Keep in mind the early days of the web?
You could spend all day chatting with your buddies on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo video games. And after that your mama got the phone to make a call, and you were started the web. Great times.
In those days, if you were doing some shopping, there was a great chance you were doing it on a website with a precise match domain (EMD). For instance, if you needed a canine collar, you ‘d probably end up on a site with an address like www.buydogcollars.com.
In those primitive days of seo, it was common for business to put their specific target keyword phrase right in their domain URL.
Sadly (or perhaps luckily, depending upon how you feel about EMDs), fraudsters and bad stars made the most of this, nabbed up a lot of these domains, and connected them to low-grade websites.
So, what holds true today? Does your domain name have an influence on search results?
Let’s take a better take a look at the argument.
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The Claim: Is Domain Name A Ranking Aspect?
Having a specific match domain used to be a huge deal.
In 2010, CarInsurance.com sold for $49.7 million: still the most expensive domain name purchase of all time. So clearly, somebody valued domains with that keyword.
It was (and in some cases still is) common for individuals in the SEO industry to promote for EMDs. The claims around them typically being that they instantly generate trustworthiness and produce a competitive edge.
But remember those bad actors we spoke about in the last area? Ultimately, Google got sensible to their keyword-stuffing URLs and changed its algorithm to discount them. But that’s not to say your site’s domain name does not impact SEO.
The Proof: The Effect Of Domain Names On SEO
There is a lot of mixed details about domain names and their influence on rankings.
There’s no question that domain contributed in rankings at one point.
In a 2011 Webmaster Hangout, Matt Cutts, a software application engineer on Google’s Search Quality group, acknowledged the role EMDs played in the tech giant’s search algorithm.
However, he also mentioned:
“Therefore, we have actually been thinking about changing that mix a little bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that provided two various domains it would not necessarily help you as much to have a domain with a bunch of keywords in it.”
And simply one year later, in 2012, Cutts tweeted that low-grade precise match domains would get minimized exposure in search results page.
Finally, in 2020, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller exposed keywords in domain names no longer play a role in determining online search engine results rankings.
Responding to a concern if keywords in domain names impact rankings throughout an Ask Google Webmasters video, he said, “In other words, no. You don’t get a special perk like that from having a keyword in your top-level domain.”
But this does not indicate that domain names are unimportant. They’re simply not direct ranking aspects.
Find out more about Google Ranking Factors in our 2nd Edition ebook.
Our Verdict: Your Domain Call Is Not A Ranking Factor, But Is Still Important
Now that we’ve established that domain are NOT a part of your overall search
engine rankings, SEO experts can simply forget about
them, right? Never. Your option of a domain can be a crucial aspect of your UX and public image. Your domain should usually be the most recognizable element of your business. Often that’s not your organization name but a specific brand or trademark.
You may want to consider subdomains or perhaps different domains for different homes. If you sell products that resellers bring, this can help your clients discover you more quickly.
Utilizing keywords in your domain does not assist in regards to search ranking; if not done properly, it could even injure your SEO.
But, if your branding is greatly focused on a specific service or product, including a keyword in the domain might assist users comprehend what you’re about at a glimpse. A carefully put keyword could also help bring in audiences likely to convert.
Don’t be afraid to use a keyword if it’s extremely appropriate or part of your branding.
So, here’s the TL; DR: Your domain doesn’t straight impact your Google ranking however supplies chances for savvy web marketers to reflect their brand name’s worths and develop more positive user experiences.
For more assistance selecting a domain, take a look at Roger Montti’s advice.
Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel
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