The Importance of Domain Privacy
When you register a new domain name, you are going to be listing your name, address, phone number, and email address into a publicly accessible list. There are only a few people who check this list, potential customers, disgruntled customers, and spammers. The unfortunate part is that the first two groups of people are very rare (roughly 1-2% of the people who will view this information) and not having private registration leaves you open to spammers and telemarketers. You can view your information or anyone elses at https://whois.icann.org/en
Adding private registration will solve the problem of the spammers and telemarketers by listing your registrar as the domain’s owner. All of those spam emails and phone calls go to their lines and are generally simply scrapped off into the trash can as they come in (much like the Boy Scouts picking up the Yellow Pages the day after it’s delivered).
Now there are some concerns that people have with private registration of a domain name, the two biggest questions are “Who is the domain owner if I’m not the registrant” and “how much does this cost?” My biggest problem with these questions is that I have a single point of view on private registration which is through GoDaddy and Wild West Domains system called Domains By Proxy (DBP), but I will tell you how they work, and I can give a good bit of information about this.
Who is the Domain Owner if I’m Not Marked as the Registrant?
You are. With DBP’s private registration they have all of your contact information on record that they keep attached to your domain. You can even view it if you go into your domain settings and check the contact information (there’s a link for it, I promise). The best part is that the only two agencies who can see this are ICANN themselves and a law enforcement agent who has a subpoena for the information that is sent to their legal department. That’s it.
If you ever do have to verify your information on your domain, you will have to supply the information that is in the domain’s registration that is hidden (if you can’t see it and can’t get into your account, you have to guess what you put in). That said, this is a thing that will almost NEVER happen.
How much does this cost?
Generally you are looking at about $5-10 per domain. There are always promotions for these and if you buy a new domain with private registration, buy it for 5-10 years. You can end up saving close to a hundred dollars per domain doing it this way. Your domain should be an investment, and most people would scoff at a one year investment for a business.
If you’re looking for a discount on your private registration or domain registration, a good tactic is to call in to your registrar when you’re getting your domain name and just ask for a discount. They may not always have one, but sometimes they will.
Will this Affect my S.E.O. Ranking?
No, no it won’t. Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing don’t look at your domain’s registration anymore. They look at your site and they verify that your information will make you a good fit for the search terms that you’re hoping for. Further, they no longer look at the length of your registration, so even if you are going for a 1-year registration, you will still be ranked the same as you would if you had a 10-year registration.