Is Domain Name A Google Ranking Factor?

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Remember the early days of the web?

You might spend throughout the day chatting with your buddies on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo video games. And after that your mom picked up the phone to make a call, and you were begun the web. Great times.

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

In those primitive days of seo, it prevailed for business to put their specific target keyword phrase right in their domain URL.

Unfortunately (or possibly luckily, depending on how you feel about EMDs), fraudsters and bad actors made the most of this, nabbed up much of these domains, and linked them to low-quality websites.

So, what holds true today? Does your domain name have an effect on search results page?

Let’s take a better take a look at the dispute.

[Download:] The Complete Google Ranking Factors Guide

The Claim: Is Domain Name A Ranking Aspect?

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

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

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

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

The Evidence: The Impact Of Domain On SEO

There is a great deal of blended info about domain and their influence on rankings.

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

In a 2011 Web Designer 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 likewise stated:

“And so, we have actually been thinking about adjusting that mix a bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that offered 2 different domains it wouldn’t always assist 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-quality exact match domains would get lowered presence in search results.

Finally, in 2020, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller revealed keywords in domain no longer contribute in figuring out search engine results rankings.

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

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

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

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

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

engine rankings, SEO specialists can simply forget about

them, right? Absolutely not. Your option of a domain name can be a crucial element of your UX and public image. Your domain name need to normally be the most recognizable aspect of your service. Sometimes that’s not your company name however a specific brand name or trademark.

You may want to think about subdomains or even separate domains for different properties. If you sell items that resellers carry, this can help your clients discover you more quickly.

Utilizing keywords in your domain does not help in terms of search ranking; if not done properly, it might even hurt your SEO.

However, if your branding is heavily concentrated on a specific product or service, including a keyword in the domain could help users comprehend what you’re about at a glimpse. A thoroughly positioned keyword could also assist draw in audiences most likely to convert.

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

So, here’s the TL; DR: Your domain does not directly affect your Google ranking however offers opportunities for smart web marketers to show their brand’s values and develop more favorable user experiences.

For more aid picking a domain name, check out Roger Montti’s recommendations.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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