Certain signals may be used to distinguish between illegitimate and legitimate domains. For example, domains can be renewed up to a period of 10 years. 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 and, thus, the documents associated therewith.
Now this does not prove that Google is using domain age as a ranking factor today, but it sure does indicate that they thought it would be a good idea in the past, and if detailed in this patent application, they where more than likely using it as a ranking factor at one time.