Is Domain Name A Google Ranking Aspect?

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Keep in mind the early days of the internet?

You could invest all the time talking with your friends on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo games. And after that your mommy got the phone to phone, and you were started the web. Great times.

In those days, if you were doing some shopping, there was a likelihood you were doing it on a website with a precise match domain (EMD). For instance, if you required a pet dog collar, you ‘d most likely wind up on a website with an address like www.buydogcollars.com.

In those primitive days of search engine optimization, it was common for companies to put their exact target keyword expression right in their domain URL.

Regrettably (or possibly luckily, depending upon how you feel about EMDs), fraudsters and bad actors benefited from this, nabbed up much of these domains, and connected them to low-grade websites.

So, what’s true today? Does your domain name have an influence on search results?

Let’s take a closer look at the dispute.

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The Claim: Is Domain Name A Ranking Aspect?

Having an exact match domain utilized to be a big deal.

In 2010, CarInsurance.com sold for $49.7 million: still the most costly domain name purchase of perpetuity. So clearly, someone valued domains with that keyword.

It was (and in some cases still is) typical for individuals in the SEO market to promote for EMDs. The claims around them usually being that they quickly generate reliability and generate a competitive edge.

However keep in mind those bad actors we spoke about in the last area? Ultimately, Google got wise 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 Evidence: The Effect Of Domain On SEO

There is a great deal of combined info about domain and their impact on rankings.

There’s no question that domain played a role in rankings at one point.

In a 2011 Webmaster Hangout, Matt Cutts, a software application engineer on Google’s Browse Quality group, acknowledged the function EMDs played in the tech giant’s search algorithm.

However, he also specified:

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

And just one year later on, in 2012, Cutts tweeted that low-grade precise match domains would get decreased presence in search results page.

Lastly, in 2020, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller exposed keywords in domain names no longer play a role in figuring out search engine results rankings.

Answering a concern if keywords in domain names impact rankings during an Ask Google Webmasters video, he said, “In short, no. You do not get a special perk like that from having a keyword in your top-level domain.”

But this doesn’t mean that domain names are unimportant. They’re simply not direct ranking elements.

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

Our Verdict: Your Domain Call Is Not A Ranking Factor, However Is Still Important

Now that we’ve established that domain names are NOT a part of your overall search

engine rankings, SEO professionals can simply ignore

them, right? Absolutely not. Your option of a domain name can be an essential aspect of your UX and public image. Your domain name should usually be the most identifiable aspect of your service. Often that’s not your business name however a particular brand name or hallmark.

You may wish to think about subdomains or even separate domains for various homes. If you sell items that resellers carry, this can help your customers find you more quickly.

Utilizing 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 product or service, including a keyword in the domain could help users comprehend what you’re about at a look. A carefully put keyword might likewise help attract audiences likely to transform.

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

So, here’s the TL; DR: Your domain name doesn’t straight impact your Google ranking however supplies chances for savvy web marketers to show their brand’s values and develop more favorable user experiences.

For more help picking a domain, have a look at Roger Montti’s guidance.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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