Exact-match domain names used to be very important. But could it be that, nowadays, domain names play an important role in search rankings?
Is Domain Name a Google Ranking Factor?
Previously, having an exact match domain name was a massive advantage in SEO efforts. For example, in 2010, CarInsurance.com was sold for $49.7 million. It may still be the most expensive domain purchase.
It was common for people in the SEO industry to advocate EMDs (Exact Match Domain). The claims are usually that they provide instant credibility and create a competitive advantage. Since they match a search word, the fact that the backlinks given to the domain name are based on the search word is considered the icing on the cake.
At the movie’s end, Google recognized the keyword-stuffed URLs of such sites and updated its algorithm to reduce the impact of these URLs. However, this doesn’t mean that your website’s domain name doesn’t affect SEO.
Your Domain Name Is Not a Ranking Factor, But It Still Matters
Your choice of domain name can be an essential indicator of your user experience and overall brand image. Your domain name should usually be the most recognizable aspect of your business. However, sometimes this is not the name of your business but a specific brand or trademark name.
Consider subdomains or even separate domains for different properties. If you sell products that resellers carry, this can also help your customers find you more easily.
Using keywords in your domain name won’t help with search rankings; it can even hurt your SEO if not done right.
However, if your brand is heavily focused on a specific service or product, adding a keyword to the domain name can help users understand what you’re about at a glance. A carefully placed keyword can also help you attract likely to convert audiences. Don’t be afraid to use a keyword if it’s highly relevant or part of your brand.
To summarize, your domain name doesn’t directly affect your Google rankings. Still, it provides opportunities for experienced web marketers to reflect their brand’s values and create more positive user experiences.