Is Domain Name A Google Ranking Aspect?

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Remember the early days of the internet?

You might invest all the time chatting with your friends on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo video games. And then your mom picked up 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 site with an exact match domain (EMD). For example, if you needed a pet collar, you ‘d most likely end up on a site with an address like

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

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

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

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

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The Claim: Is Domain Call A Ranking Element?

Having a specific 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 individuals in the SEO market to advocate for EMDs. The claims around them generally being that they instantly generate credibility and produce an one-upmanship.

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

The Evidence: The Effect Of Domain On SEO

There is a lot of mixed information about domain and their effect on rankings.

There’s no question 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 function EMDs played in the tech giant’s search algorithm.

However, he likewise mentioned:

“And so, we have been considering changing that mix a bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that offered 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 exact match domains would get decreased visibility in search results.

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.

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

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

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

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

engine rankings, SEO professionals can simply forget about

them, right? Never. Your choice of a domain name can be an essential element of your UX and public image. Your domain name need to typically be the most recognizable aspect of your business. In some cases that’s not your organization name however a particular brand or trademark.

You might wish to think about subdomains or even separate domains for different properties. If you offer items that resellers bring, this can help your customers find you more easily.

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

However, if your branding is heavily concentrated on a specific product or service, consisting of a keyword in the domain might assist users understand what you’re about at a glimpse. A carefully positioned keyword could also assist bring in audiences likely to convert.

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

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

For more assistance selecting a domain name, check out Roger Montti’s suggestions.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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