SEO Question: I have the same content as a top ranked competing site. Are they outranking me because of their domain age? What can I do to outrank them?
SEO Answer: Competing requires more than just replicating what a competing site has done. Back when search was less sophisticated people had to follow links to get where they wanted to go. Thus directories were more relevant and many sites listed any halfway decent sites in their vertical based on the fact that they were even in the same vertical. With search replacing links as the default navigational scheme you have to do more to be linkworthy.
A site like SeoToday would not get to the top of the search results if it were launched today, but because it was launched many years back and was easy to link at back then it has many authoritative industry related links that help keep it ranked well in Google.
Also think of the search business model as though you are a search engine. To them, being the first person to do something is a sign of quality because to be the first person in a market requires some market timing / knowledge / investment / luck. The people who bet on new markets are in essence rewarded if/when their market takes off, both by self-reinforcing market effects (people being more likely to find / experience / link to top ranked results) and by algorithmic weighting on domain age.
The biggest issue facing search engines is the quality of their results. By relying on old / stale results they require new content producers to do better things than old websites did to steal marketshare. Thus you have to be innovative / offer a better customer experience / be more remarkable to rise to the top of a marketplace.
If you want to outrank established websites you can't just replicate what they have done, you also have to do unique and linkworthy things that will help you overcome their early market lead and the self-reinforcing effects of search.
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