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Is the time left before your domain registration expires an SEO factor?

Is the time left before your domain registration expires an SEO factor? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

Today’s question comes from Erwin in Amsterdam. Erwin asks, Is the time left before your domain registration expires an SEO factor? I was told that this is and domains with less than one year left are seen as spam. But if this is correct, how does Google manage auto renewal of domains that get renewed on expiration day? Good question. I’m glad somebody asked about this because it gives me a chance to clarify. There is a patent, and I think my name’s on it along with a bunch of other people, that talks about different signals that we could use in terms of search quality related to time. So how long has a domain been around, how long is it registered for? All sorts of factors around time. Definitely if we viewed domains as spammy if they had less than one year left, that would be a ton of domains. So that’s not true. We don’t view anybody who doesn’t register three years at a time as some sort of spammy you domain. The thing is, whenever you’re filing a patent, you want to make sure that you try to cover all of the implementations of that particular idea, but that doesn’t mean that that particular signal is used within search quality or within Google’s rankings. So I happen to, often, renew my domain for two or three years at a time, but I do it mainly for the convenience because I don’t ever want to lose mattcutts.com or any domain that’s important to me. So I wouldn’t really worry about this as a factor. I know that there are at least a few domain name registrars that would love you to think register for 10 years and they’ll get a boost in search quality. And that’s not really the way that it works. So consider all those factors. If you can renew it because it’s really easy and it’s convenient and you’re worried you might forget about it. Fine, go ahead. But I don’t think you’re going to see yourself drop in the search results if you let yourself get down to less than a year left on your expiration date or anything like that. Definitely just because something appears in a patent doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily used within a search engine or some other company’s results. Thanks.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


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