Is Domain Name A Google Ranking Factor?

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Keep in mind the early days of the internet?

You could spend all day talking with your buddies on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo video games. And then your mommy got the phone to phone, and you were kicked off the web. Good 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 example, if you needed a canine collar, you ‘d most likely 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 phrase right in their domain URL.

Sadly (or possibly thankfully, depending on how you feel about EMDs), scammers and bad actors took advantage of this, nabbed up much of these domains, and linked them to low-grade websites.

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

Let’s take a closer take a look at the argument.

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The Claim: Is Domain Call A Ranking Factor?

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

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

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

However remember those bad actors we talked 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 state your site’s domain name does not impact SEO.

The Proof: The Effect Of Domain On SEO

There is a lot of blended information about domain names 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 engineer on Google’s Browse Quality group, acknowledged the function EMDs played in the tech giant’s search algorithm.

However, he likewise stated:

“Therefore, we have actually been thinking of changing that mix a little bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that given two various domains it would not necessarily assist 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 exact match domains would get decreased presence in search engine result.

Finally, in 2020, Google Web Designer Trends Expert John Mueller revealed keywords in domain names no longer contribute in figuring out online search engine results rankings.

Answering a concern if keywords in domain names impact rankings throughout an Ask Google Webmasters video, he said, “Simply put, no. You don’t get a special perk like that from having a keyword in your top-level domain.”

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

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

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

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

engine rankings, SEO professionals can simply forget

them, right? Absolutely not. Your choice of a domain name can be an important element of your UX and public image. Your domain should normally be the most recognizable element of your organization. Sometimes that’s not your organization name however a particular brand name or trademark.

You might wish to think about subdomains and even separate domains for different properties. If you sell products that resellers carry, this can help your consumers find you more easily.

Using keywords in your domain does not help in regards to search ranking; if not done correctly, it might even harm your SEO.

However, if your branding is heavily concentrated on a particular product or service, consisting of a keyword in the domain could help users understand what you’re about at a look. A carefully put keyword might also assist attract 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 doesn’t straight affect your Google ranking however offers chances for savvy web online marketers to show their brand’s worths and create more favorable user experiences.

For more assistance picking a domain name, take a look at Roger Montti’s suggestions.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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