Is Domain Name A Google Ranking Factor?

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Keep in mind the early days of the web?

You might spend all the time chatting with your buddies on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo video games. And then your mama 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 site with a precise match domain (EMD). For example, if you needed a pet dog collar, you ‘d probably wind up on a website with an address like

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

Sadly (or maybe luckily, depending on how you feel about EMDs), scammers and bad actors made the most of this, snatched up a number of these domains, and linked them to low-quality sites.

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

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

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The Claim: Is Domain Name A Ranking Factor?

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

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

It was (and often still is) typical for individuals in the SEO market to promote for EMDs. The claims around them generally being that they instantly generate reliability and produce a competitive edge.

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

The Proof: The Effect Of Domain On SEO

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

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

In a 2011 Webmaster 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 stated:

“Therefore, we have been considering changing that mix a bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that given 2 different 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 on, in 2012, Cutts tweeted that low-quality specific match domains would get reduced visibility in search engine result.

Lastly, in 2020, Google Web Designer Trends Analyst John Mueller revealed keywords in domain no longer play a role in identifying search engine results rankings.

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

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

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Our Verdict: Your Domain Call Is Not A Ranking Element, But Is Still Important

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

engine rankings, SEO experts can simply ignore

them, right? Never. Your option of a domain can be a crucial aspect of your UX and public image. Your domain must normally be the most recognizable element of your service. Sometimes that’s not your company name but a specific brand or trademark.

You may want to consider subdomains or perhaps different domains for different homes. If you offer products that resellers carry, this can help your clients discover you more quickly.

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

But, if your branding is heavily concentrated on a specific service or product, including a keyword in the domain might assist users understand what you’re about at a look. A carefully put keyword might likewise assist attract audiences most likely to transform.

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

So, here’s the TL; DR: Your domain name does not directly affect your Google ranking but supplies chances for savvy web marketers to show their brand name’s values and create more positive user experiences.

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

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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