Google Ranking Domains with Keywords in Them Higher?

Dec 14, 2007 • 8:03 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A WebmasterWorld thread is speculating that Google has recently shown more interest in ranking domain names that have keywords that match the searcher's query.

One member explained:

This could just be a regional thing, but seems to be giving a lot of weight to having the keyword in the domain.

Another member is supporting the original post by adding:

I've just started seeing two-keyword parked domains showing up on the first and second pages of the Google search results for competitive two-word keywords. These pages have nothing but ads and "related searches" on them.

The thread is still new, so it is hard to validate without seeing specific examples.

A HighRankings Forums thread discusses a similar topic, asking if keywords in the URL or domain help. Most people in that thread say it does not help directly, and they don't hurt. Of course, like I always say, it is great to have your keyword phrase in your domain name, so that when people link to you, they give you a keyword rich link. For example, if my company was named, I would get links to me that had "ABC Web Development" as the anchor text. But since my company name is RustyBrick, I get to rank number one for rustybrick.

Related discussion: - Keywords in URLs the New Google Search Optimization Winner? - Comprehensive Study on Importance of Keywords in URLs - Keywords in File Names & URLs Do Help

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and HighRankings Forums.

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12/14/2007 05:34 pm

This change is true for Brazil, at least. I've seen some big SERP changes because of this, and can't say I'm happy. Some really new sites with no information at all are ranking better than old ones with lots of good content.


12/15/2007 12:19 pm

Search engines like Google rank your listing higher if a keyword from a search is in your domain name. You can get these names with .aero, when they are not available in .com and other Top Level Domains. Internet "gurus" tell what names to buy: "As we've frequently reported in our SE Book & Newsletter, placing keywords right in your domain name can give websites a major boost on search engines. We've also reported that some engines are no longer accepting sub-directory pages. This is one of the reasons the smart marketing pros have been buying keyword-phrase domain names. They use them as doorway pages to boost traffic to their sites," says Stephen Mahaney, author of The Unfair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars. Michael Campbell points out, in Nothing But 'Net, "The reason we want keywords in the domain name is that search engines often get 'tuned' to find, and give better positioning to, domains with keywords in them." Declan Dunn, author of Winning the Affiliate Game, sent out a memo to his affiliates advising "To get on top of the search engines, one of the critical keys is a good domain name loaded with keywords." Hans Peter Oswald


12/17/2007 02:16 pm

Well this saddens me to see that Google might be making the move to give bonus points to keywords in domain names. Google was the last one to be fair and not really give any huge benefits for this and I think deservedly so. Companies that have been around for 10-15-20 years aren't going to have keywords in their domain name but are going to be more deserving of a good ranking than some joe who buys a keyword rich domain name. All I can hope is that this is just a glitch and they will reverse it.

Terry Van Horne

12/17/2007 06:20 pm

The keywords in domain name is one of the oldest debates out there. Like several other kinds of "possible" enhanced weightings for ranking. These are never silver bullets, however, enough of them in your strategy does provide IMO, significant benefits. So all those who poo poo this because they can't proove it... continue as it makes it easier for those who see it as no negative so... it makes sense to use all possible boosters to relevance. I have believed for several years that a primary or modifier keyword anywhere in a url is almost as good as in the domain name. At any rate IMO, it can't hurt even if it has a bunch of these ( - ) in it! ;-)


12/18/2007 09:17 am

I'd suggest you guys read the following blog post by Mark. It details how Google deals with navigational queries and might explain what you are witnessing:


01/23/2008 02:28 pm

Many people buy domains by the name of the company which does nothing for business when people are searching for your products and services by the product name or service name. For instance, if a company made tools for auto body repairs and the company was called, XYZ Manufacturing, most webmasters and company owners would buy a domain called In my opinion, this is wrong. You should buy because those are the most important keywords people will type into the search engine to find these tools. Now when you build the site, even though it's called, you would still build the home page with the company logo, description, pictures, etc. I buy domains like this all the time and trust me, it works! Greg in Ohio


06/29/2011 07:11 pm

Hi Greg Okay so I have a URL, and I bought a second domain: To maximize my SEO, is it best to: 1.  Do a 301 rewrite from    to  2.  To maximize my web presence of the parked-domain, when I write a blog, which Domain should I sign with:    or

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