Although domain history may be a ranking factor concerning historic blacklisting and spam, there's still no real evidence that domain age affects SEO, but it might...
There are those SEO experts who say domain age has no bearing on SEO, but there are also some SEO Experts who say it does. Read on to see what DealerWebs Automotive™ think on the subject of domain age in relation to SEO.
The short answer is YES, but only if you factor in all the SEO Ranking Factors. We've experienced great success, achieving position #1, page #1 on Google for a number of brand new domains, including very competitive search terms.
This said, getting a brand new domain to the top of the SERPs is far from easy - not necessarily difficult due to the age of the domain per se, but the fact that there is no historic presence in the search engines and a non-existent backlink profile.
As mentioned above, they might...
There's some undocumented evidence that the older the domain, the 'slightly' more weight is applied to it in the various search engines. The assumed logic here is that if a domain has been linked to a live website for 20 years, for example, then it must be of value - or it wouldn't have been renewed time and time again. In the eye of the search engines, this translates to a website that is publishing quality content, that continues to be of value, rather than a spam website (you know the type) that appears one day and then vanishes relatively soon after - usually after a year when the domain expires.
On the subject of domain expiry, some SEO weight 'may' apply to the amount of time a domain is actually registered for. Currently, the minimum period for which you can register a domain is 1 year, and the maximum period is 10 years. Logically speaking, from the perspective of the search engines (and they DO know how long you're domain is registered for) if a domain is registered for the maximum 10 year period, it may well be that algorithms consider this as a positive metric and apply some more weight to this. The logic here is that the domain owner has invested at a higher level and therefore intends a long-term future for the domain. There's a theory that if a domain is only registered for a 1 year period, the owner only intends this to be a short-term site, which may translate as less value in the algorithms.
There's a lot of maybe's here, and no solid proof either way, but it's definitely worth considering. When all's said and done, for the relatively low cost of domain registration, we'd always advise you register your domain for as long as possible - if nothing else, you may get a discount for longer periods and it will prevent competitor dealers from snapping it up, should you miss a renewal.