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Is Domain Name a Google Ranking Factor?

Let’s simply say it: Exact match domains needs to be buried in a rubbish bag proper subsequent to individuals who speak on their speakerphone in public.

Remember when each area used to seem like www.caraccidentattorney.com or www.buydogcollars.com?

That’s what we’re referring to once we speak about a precise match area (EMD).

EMDs are domains that embrace the precise key phrase phrases you wish to rank for within the SERPs.

Luckily, on September 28, 2012, Google’s Matt Cutts confirmed exact match domains are not a ranking factor.

Now that we’ve settled that dispute, let’s analyze how the area identify impacts search outcomes.


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Take a deep breath and put together to get the actual story behind the search engine optimisation trade’s false claims on actual match domains. To keep away from a future disaster of your individual, maintain studying.

The Claim: Domain Name as a Ranking Factor

You’ve most likely heard a consumer or somebody in search engine optimisation say one thing like: “Exact match domains generate instant credibility.”

“It’s the best investment you could make.”

“It gives you a competitive edge.”

It was true — again within the day. The Hotels.com area offered for $11 million in 2003, making it one of the vital costly area identify purchases of all time.


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The similar idea goes for key phrases in your area identify. We all noticed claims that having a key phrase in your area identify provides you a rankings enhance.

Come. On.

We hate to be a celebration pooper, however it’s formally time to name B.S.

Domain Name as a Ranking Factor: The Evidence

There’s a lot of chatter on-line about domains and their impression on rankings.

Does Domain Name Affect Ranking?

In 2011, Bill Slawski investigated Google’s exact match domain patent and uncovered insightful nuggets of data.

He theorized that it’s doable that key phrases in domains work higher, in accordance with the patent.

That similar 12 months, Google’s Matt Cutts addressed issues about domains in a Webmaster Hangout.

Cutts said:

“Now if you’re still on the fence, let me just give you a bit of color, that we have looked at the rankings and the weights that we give to keyword domains, and some people have complained that we’re giving a little too much weight for keywords in domains.

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


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So, it was apparent again in 2011 that domains did have an effect on rankings.

But in 2012, Cutts shared on Twitter that this may negatively have an effect on your rankings if performed incorrectly.

In right now’s world, domains don’t impression Google rankings.

Google’s John Mueller stated as a lot in 2020:

“Just because a website has a keyword in its domain name doesn’t mean that it’s more relevant than others for that keyword. In short, you don’t need to put keywords in the domain name.”

To be clear, you don’t want to hearken to this recommendation.

How Important is Exact Match Domain Name?

The reality is, actual match domains had been all the time grey hat feeding into the black hat world. Exact match domains are pure baloney from a rating elements standpoint.


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Brian Harnish tackles all the pieces it’s essential learn about Google’s EMD replace.

Domain Name as a Ranking Signal: Our Verdict

Not a ranking factor anymore.

While there are exceptions to each rule, you wish to correctly consider your objectives for the area relating to your area identify.


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Speaking of exceptions, there may be one right here with our verdict: and that’s relating to pure navigational searches.

For instance, if somebody searches for a area (e.g., Facebook), they’re particularly seeking to navigate to that area (eg., www.fb.com), through a Google search (vs. typing within the URL or opening the positioning through a bookmark). In that case, the truth that Facebook is Facebook will assist Facebook rank for that question.

Want extra data on domains and search engine optimisation? Check out Roger Montti’s recommendation on selecting a area identify.

Featured picture: Paulo Bobita

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