One of the most common questions that I get is whether or not to renew certain domains and, if so, for how many years. I thought a little guide might be helpful.

To Renew or Not to Renew

Ultimately, unless you have a specific need or future plan for a domain other than your primary domain (the .com name that people type or click on to get to your website), the only reason to have another domain is to keep a competitor from using it. The problem with this plan is that there will always be a variation that they can buy, and they don’t need the “perfect” domain to compete with us. There are so many different kinds of domains like .xyz and other weird things, including .dentist, that consumers aren’t really phased by a domain that’s kind of out there. Google doesn’t make decisions based on domain names like it used to either.

Aside from hoarding domains just so your competitors can’t have them, the only other reasons to hold onto domains are:

  • Launching a secondary website (not typically advisable).
  • Using a separate domain for branding or tracking purposes.
  • Holding on to an old, previously used domain to salvage traffic and links still going to it.

If you don’t have those needs for a specific domain that is about to renew, I wouldn’t advise renewing it. Domains aren’t very expensive, but they aren’t necessary or beneficial beyond the above uses. Having extra domains does not help SEO.

Renewing for the Long Haul

Your main domain is obviously a different story. We want to renew this domain for the maximum allowable period. This sends the signal to Google that our website is not going anywhere any time soon. It’s not a huge SEO boost- just a best practice that, along with everything else that we do, presents the best image we can project for Google’s algorithm to evaluate.