Is Domain Name A Google Ranking Element?

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Keep in mind the early days of the internet?

You might invest throughout the day chatting with your friends on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo games. And then your mommy got 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 good chance you were doing it on a website with an exact match domain (EMD). For example, if you required a pet dog collar, you ‘d probably end up on a website 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 luckily, depending upon how you feel about EMDs), scammers and bad stars took advantage of this, snatched up a lot of these domains, and linked them to low-grade websites.

So, what’s true today? Does your domain have an impact on search engine result?

Let’s take a closer look at the debate.

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The Claim: Is Domain Call A Ranking Aspect?

Having an exact match domain used to be a huge deal.

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

It was (and in some cases still is) common for individuals in the SEO industry to promote for EMDs. The claims around them normally being that they quickly create trustworthiness and create a competitive edge.

However remember those bad stars we spoke about in the last area? Ultimately, Google got wise to their keyword-stuffing URLs and changed its algorithm to discount them. But that’s not to state your site’s domain does not impact SEO.

The Evidence: The Effect Of Domain On SEO

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

There’s no concern that domain names 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 likewise mentioned:

“Therefore, we have actually been thinking about changing that mix a bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that given two various domains it would not always help you as much to have a domain with a lot of keywords in it.”

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

Finally, in 2020, Google Web Designer Trends Analyst John Mueller exposed keywords in domain no longer contribute in determining search engine results rankings.

Addressing a concern if keywords in domain effect rankings during an Ask Google Webmasters video, he stated, “Simply put, no. You don’t get an unique perk like that from having a keyword in your top-level domain.”

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

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

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

engine rankings, SEO specialists can just forget

them, right? Absolutely not. Your option of a domain name can be a crucial aspect of your UX and public image. Your domain should usually be the most recognizable aspect of your company. Sometimes that’s not your business name however a specific brand name or hallmark.

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

Using keywords in your domain does not assist in terms of search ranking; if not done correctly, it might even injure your SEO.

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

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

So, here’s the TL; DR: Your domain name doesn’t directly affect your Google ranking however provides chances for smart web online marketers to show their brand name’s values and develop more positive user experiences.

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

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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