This has always been a million dollar question: “Does choosing a good domain name help your website SEO?“. In the last few years, including relevant keywords in the domain name has been nearly as important as writing relevant content.
A very important question needs a very direct answer – so here are 3 big reasons why you can avoid wasting time and money. Stop searching for and buying SEO-friendly domain names, move on and think about the real issues of your website!
1. Listen to the Penguin
It all started with the Panda, now you’d better listen to the Penguin. Penguin is a new improvement of Google Search Engine that was released by Matt Cutts & co. to further penalise some SEO tactics.
Eventually, all those not-very-legal strategies that aimed at boosting website visibility will now turn into ranking penalties. And one of the most important consequences is that keyword-stuffed domain names are now non-relevant, sometimes illegal. Despite it took Google quite a long time to address this issue, now it makes a lot of sense.
Buying extra domains to increase your daily visits adds no value to the user – and therefore should not increase your ranking. Too much emphasis was given to SEO-friendly domain names in the past – so say thanks to the Penguin, say goodbye to multiple domains and focus on writing relevant content.
2. It’s not just about the Name
Amazon.com, Ebay.com, Etsy.com definitely prove that keywords-stuffed domain names are not vital in terms of SEO. These “online marketplaces” have been spending time and money to optimise their content and have created high quality backlinks to build their reputation.
The domain name is 1 of 200 factors that Google considers when deciding your website ranking. Small and large companies have instead been focusing on writing relevant and useful content for their users – “businessbloomer.ie” is one of those (well, we’re trying!).
So, forget about your domain name and use your keywords throughout your website text and create powerful backlinks.
3. Don’t forget about your Brand
And finally, let’s consider branding. How much do you believe in your brand? How important is it for your business? If the answer is “I understand branding and its value”, you will also understand that keyword-rich domain names have a negative effect on your brand.
Would you prefer to be known because of the name of your company or because of your keyword-stuffed, 4 or 5 words long, SEO-unfriendly domain name? Better using “businessbloomer.ie” or choosing a “get-a-website-that-works.ie”?
We chose to have a SEO-unfriendly domain name from the very beginning. That is – we’ve always believed in providing useful, consistent content to our users. We’ve been focusing on Relevancy. That’s what you call SEO.
4. Listen to Google
Matt Cutts, former SEO specialist @ Google, describes the reasons why your domain name should be “branded” and not “keyword-stuffed”. This video is dated March 2011, and Matt’s last thought: “we’re planning to decrease the ranking of keyword-stuffed domains” has now become reality (2012).
2 thoughts on “3 Reasons why your Domain Name doesn’t affect SEO”
Google is not giving importance to EMD (exact matching domain) as earlier but I still see it has fair amount of advantage to own EMD or PMD (partial matching domain).
Suraj, thanks so much for your comment! It would be great to have a case study or to quantify the “advantage” you’ve seen with your clients – are you able to send us some numbers? Cheers!