Is Domain Name A Google Ranking Factor?

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Keep in mind the early days of the web?

You could spend throughout the day talking with your good friends on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo video games. And after that your mom got the phone to telephone, 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 site with an exact match domain (EMD). For example, if you required a pet collar, you ‘d probably end up on a website 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 possibly luckily, depending on how you feel about EMDs), scammers and bad actors took advantage of this, nabbed up a lot of these domains, and linked them to low-grade websites.

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

Let’s take a closer look at the dispute.

[Download:] The Total Google Ranking Factors Guide

The Claim: Is Domain Call A Ranking Factor?

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

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

It was (and in some cases still is) typical for individuals in the SEO market to advocate for EMDs. The claims around them generally being that they immediately create credibility and create an one-upmanship.

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

The Proof: The Impact Of Domain On SEO

There is a lot of combined details about domain and their impact on rankings.

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

In a 2011 Webmaster Hangout, Matt Cutts, a software engineer on Google’s Search Quality group, acknowledged the function EMDs played in the tech giant’s search algorithm.

Nevertheless, he also stated:

“And so, we have actually been thinking about changing that mix a little bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that provided two different domains it wouldn’t always help you as much to have a domain with a lot of keywords in it.”

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

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

Addressing a concern if keywords in domain impact rankings during an Ask Google Webmasters video, he stated, “Simply put, no. You do not get an unique perk like that from having a keyword in your top-level domain.”

But this does not suggest that domain names are unimportant. They’re simply not direct ranking aspects.

Learn more about Google Ranking Consider our 2nd Edition ebook.

Our Verdict: Your Domain Call Is Not A Ranking Factor, But Is Still Crucial

Now that we’ve developed that domain are NOT a part of your general online search engine rankings, SEO specialists can just ignore them, right?

Absolutely not.

Your option of a domain name can be a crucial element of your UX and public image. Your domain need to normally be the most recognizable element of your organization. Often that’s not your service name however a specific brand name or trademark.

You may want to consider subdomains or even different domains for different residential or commercial properties. If you offer products that resellers bring, this can help your consumers find you more quickly.

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

However, if your branding is heavily concentrated on a particular product or service, including a keyword in the domain might help users understand what you’re about at a glance. A carefully positioned keyword might likewise assist draw in audiences likely to convert.

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

So, here’s the TL; DR: Your domain does not directly impact your Google ranking however provides opportunities for savvy web online marketers to reflect their brand’s worths and produce more positive user experiences.

For more help choosing a domain, take a look at Roger Montti’s guidance.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/SMM Panel