Is Domain Call A Google Ranking Element?

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Remember the early days of the internet?

You could invest throughout the day chatting with your buddies on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo games. And then your mommy got the phone to phone, and you were begun the web. Great times.

In those days, if you were doing some shopping, there was a likelihood you were doing it on a website with an exact match domain (EMD). For example, if you required a pet dog collar, you ‘d probably wind up on a site with an address like

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

Regrettably (or perhaps fortunately, depending on how you feel about EMDs), scammers and bad stars made the most of this, snatched up a lot of these domains, and connected them to low-grade websites.

So, what holds 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 Element?

Having a specific match domain used to be a huge deal.

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

It was (and in some cases still is) typical for individuals in the SEO industry to promote for EMDs. The claims around them usually being that they instantly create credibility and create a competitive edge.

However keep in mind those bad stars we talked about in the last section? Ultimately, Google got sensible to their keyword-stuffing URLs and changed its algorithm to discount them. But that’s not to say your site’s domain does not impact SEO.

The Proof: The Impact Of Domain Names On SEO

There is a great deal of mixed information about domain and their impact on rankings.

There’s no question that domain names contributed in rankings at one point.

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

However, he also mentioned:

“Therefore, we have actually been thinking of adjusting that mix a 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 bunch of keywords in it.”

And simply one year later, in 2012, Cutts tweeted that low-quality specific match domains would get lowered presence in search results.

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

Responding to a question if keywords in domain names impact rankings throughout an Ask Google Webmasters video, he said, “Simply put, no. You don’t get an unique bonus offer like that from having a keyword in your top-level domain.”

But this doesn’t indicate 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, But Is Still Important

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 option of a domain can be an essential element of your UX and public image. Your domain must usually be the most recognizable aspect of your service. In some cases that’s not your business name however a specific brand or hallmark.

You may wish to consider subdomains or even different domains for different properties. If you sell products that resellers carry, this can assist your consumers find you more easily.

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

However, if your branding is heavily concentrated on a particular product or service, consisting of a keyword in the domain might help users understand what you have to do with at a glimpse. A carefully positioned keyword could also assist bring in audiences most likely to transform.

Do not hesitate to use a keyword if it’s highly pertinent or part of your branding.

So, here’s the TL; DR: Your domain name doesn’t directly affect your Google ranking however offers opportunities for savvy web marketers to show their brand name’s values and produce more favorable user experiences.

For more aid selecting a domain name, check out Roger Montti’s advice.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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