Working on improving your rank within the different search engines � especially Google � can feel like a very complicated puzzle sometimes. This maze can be extremely time consuming; especially when you just complete one effort and then find out that they�ve once again changed the rules on you � rules that you weren�t even sure of to begin with!

It is very well known that when you try to better the rank you�ve achieved with search engines, the best techniques that you can use are:

�Acquiring quality inbound links
�Acquiring any links to your site at all, including reciprocal links
�Continually adding new, relevant, and fresh information to your site
�Using a good density and placement of the right keywords
�Creating a website that is interesting and relevant enough that visitors who arrive spend time there.

However, what is not so well known is a major point that is missing from this list. Domain names are beginning to become extremely important with Google. It isn�t the domain name itself � that is, the words in the domain � nor how long it is, but how long you�ve had it. Google is now valuing sites that have been registered for longer, and that prove their intention to stick around for a long time.

Google is starting to give lower priority to sites that have been registered for a year or less, since they may simply be spammers who are looking for a fast dollar and then disappear.

On the other hand, for sites registered for five years or more, Google considers them serious websites or businesses that intend to exist for a good long while.

Therefore, one of the strategies important to gaining a strong ranking is to pay a little bit more money for your domain name registration to register for a few extra years, so that Google can tell that you intend to stick around for a long time. This will give your site Google value and your ranking will go up.

The problem that many webmasters are finding with this is that they either don�t have the budget for the additional years of registration, or they don�t want to register a site for a long time when they haven�t proven to themselves that the venture will be successful. They don�t want to pay for an additional four or more years of registration for a project that may not get off the ground.

The decision that therefore needs to be made is how important Google ranking will be to your website. Will it be the primary part of your internet marketing effort? Will you be concentrating a good deal of your time gathering reciprocal and one-way links? Will you be working hard on search engine optimizing (SEO), possibly hiring a professional, so that your site contains the right keywords the right number of times and in the right places?

If you�ll already be putting a lot of time, effort, and possibly money into your Google and search engine ranking, then you may find that registering your site�s domain name is really a minor investment to get you started in the right direction.

It�s all a matter of balance, and making sure that you do the search engine optimizing strategy completely, and not cheap out before you can even give yourself the chance to truly shine. In fact, simply shelling out a little bit more to reserve your domain name may be the easiest part of your search engine optimizing strategy. As long as you do your homework in advance and find an affordable, or even cheap domain name registry business, then you likely won�t have to pay much more than fifty dollars to get going.

As you can see, if search engine optimizing is important to your website, it�s vital that you don�t miss the most commonly overlooked part of SEO and reserve your website for a good length of time, to prove to Google that you�re serious about building a quality, successful web presence. You�ll show that you indeed deserve to be among the top ranking websites out there. With that done, you�ll be ready to move to the next step of your SEO and watch the traffic start rolling in.

About the Author
Mark NenadicMark is the director and face behind FifteenDegrees-North, where you will find articles and resources to help with SEO, marketing and Web design.

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Domain Names � The Good and The Bad

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