Is Domain Name A Google Ranking Factor?

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Keep in mind the early days of the web?

You might invest throughout the day talking with your buddies on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo video games. And then your mom got the phone to telephone, and you were kicked off 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 specific match domain (EMD). For instance, if you required 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 business to put their specific target keyword phrase right in their domain URL.

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

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

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

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The Claim: Is Domain Name A Ranking Factor?

Having a precise match domain used to be a huge offer.

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

It was (and sometimes still is) common for people in the SEO market to promote for EMDs. The claims around them normally being that they quickly produce credibility and generate an one-upmanship.

But remember those bad actors we discussed in the last area? Eventually, Google got smart 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 affect SEO.

The Proof: The Impact Of Domain Names On SEO

There is a lot of blended details about domain and their influence on rankings.

There’s no concern that domain names contributed 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.

Nevertheless, he also mentioned:

“And so, we have actually been considering adjusting that mix a little bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that offered 2 different domains it would not necessarily help you as much to have a domain with a bunch of keywords in it.”

And simply one year later on, in 2012, Cutts tweeted that low-quality specific match domains would get minimized presence in search engine result.

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

Addressing a concern if keywords in domain impact rankings throughout an Ask Google Webmasters video, he stated, “In other words, no. You don’t get an unique bonus like that from having a keyword in your high-level domain.”

But this does not mean that domain are unimportant. They’re just not direct ranking factors.

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

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

engine rankings, SEO professionals can just ignore

them, right? Absolutely not. Your choice of a domain can be an important aspect of your UX and public image. Your domain ought to typically be the most identifiable element of your service. Sometimes that’s not your company name but a specific brand or trademark.

You may wish to think about subdomains or even different domains for different residential or commercial properties. If you sell items that resellers bring, this can assist your consumers find you more quickly.

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

However, if your branding is heavily focused on a particular service or product, including a keyword in the domain could assist users understand what you have to do with at a glance. A thoroughly put keyword might also help draw in audiences likely to convert.

Don’t be afraid to use a keyword if it’s highly pertinent or part of your branding.

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

For more help choosing a domain name, have a look at Roger Montti’s recommendations.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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