For example, it is clear that older domains carry more authority (which is one reason gaining traction for a new site can be difficult), but what about the length of time the domain is registered for? Can Google see that, and if so, does it impact rankings? Jennifer Laycock piggybacks on a conversation about this in the Search Engine Guide forums, with some firm believers in the idea that registering a domain for 5 years as opposed to just renewing annually can curry favor with the engines.
Part of the logic fueling the discussion is that someone who registers a domain for a longer period of time is less likely to be a scam or SPAM artist. Laycock deconstructs this logic and argues that in real life, customers don't go around asking business owners how long they've signed their lease for. So why should they (or Google on behalf of them) use that as a barometer for Web-based businesses?