Is Domain Name A Google Ranking Aspect?

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Keep in mind the early days of the internet?

You could spend all the time chatting with your friends on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo games. And then your mommy picked up the phone to phone, 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 a specific match domain (EMD). For instance, if you needed a pet dog collar, you ‘d probably wind up on a site with an address like

In those primitive days of seo, it was common for business to put their exact target keyword expression right in their domain URL.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, depending on how you feel about EMDs), fraudsters and bad actors made the most of this, took up many of these domains, and connected them to low-quality sites.

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

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

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The Claim: Is Domain Call A Ranking Aspect?

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

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

It was (and often still is) common for individuals in the SEO industry to advocate for EMDs. The claims around them normally being that they immediately generate reliability and generate an one-upmanship.

However keep in mind those bad actors we spoke about in the last area? Eventually, Google got sensible to their keyword-stuffing URLs and altered its algorithm to discount them. However that’s not to say your website’s domain name does not affect SEO.

The Evidence: The Effect Of Domain Names On SEO

There is a lot of mixed info about domain names and their impact on rankings.

There’s no concern that domain 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 also stated:

“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 different domains it would not necessarily help you as much to have a domain with a bunch of keywords in it.”

And just one year later, in 2012, Cutts tweeted that low-quality specific match domains would get reduced exposure in search engine result.

Finally, in 2020, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller revealed keywords in domain no longer play a role in identifying online search engine results rankings.

Responding to a question if keywords in domain impact rankings during an Ask Google Webmasters video, he stated, “In other words, no. You don’t get an unique bonus offer like that from having a keyword in your high-level domain.”

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

Discover more about Google Ranking Factors in our second Edition ebook.

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

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

engine rankings, SEO experts can simply forget about

them, right? Never. Your option of a domain can be an essential element of your UX and public image. Your domain name must generally be the most recognizable aspect of your business. Often that’s not your organization name however a particular brand name or trademark.

You may want to think about subdomains or perhaps separate domains for different residential or commercial properties. If you sell products that resellers bring, this can help your clients discover you more easily.

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

But, if your branding is greatly concentrated on a particular service or product, including a keyword in the domain could help users understand what you have to do with at a glance. A thoroughly placed keyword could also assist bring in audiences likely to transform.

Don’t hesitate to utilize a keyword if it’s highly pertinent or part of your branding.

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

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

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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