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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Google's Secret Domain Name Registration Policy

I was reading a forum post by Willie Crawford who is one of my favorite Internet marketers. Willie brought up a point that Google may favor ranking domains that have longer registration periods. His source, a domain name registrar, stated the following:

"As part of Google's recent patent application, Google made apparent its efforts to wipe out search engine spam, stating:

'Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain and, thus, the documents associated therewith.'

Domains registered for longer periods give the indication, true or not, that their owner is legitimate. Google uses a domain's length of registration when indexing and ranking a Web site for inclusion in their organic search results.

To prove to everyone that your site is the real deal, register for more than one year and increase your chances of boosting your search ranking on Google."

Some domain name registrars are inclined to promote this position because it may motivate their customers to increase the terms of their domain registration, thereby increasing the profits of the registrar.

That being said, I can also understand Google and other search engines considering the term of a domain registration as a small part of their algorithm used to determine free rankings of a website in their search engine. It is the job of every search engine to provide the most relevant search results possible and it is often the website owners who have a long-term mindset that are providing the most value to their visitors.

Aside from the search engines, I do know that some website visitors also check how long a domain is registered as part of their own personal due diligence to decide if they want to do business with a company or not. Think about it... If you are providing a service and your potential customer goes to and finds out that your domain expires in less than a year, they might think you're a "fly-by-night" company that won't be there when they need you and decide not to do business with you.

All in all, I believe it's important to have a long-term mindset when building your Internet business. If it helps you even slightly to get a better search engine ranking or increase the trust that potential customers have in your website, registering a domain name for a few extra years is a sound investment.

Inspired by this insight myself, I just added 5 additional years of registration do my domain which is now currently set to expire in the year 2012. I plan to be around until then and hopefully much longer. What about you?

To making money online,
Stone Evans, The Home Biz Guy

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