That’s the question for today. It’s a question that often comes up when trying to optimize your site for the search engines. The logic behind the statement is that people that register their domain for only one year tend to be people that aren’t interested in establishing a site of value because if they did, they would hold the domain longer. It’s a statement that is both true and false.
Of course nobody really knows what Google uses to measure the ranking that takes your site to the front page. There are over 200 pieces to the front page puzzle. What we do know is that Google likes history. They like domains that establish trust. Trust can be established in many ways, one of which is having a domain that has been registered for many years. So does that mean that a newly registered domain can’t make it to the front page? Absolutely not.
There are plenty of new sites that are on the front page of searches. Google wants a site to establish trust to make sure that the site isn’t a quick build site that’s spammy but on broader search terms the other parts of the algorithm such as exact domain name, seem to outweigh the others. It be wrong to say that a one year registration is not penalized because of the trust issue but it seems to be so small that it barely makes a difference. A 2 – 10 year registration appears to reduce the “time to establish trust” but again there is not a ton of proof to prove that the gain is measurable in more than weeks or days.
I recently asked a friend that is a “SEO expert” and he explained his answer like this. “It’s like believing in God. Nobody really knows if it’s real. If you don’t do it (believe and register long term) and it turns out that it’s true (there is a God and short term registration hurts) then you are going to suffer consequences. If you do it and it turns out that it was all just a hoax then you really didn’t lose anything”
I have to admit it was my first conversation combining SEO and Religion but I got the point. Nobody can actually prove that Google will penalize you but many people are adamant that they will. So why not just register them a few more years? I’m going to start registering my domains with websites for a little longer period and as for church, I’m now going to try and make it there for more than Christmas and Easter.