Do Keyword Rich Domain Names Have a Search Ranking Edge?

Aug 18, 2010 • 9:01 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

We have been writing about keywords in the domain name for ages now. In fact, Matt Cutts said keywords in URLs do help on some level. A poll we held a while back had 75% of SEOs feel Google loves keywords in the URL.

But in 2010, is Google still in love with keyword rich domains?

A WebmasterWorldthread has some people saying yes and others saying it depends. One said, "It seems to me, SEO-wise, generic keyword laden domains are still the way to go. That may change in the future, but it hasn't yet."

But is that true with competitive keywords? Tedster replied:

My guess would be that, as a percentage, it's not really as high as our impression says. If you've ever tried to rank a keyword-match domain in a competitive market, you know it takes more than just the domain.

There is a lot more than a keyword in a URL or a bunch of links that makes up Google's ranking algorithm. Of course, everything might help here and there and if you have a keyword rich domain name, people may use plain anchor text of your domain name to link to you. But keeping things constant, how valuable is the keyword in the domain as a stand alone factor? It is hard for you and I to say.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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08/19/2010 03:00 am

jeez I can give so many examples my man. A good example is "online degrees" and if you perform a quick analysis on the top domain you will realize that the top guy has all junk links and still doesnt rank on top with all the killer trust worthy links..

Nick (not the original)

08/19/2010 09:26 am

Since Mayday I have noticed good sites that had been top for over a year drop from 1st to 5th or 8th, and replaced by keyword rich domain names; and whilst these new sites are not spammy they do not have the age or linkage background that the original site(s) had. This isn't a 'Sour Grapes' statement as my site has stayed about the same for this area of business, just an observation.

Michael Martinez

09/07/2010 06:29 pm

It's the URL, not the domain name, that is helping. It makes no difference where the keywords occur as long as the URL is relatively short and sensible.


09/29/2010 12:44 am

Keyword rich domains have an edge when it comes to backlinks especially sites that may allow backlings without anchor text.

Ken's SEO Training

02/28/2011 08:55 pm

I have had good luck with keyword rich domain names as long as I the phrase to 3 words or less. Google doesn't seem to like longer phases...

Gill Fisher

11/09/2011 02:16 pm

Google may be changing it's ranking formulae. I believe that Google is and will rank just like TV. A popular show stays on the air. One not so popluar is pulled from the air. Page views, amount of time spent on the site, and overall polualrity must rule the future - just like TV. The Internet is a new form of TV that is growing much faster than TV did in its start up years. But the ulitame goel must be interactive TV - and that is exactly where he are heading. Google is Russian - and Google is sharp. In our ten year history with Google - I have yet to see them miss a beat. Google has a viewing audience just like TV - and ultamatley - this is what matters most. Pooular demand is already showing up in our analysis. Editors Note: Gill Fisher is a former SEO specialist with one of the first ISP's in America -, and now CEO of

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