Domain name housekeeping

An often forgotten aspect of search engine optimisation is centred around various aspects of your domain name. For example Google’s search algorithm takes into account over 200 different factors, categorised as on-page and off-page. On-page is the content of your pages themselves – the visible text and the code. Off-page factors include things like external links and a whole host of things you mostly have no control over.

There are however a number of simple ‘off-page’ domain-related factors that you can control and that search engines consider when ranking sites:

  1. Age of domain
    You can’t fake this, but you can buy up older names, sometimes it’s worth making an offer, if the domain you want is up for sale. If it has been registered for a few years, that may help you rank higher, even if it’s not currently in search indexes. Just do your due diligence first – check it doesn’t have a chequered past.
  2. Domain ownership details
    Many domain name registrars offer a premium service of domain name anonymity. Google and other search engines aren’t so keen on this. They figure you have something to hide. If you’re worried about privacy and don’t want to put your home address, you don’t have to – nobody’s going to be posting anything to that address (or at least nobody you want to hear from).
  3. Domain expiry
    Most people don’t pay for things until they have to. So you wait till your domain name is up for renewal and renew then right? WRONG! A domain with less than a year remaining till expiry is considered as a potential drop-out. Most domain registrars offer multi-year discounts and you don’t have to wait till your name is due for renewal to secure it for 3, 4 or more years more. At around $10 a year for a .com it’s a false economy to hold off on renewing your name till you start getting email reminders.

Now go get your domain in order!

Image credit: Pewari Naan on Flickr

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