You’ve probably heard that the amount of time a domain has been registered for will influence that domain’s SEO rankings. And it makes sense – a website that’s registered to be around for the next 5 years seems more dependable than a site that’s only registered for a year.
But while many people think domains with longer registrations get preference, this is actually a complete myth.
Matt Cutts, former head of Google’s web spam team, said the following of domain registration length: “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.”
The origin of this myth is unclear. Perhaps people think length of registration is a factor because it sends a signal that your site will be around for years to come. After all, you’d think that Google wouldn’t want to rank a website highly that suddenly drops off the face of the earth one day.
But the fact is there’s no proof that registration length matters for SEO, and it doesn’t seem that Google considers it a factor of a site’s trustworthiness.
Instead, what matters is producing great, useful, original content that delivers an excellent experience for your visitors. That’s what Google really cares about.
Should you purchase an extended domain registration?
If registration length doesn’t matter, is purchasing a long registration worth your money? The short answer is yes, but not for the sake of SEO.
If you are planning to keep your website for a long time, purchasing an extended domain registration saves you the trouble of having to renew every year. You won’t have to worry about the possibility of forgetting to renew and having someone else snatch up your domain the day it expires.
Registering your domain for longer will also save you money in the long run. You will have to spend more money up front, but the cost per year will be less. As a new blogger or site owner, you should have long-term goals as it is, so investing a domain for a few years usually makes more sense.
Should you purchase an older domain?
Some people think purchasing an older, expired domain will put them in a position to get better SEO rankings, but that’s not always the case. Many expired domains have been filled with spam or abused for SEO, making them less likely to rank. You have to be cautious and ask the right questions when buying an aged premium domain.
The only reason you would want to purchase a domain that has already been registered is that you think that domain name is an especially good fit for your business, blog, or whatever type of website you are creating. If you do have your heart set on that domain, you should first check MajesticSEO and Web Archive to make sure it hasn’t been filled with spammy links.
How can you rank with a brand new domain?
It is entirely possible for your website to get a high rank despite having a short history. Here’s an example of a website that attracted over 17,000 visitors in only one day, and only went up from there. The website owner managed to do this by creating one piece of viral content, and then thriving from the backlinks it generated.
Obviously, creating a piece of viral content on your first try is difficult, so don’t be discouraged if your website isn’t ranking over night. You’ll get there soon if you dedicate your time to these proven SEO techniques: keyword usage, link building, regularly producing new content, and writing quality content.
Eric Brantner is a blogging expert who runs a number of high-traffic, niche sites based on his passions. His latest project is SleepZoo.com, a site where he shares advice on optimizing your sleep.