A recent article on Search Engine Land, discussed Google’s assertion that the length of a domain registration doesn’t matter to a Websites rank as some people think.
Search Engine Land quotes three Google employees, one being Matt Cutts, they all downplay the effect of registration length on ranks but none of them definitively say that it doesn’t affect the rankings.
Google employee John Mueller suggesting in a Google Webmaster Help forum thread that Google doesnt look at the length of a domain registration:
A bunch of TLDs do not publish expiration dates how could we compare domains with expiration dates to domains without that information? It seems that would be pretty hard, and likely not worth the trouble. Even when we do have that data, what would it tell us when comparing sites that are otherwise equivalent? A year (the minimum duration, as far as I know) is pretty long in internet-time :-).
But lets look at some more evidence. Earlier this year, Danny spoke with Googles Matt Cutts about a variety of domain/link/SEO issues. In light of the claims from domain registrars that longer domain registrations are good for SEO, Danny specifically asked Does Domain Registration Length Matter? Matts reply:
To the best of my knowledge, no search engine has ever confirmed that they use length-of-registration as a factor in scoring. If a company is asserting that as a fact, that would be troubling.
So we have, essentially, three recent Google statements about the length of a domain registration and its impact on search rankings. None of them specifically say, No, it doesnt matter at all.
Ultimately, the full SEO power given to the registration length of a domain probably doesn’t affect the rankings that much. But does it hurt to register a domain for longer? I don’t think so. Regardless of the SEO juice, I feel that it is important to have your domain registered for multiple years, especially if it’s your main domain.
Goldstein Media owns quite a few domains, some we’re using for testing landing micro-sites,. other domains were bought for an idea that went by the wayside. For the domains that we’re experimenting with, we usually register for only 1 year. The more important domains, ones dealing with our brand and such, we have them registered for 4-5 years. The main reasoning behind the longer registration is less for SEO than for the fact that we don’t want to risk losing our identity online.
Below is the video done by Matt Cutts for the Webmaster Center channel on Youtube: