Recently I renewed the domain DailyBlogTips.com for 5 years. It did cost me $50, and it was the first time I renewed a domain for longer than 1 year. Why did I do that?
I had heard many comments around the SEO sphere mentioning that Google and other search engines were monitoring the expiration date of domains in order to evaluate the legitimacy of the websites. Then, a couple of days ago, I came across the following quotation from a patent that Google filled some years ago:
Certain signals may be used to distinguish between illegitimate and legitimate domains. For example, domains can be renewed up to a period of 10 years. Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain and, thus, the documents associated therewith.
That alone should make people think twice about renewing important domains for just 1 year. If you then consider that you will probably keep these domains for many years anyway, and that a longer renewal will also keep away the risk of losing your domains upon the expiration date, well, you realize that you probably should do it.
As with most SEO aspects, no one has a definite answer regarding how Google is treating the matter. Other than an upfront money payment, however, renewing your domain for longer periods does not have any negative sides, while it might have positive ones, so I guess it is worth it!