SEO Tip #139: Is The Time Left Before Your Domain Expires A SEO Factor?

Matt Cutts: 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 is on it along with a bunch of other people that talks about different signals that we can 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 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 domains 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 you’ll get a boost in search quality” and that’s not really the way 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 are 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.

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Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.

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