Is Domain Name A Google Ranking Aspect?

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Remember the early days of the web?

You might invest all day chatting with your good friends on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo games. And after that your mama got the phone to phone, and you were begun 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 an exact match domain (EMD). For example, if you needed a dog 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 companies to put their specific target keyword expression right in their domain URL.

Sadly (or possibly thankfully, depending upon how you feel about EMDs), scammers and bad actors took advantage of this, took up much of these domains, and connected them to low-quality websites.

So, what holds true today? Does your domain have an impact on search results?

Let’s take a closer look at the dispute.

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The Claim: Is Domain Name A Ranking Element?

Having a precise match domain utilized to be a big deal.

In 2010, CarInsurance.com cost $49.7 million: still the most costly domain name purchase of all time. So plainly, somebody valued domains with that keyword.

It was (and in some cases still is) typical for individuals in the SEO industry to promote for EMDs. The claims around them usually being that they instantly create reliability and create an one-upmanship.

But keep in mind those bad actors we spoke about in the last section? Ultimately, Google got sensible to their keyword-stuffing URLs and changed its algorithm to discount them. However that’s not to state your website’s domain does not affect SEO.

The Proof: The Impact Of Domain On SEO

There is a lot of mixed details about domain names and their effect on rankings.

There’s no question that domain contributed in rankings at one point.

In a 2011 Web Designer 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 specified:

“And so, we have actually been thinking of adjusting that mix a little bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that given 2 different domains it wouldn’t always help you as much to have a domain with a bunch of keywords in it.”

And simply one year later on, in 2012, Cutts tweeted that low-quality precise match domains would get lowered presence in search results page.

Finally, in 2020, Google Web Designer Trends Expert John Mueller exposed keywords in domain no longer play a role in identifying search engine results rankings.

Addressing a concern if keywords in domain names effect rankings throughout an Ask Google Webmasters video, he stated, “Simply put, no. You do not get an unique benefit like that from having a keyword in your top-level domain.”

However this doesn’t imply that domain are unimportant. They’re simply not direct ranking aspects.

Discover more about Google Ranking Factors in our 2nd Edition ebook.

Our Verdict: Your Domain Name Is Not A Ranking Element, But Is Still Important

Now that we’ve developed that domain are NOT a part of your total search

engine rankings, SEO experts can simply ignore

them, right? Absolutely not. Your choice of a domain can be an important aspect of your UX and public image. Your domain should usually be the most recognizable element of your business. Sometimes that’s not your organization name however a particular brand name or hallmark.

You may wish to think about subdomains and even different domains for different residential or commercial properties. If you offer products that resellers carry, this can assist your consumers discover you more easily.

Using keywords in your domain does not help in regards to search ranking; if not done properly, it could even hurt your SEO.

However, if your branding is greatly concentrated on a specific service or product, consisting of a keyword in the domain might help users understand what you have to do with at a glance. A thoroughly put keyword might likewise assist bring in audiences most likely to convert.

Do not hesitate to utilize a keyword if it’s highly relevant or part of your branding.

So, here’s the TL; DR: Your domain does not straight affect your Google ranking but provides opportunities for savvy web marketers to reflect their brand name’s values and create more positive user experiences.

For more aid selecting a domain, take a look at Roger Montti’s suggestions.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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