URL Registration Time Does Not Effect Google Rankings (probably)

One question we get asked a lot as a Las vegas SEO company is if your search rankings for your website are adversely effected if you register your url for the minimum 1 year time, or if you get benefits from registering it for a longer time (say 7 or 10 years.)  Historically, pretty much every seo company and every single domain registration company has agreed that the longer the url is registered for, the more committment to the project it shows to the search engines, and therefor the more seriously they would consider ranking it higher than another url with “less seriousness.” Well, Google has finally gone on record stating that registration length does not effect rankings.

Below is a  Google Webmaster Help thread has a post from Googler, JohnMu, who said outright that it doesn’t make sense for Google to use this as a ranking metric.

A bunch of TLDs do not publish expiration dates — how could we compare domains with expiration dates to domains without that information? It seems that would be pretty hard, and likely not worth the trouble. Even when we do have that data, what would it tell us when comparing sites that are otherwise equivalent? A year (the minimum duration, as far as I know) is pretty long in internet-time :-).

This is probably a good indication that Google does not consider it when ranking, however it still remains my opinion that it cannot hurt.  You will register at a cheaper yearly price, you will not have to worry about potentially expiring while you are not paying attention, and possibly….yes possibly….Google may still have some use for this information and factor it in tomorrow, te next day, or whenever they choose to.  Additionally, Google’s position on the use of this data does not effect the point that other search engines might be using it.  It simply cannot hurt.

More than anything else, it appears as though it is a good marketing scare tactic used by registrars to convince you to spend more money.  It seems like in the end the choice is up to you.