Multi-Year Domain Registration and SEO

Mark MedinaOften times we receive questions from customers asking if registering a domain name for more than one year has any positive impact on a web site’s search engine rankings.  Unfortunately it is often claimed that multi-year domain registrations improve domain authority, thus having a positive impact on a site’s search engine optimization.  I would like to clarify that the number of years a domain is registered for has extremely minimal, if any, impact on SEO.

In an article titled “Google Says Domain Registrations Don’t Affect SEO, Or Do They?” Google’s very own Matt Cutts is quoted:

“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”

Here is a short video where Matt gets into a little more detail regarding this topic:

I think the key takeaway from the video is when Matt says:

“Make great content and don’t worry nearly as much about how many years your domain is registered for. Just because someone is sending you an email that says Google does or even may use this in ranking, does not mean that you should automatically take them at face value. What makes a really big difference is the quality of your site and the sort of links that you have pointing to you, not, you know, is my site registered for three or four years, instead of one or two years.”

I don’t think Matt could have made the point any clearer: MAKE GREAT CONTENT – and build quality links.

2 thoughts on “Multi-Year Domain Registration and SEO

  1. I think the term “domain registration length” is a little confusing. We’re talking about the number of years you choose to renew the domain here, but the age of the domain could also be referred to as “domain registration length,” and if I’m not mistaken that does factor into rankings.

    Meaning a domain that’s been registered and used for 15 years is going to have more “authority” than a newly registered domain.

  2. You are correct, we are talking about the number of years someone chooses to register a domain name. This is why I used the phrase “multi-year domain registration” and not “domain registration length”, which to your point is a rather ambiguous phrase.

    Yes, it has been stated the older domains do rank higher than newer domains, so people conclude that the “AGE” of a domain name factors into SEO. However, I don’t think the sheer age of a domain automatically results in higher search engine rankings. I say this because, older, utilized domains have had more time to build quality content, more quality links, many more social signals and overall build trust. I believe these are the reasons why older domains usually have higher rankings than newer domains and I believe these are the reasons why an older domain would have more “authority” than a newly registered domain. In other words, if you have a domain name that is 10 years old, but you never did anything with it (i.e. it never had content, it doesn’t have backlinks, etc, etc), don’t expect the raw age of the domain to be the sole saving grace for higher rankings.

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