Is Domain Call A Google Ranking Factor?

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Remember 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 video games. And then your mommy 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 good chance you were doing it on a website with an exact match domain (EMD). For example, if you needed a canine collar, you ‘d probably wind up on a website with an address like

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

Sadly (or maybe fortunately, depending upon how you feel about EMDs), fraudsters and bad stars benefited from this, snatched up a number of these domains, and linked them to low-quality websites.

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

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

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The Claim: Is Domain Name A Ranking Element?

Having an exact match domain utilized to be a big deal.

In 2010, sold for $49.7 million: still the most costly domain name purchase of perpetuity. So clearly, somebody 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 normally being that they quickly create credibility and produce an one-upmanship.

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

The Proof: The Effect Of Domain Names On SEO

There is a lot of blended details about domain names and their influence 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 function EMDs played in the tech giant’s search algorithm.

Nevertheless, he also mentioned:

“And so, we have actually been considering 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 always help you as much to have a domain with a lot of keywords in it.”

And simply one year later, in 2012, Cutts tweeted that low-grade exact match domains would get decreased visibility in search results page.

Finally, in 2020, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller revealed keywords in domain no longer contribute in identifying online search engine results rankings.

Addressing a concern if keywords in domain names impact rankings throughout an Ask Google Webmasters video, he said, “Simply put, no. You do not get an unique benefit like that from having a keyword in your high-level domain.”

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

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Our Decision: Your Domain Call Is Not A Ranking Factor, However Is Still Essential

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

engine rankings, SEO experts can just forget

them, right? Absolutely not. Your option of a domain can be an essential element of your UX and public image. Your domain ought to typically be the most identifiable aspect of your company. In some cases that’s not your service name however a particular brand or trademark.

You may want to think about subdomains and even separate domains for different residential or commercial properties. If you offer items that resellers bring, this can assist your customers find you more easily.

Utilizing keywords in your domain doesn’t help in terms of search ranking; if not done properly, it could even hurt your SEO.

But, if your branding is greatly focused on a specific product or service, consisting of a keyword in the domain might help users comprehend what you have to do with at a look. A carefully put keyword might also help draw in audiences likely to convert.

Do not be afraid to utilize a keyword if it’s highly pertinent or part of your branding.

So, here’s the TL; DR: Your domain doesn’t directly impact your Google ranking but provides chances for savvy web online marketers to reflect their brand’s values and produce more favorable user experiences.

For more assistance selecting a domain name, have a look at Roger Montti’s advice.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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