tedster - 8:46 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0) My own take is that it is in use, as one very small part of Google's trust metrics.
Whether this factor is currently active or not, it certainly is in the patent: Information retrieval based on historical data [appft1.uspto.gov]
 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.
My own take is that it is in use, as one very small part of Google's trust metrics.