Occasionally we come across comments or statements from others in the technology industry that need to be refuted – especially when those statements are made to our clients.
In this case we recently had a situation where a consultant that had been retained by the client was trying to claim search engine optimization benefits from extending the registration on their domain names (at, of course, their own registrar where they got a cut on the renewal fees)
Following is part of our response to their “consultant”:
While there is nothing wrong with multiyear registrations and it certainly won’t hurt – you are going to be hard pressed to find anyone from Google who says that they are a factor – but it is relatively easy to find comments from Google saying that it ISN’T one of their factors, and plenty of comments as to why it wouldn’t be. The multi-year registrations, along with “meta keywords” are two of those things that just AREN’T part of legitimate SEO, but are urban legends that won’t die.
In another email after they continued to press the issue:
Of course there are valid reasons for multi-year registrations. In fact, we highly recommend them to customers who are attempting to self-manage their domains – but SEO just isn’t one of them. Saying that because Google “might” use it in the future when they have already stated that they don’t and given reasons WHY they don’t, is just as valid as saying that domains should only be registered on a lunar equinox because astrologically it is the best time to do it. It is snake oil, and as a professional you should know the difference. If for no other reason, any time you make the multi-year registration/SEO connection to anyone who already knows better, or to someone who finds out the truth later, that person is going to give the rest of your comments negative weighting and you might end up loosing a deal over it.
We make no claims to be the lowest price provider in the market. We do, however, provide services and expertise that the low-cost providers do not, and both we and our customers feel that the extra value justifies the marginal expense. Normally our customers come to us to manage their domains after they have already been burned by a low-cost or lower-service provider.
Optimizing a web site for search engine crawling can be a complex process. You are often balancing between making a site “look good” and making the site “index well”, and the two are often mutually exclusive. However, don’t fall for someone who says that they can make your EXISTING site rank better if you give them money. SEO starts from the ground up, most of everything else is just snake oil.
** Update **
Just on a not-so-humerus aside, as of July 2015 the domain names that were the subject of the messages above don’t even show up in the google index anymore – but they sure have them locked up for a long time….