tedster - 2:52 pm on Apr 8, 2013 (gmt 0)
a domain registrar claiming that Google checks to see how far in advance a domain registration extends
Thats was one of at least a thousand "possible factors" that Google mentioned in their first historical data patent. [webmasterworld.com...]
It was filed for in 2005 and granted in 2008 - and made the SEO community go crazy with speculation about which factors really really were/are in use. I've also seen domain registrars use it in their pitch, but I know that at one time Matt Cutts said it wasn't in use. I know Ive tested registering for extra years and I saw no effect on rankings whatsoever.
Still, when I've got a good website going, I do like to register the domain name for more than a year (but not with the hosting service.) I hear the same from many site owners I know, even when they're talking about undeveloped domain names.