Does Registering Your Domain for the Full 10 Years Make Google Trust You More?

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Scott Baradell

Just as with domain age, there is controversy among SEO experts as to whether Google rewards domains whose registrations have been prepaid for longer periods of time. While many brands simply renew their domain registrations annually, other brands pay upfront to register theirs for multiple years or even the maximum 10 years. Does this demonstration of long-term commitment earn these brands more trust from Google?

As with domain age, Google basically says "no" -- but it does so in a cagey enough way that it's probably best to register your domain for as long as you're comfortable doing.

I've always registered my company for the full 10 years because I plan for the business to be around that long and it's not that big an expense. If Google smiles more favorably upon my website because of it, all the better. If not, it's still one less thing to worry about.

Google concedes, and it is public information, that Google years ago applied for and received a patent focusing on SEO trust signals, including site and registration history.  Former Google search-quality guru Matt Cutts, however, has said that the importance of registration length has been overstated by SEO geeks.

"We don't view anyone who hasn't registered three years at a time as some sort of spammy domain," Cutts said. "I happen to often renew my domain for two or three years at a time, but I do it mainly for the convenience."

Notably, Cutts stopped short of saying domain registration length did not matter at all.

From Google's patent and public statements, it seems clear that Google's algorithm at least has the capability to factor in the length of your domain registration. To me, that's enough to hedge my bets and register my domain for the full 10 years. 

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