Is Domain Name A Google Ranking Element?

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Keep in mind the early days of the internet?

You might invest throughout the day chatting with your friends on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo games. And then your mom picked up the phone to phone, and you were started 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 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 precise target keyword phrase right in their domain URL.

Sadly (or possibly thankfully, depending on how you feel about EMDs), scammers and bad actors took advantage of this, snatched up a lot of these domains, and linked them to low-grade sites.

So, what holds true today? Does your domain name have an influence on search results page?

Let’s take a better look at the debate.

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The Claim: Is Domain Name A Ranking Aspect?

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

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

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

However remember 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. However that’s not to state your site’s domain does not affect SEO.

The Proof: The Effect Of Domain Names On SEO

There is a lot of combined information about domain names and their influence on rankings.

There’s no question that domain 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.

Nevertheless, he likewise mentioned:

“And so, we have actually been thinking about changing that mix a bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that given two various domains it would not necessarily assist you as much to have a domain with a lot of keywords in it.”

And just one year later, in 2012, Cutts tweeted that low-grade specific match domains would get lowered visibility in search results page.

Finally, in 2020, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller exposed keywords in domain no longer play a role in identifying search engine results rankings.

Responding to a concern if keywords in domain names impact rankings during 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 top-level domain.”

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

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

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

engine rankings, SEO experts can just forget

them, right? Absolutely not. Your option of a domain name can be a crucial aspect of your UX and public image. Your domain name should typically be the most identifiable aspect of your service. Often that’s not your organization name but a specific brand name or trademark.

You might wish to think about subdomains and even separate domains for various homes. If you offer products that resellers bring, this can assist your clients find you more easily.

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

But, if your branding is heavily focused on a specific product or service, including a keyword in the domain could help users comprehend what you have to do with at a glance. A thoroughly put keyword might also assist bring in audiences most likely to transform.

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

So, here’s the TL; DR: Your domain name doesn’t straight affect your Google ranking but provides chances for savvy web online marketers to reflect their brand’s values and create more positive user experiences.

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

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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