Is Domain Name A Google Ranking Factor?

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Remember the early days of the web?

You might invest throughout the day chatting with your friends on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo games. And then your mother got the phone to telephone, and you were begun the web. Good times.

In those days, if you were doing some shopping, there was a great chance you were doing it on a site with an exact match domain (EMD). For example, 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 prevailed for business to put their exact target keyword expression right in their domain URL.

Regrettably (or perhaps fortunately, depending on how you feel about EMDs), scammers and bad stars made the most of this, snatched 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 page?

Let’s take a more detailed take a look at the dispute.

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The Claim: Is Domain Name A Ranking Element?

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

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

It was (and often still is) typical for individuals in the SEO market to promote for EMDs. The claims around them normally being that they immediately generate reliability and create a competitive edge.

However keep in mind those bad stars we discussed in the last area? Eventually, Google got smart to their keyword-stuffing URLs and changed its algorithm to discount them. But that’s not to say your site’s domain does not affect SEO.

The Proof: The Impact Of Domain On SEO

There is a great deal of blended information about domain and their impact on rankings.

There’s no concern that domain played a role 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 likewise stated:

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

And simply one year later, in 2012, Cutts tweeted that low-grade specific match domains would get reduced presence in search results page.

Lastly, in 2020, Google Web Designer Trends Analyst John Mueller revealed keywords in domain names no longer play a role in determining online search engine results rankings.

Addressing a question if keywords in domain names impact rankings during an Ask Google Webmasters video, he stated, “In other words, no. You do not get an unique reward like that from having a keyword in your high-level domain.”

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

Discover more about Google Ranking Consider our second Edition ebook.

Our Verdict: Your Domain Call Is Not A Ranking Aspect, But Is Still Crucial

Now that we’ve established that domain names are NOT a part of your total search engine rankings, SEO professionals can just forget about them, right?

Absolutely not.

Your option of a domain can be an important aspect of your UX and public image. Your domain must generally be the most recognizable element of your business. Sometimes that’s not your service name however a particular brand name or hallmark.

You may want to consider subdomains or even different domains for different properties. If you offer products that resellers carry, this can help your clients discover you more easily.

Using keywords in your domain doesn’t help in regards to search ranking; if not done properly, it might even injure your SEO.

But, if your branding is greatly concentrated on a specific product or service, including a keyword in the domain might help users understand what you have to do with at a glimpse. A carefully placed keyword might also help draw in audiences most likely to convert.

Don’t be afraid to use a keyword if it’s highly appropriate or part of your branding.

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

For more help choosing a domain name, check out Roger Montti’s advice.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel