The topic of does domain registration impact your search engine rankings is nothing new. We have covered this topic here at least a handful of times, especially since Google became a registrar. But a new WebmasterWorld thread has several case studies from SEOs on the topic.
It all started when senior WebmasterWorld member, SEOPTI, said that he forgot to use private whois information when renewing his domain. His domain name went under the real information and then soon after he said, Google devalued his incoming links by 80% or more.
As you might imagine, many are skeptical. Another senior member, wyweb, said:
I removed privacy protection from 6 or 7 domains last summer, all with 5 and 6 PR. There has been absolutely no change in either PR or traffic levels.
Senior member, CainIV, said something similar:
Personally, some of my domains are protected and some are not. I did not notice a ranking change when switching to privacy, however, none have ever reverted.
Forum administrator, Tedster, said:
I have a client who changed the legal ownership of the domain (and business) twice within the past year. No changes in the SERPs followed on either time.
Other clients in the past have purchased other online businesses, changed the domain's Whois to reflect that, and also seen no ranking changes. Based on that, I'm thinking this is not an open-and-shut case of Whois changes influencing ranking.
Seems like this isn't as clear cut as we would like. Google might or might not reset the domain based on probably several variables.
Past articles on domain registration and SEO:
- Google is a Domain Name Registrar
- Google Can Not Use Registry Data As Thought
- Theories on Advanced Link Mapping with Google Registrar
- Google Admits to Improve Search Quality with Registrar Data
- Changing Domain Name Ownership Whois Information & Google Search Ranking Impact
- The "Google Certified Domain Change" Proposal
- Really, Does Google Use Whois Registrar Data to Rank Sites? Can They?
- Does Registering A Domain Name for 10 Years Help Search Ranking?
- Impact of Changing Registrar Data on Search Rankings
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.
Update: It seems Google has gone on the record saying domain registration length does not impact rankings.