Webmaster World forums recently hosted a discussion on whether or not a site’s search engine ranking is affected by the length of time a domain name is registered for.

The theory is that registering a domain name for ten years indicates to Google that the domain’s owners’ have made a long term commitment and therefore the site is less likely to be spam.

In the patent applied for by Google last year it says:

“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.”

Other advantages of long-term registration include securing your domain name – it prevents expired domain buyers from registering your domain name and taking advantage of the traffic you have built up.

You may also get a reduced registration fee for such a long term commitment – registrars such as GoDaddy offer a discount for this.

Whether this is a major factor in your site’s ranking or not, surely if can’t hurt to commit to ten years if you are serious about your domain name.

Then again, .co.uk domain names can only be registered for two years. Nothing more, nothing less.

Please Big G, don’t penalise us Brits…!

Further Reading:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Best Practice Guide