The first domain name that was registered in the Domain Name System was Symbolics.com, and it is more than 35 years old. During this time, an uncountable number of domain names have appeared on the Internet. Domain zones are also varied in terms of subject and geography.
Today, on the World Wide Web, you can buy an already created domain name or register your own. Of course, depending on your goals, buying a domain will be more profitable than creating. However, you can't buy the first one you like - at first, you should know the history of the domain name.
Site and domain age
Let's determine right away that the age of the website and the age of the domain are different things.
- A domain name (e.g., nytimes.com) can be registered before the site was created.
- The opposite situation is when the website is older than the domain name. This can happen if the site previously existed on another domain name and moved to a new address.
- You can also create a website, then buy or register a domain name and immediately place your site on it. In this case, the age of the site and the age of its address will be the same.
If you don’t pay for the domain name in time, it will be put up for sale and anyone can buy it.
In 2015, Google ex-employee Sanmay Ved discovered that the domain name google.com was free and bought the address for $12. The company offered the ex-employee a reward, but Sanmay declined it, asking Google to transfer this money to support education for children in India. Google doubled the amount and transferred the money to the charity.
There are some addresses that are sold only at auctions. Since the positioning of your project depends on the domain name, the shortest or most memorable names were created a long time ago and have a high price. These addresses may be sold by famous businessmen, such as Rick Schwartz (the "King of Domains" blog) and Frank Schilling; or by cybersquatters (they buy domain names for more profitable future sale).
Who needs to know the date of domain and website creation
Checking the creation date of the website and the registration date of the domain is necessary for the following users:
► Website owners
Today, the name of the site and how it is remembered by users are as important as the logo and company name. Businessmen who have already hosted their site on a virtual server or another type of hosting choose a domain name that customers would associate with their project.
Completely different sites can be hosted at the same address at different times, and you need to make sure that they were all consistent with morality or were not associated with, for example, forbidden content.
The age of a domain affects a resource's search engine ranking along with the content. However, young domain names can quickly rise to the top if this business sphere was free. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze and decide whether you need a domain with a great history.
For a full SEO audit, you need to know when the site was created and when the domain was registered. This will help to properly adjust the optimization of the resource and influence the trust factor.
Of course, content is also important for site development. However, if the domain previously distributed forbidden content, the address was previously blocked by search engines or websites on this address were sent to the spam filter, then there is more work to be done.
► Users of online stores
Online shopping and the variety of online stores don’t surprise anyone these days. Among the huge number of sellers, there is a possibility of becoming a victim of scammers if you really want to buy a product at a favorable price.
Before entering your bank card or personal information (e.g. passport details), check the registration dates of the site and the domain and find out what sites have been available at this address before. If, for example, the online store has existed for a short time, and you are not sure about its owner, it is better to avoid purchases. You should also look for reviews from other customers.
How to find out the date of domain registration
We recommend Whois services to find out when a domain was registered. Whois is a public database where data about all registered domains and IP addresses is stored.
This is not a complete list of services where you can find out the registration date of the domain:
Let's check, for example, the domain registration date of the famous newspaper The New York Times (nytimes.com) at who.is. Let's enter the domain name and click on the search icon.
The service will give information about the domain registration date, the company, IP-address, its location, status, etc. Not for all web addresses you can see detailed information, as it may be hidden.
In this case, we discover that nytimes.com was registered on January 18, 1994.
On the same domain there can be different sites, so it is wrong to trust an online resource just because its address has been registered for a long time.
How to check when a website was created
The date of the first publication and the year in the site footer may prove that the site was created on that date. However, the site owners can write any information there.
We suggest checking the site via web.archive.org. The Wayback Machine really acts as a time machine, saving snapshots of different sites. After entering a domain name, you can track the development of any site or find out what sites at what time were at this address.
Are you interested in the changes of the famous American newspaper on the Internet? So, let's find out when this website was created. Enter nytimes.com and press Enter.
The archive contains data about nytimes.com from November 12, 1996, although it was registered in 1994. We can select any date on the calendar and see the design of that time.
This is the way The New York Times website looks now, in 2022. At the top you can track the date, and you can also change it in the snapshot view.
This is the design of The New York Times in 2001.
And this is the earliest snapshot of the web version of the American newspaper, which is stored in the archive.
Also, we have an example of a domain name that had different sites on it. It is candy.com, which Rick Schwartz sold for $3 million to G&J Holdings, a candy company. For a long time, users found online candy stores at this address, but now there is a site specializing in NFT.
The age of a domain and the age of an online resource can significantly affect user trust, search engine ranking, and the reputation of the project itself. We recommend website owners, SEO-specialists, and other interested parties check the history of domain names. Knowing detailed information about the website and domain, you will not fall for the tricks of unscrupulous sellers.