Is Domain Name A Google Ranking Factor?

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Keep in mind the early days of the internet?

You might spend all day chatting with your good friends on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo games. And after that your mama got the phone to phone, and you were started the web. Good times.

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

In those primitive days of search engine optimization, it was common for business to put their specific target keyword expression right in their domain URL.

Unfortunately (or perhaps thankfully, depending upon how you feel about EMDs), scammers and bad stars made the most of this, took up a lot of these domains, and connected them to low-grade sites.

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

Let’s take a closer look at the dispute.

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The Claim: Is Domain Name A Ranking Aspect?

Having a precise match domain utilized to be a big 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) typical for people in the SEO industry to advocate for EMDs. The claims around them generally being that they immediately create reliability and produce an one-upmanship.

But remember those bad stars we spoke about in the last area? Ultimately, 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 name does not impact SEO.

The Evidence: The Impact Of Domain On SEO

There is a lot of combined details about domain names and their effect on rankings.

There’s no concern that domain names played a role in rankings at one point.

In a 2011 Webmaster Hangout, Matt Cutts, a software engineer on Google’s Browse Quality group, acknowledged the function EMDs played in the tech giant’s search algorithm.

Nevertheless, he likewise mentioned:

“And so, we have been thinking of changing that mix a little bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that provided two various domains it wouldn’t necessarily assist you as much to have a domain with a lot of keywords in it.”

And just one year later on, in 2012, Cutts tweeted that low-quality exact match domains would get reduced exposure in search results page.

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

Answering a question if keywords in domain impact rankings during 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 high-level domain.”

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

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

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

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

engine rankings, SEO professionals can just forget about

them, right? Absolutely not. Your choice of a domain can be an important element of your UX and public image. Your domain name must typically be the most identifiable element of your organization. In some cases that’s not your organization name but a specific brand name or hallmark.

You may wish to consider subdomains and even separate domains for various properties. If you offer products that resellers bring, this can assist your consumers discover you more quickly.

Utilizing keywords in your domain doesn’t assist in terms of search ranking; if not done correctly, it might even injure your SEO.

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

Do not 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 straight affect your Google ranking but provides opportunities for savvy web marketers to reflect their brand’s worths and develop more favorable user experiences.

For more help selecting a domain, take a look at Roger Montti’s guidance.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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