Will Exact Domains Always Rank Well in Google? Some Will

Nov 19, 2010 • 8:03 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Last week, I covered Matt Cutts of Google's talk at PubCon and then highlighted only the points Matt made that I personally found interesting over at Search Engine Land. One of the points Matt made towards the end of the session was that Google will be looking at why exact domain matches rank so well.

A WebmasterWorld thread is having a nice discussion around this specific topic. Also Peter Da Vanzo, one of the most senior SEO bloggers I know, wrote a post on it at SEOBook.com.

First, some examples as provided in the thread:

(1) Short tail keyword of [carpet]: www.carpet.org ranks above a Wikipedia result.

exact Google match

(2) Long tail keyword of [optimum nutrition wholesale] has two top results from www.optimum-nutrition-wholesale.com. (Note: technically this is not an exact match domain because there are hyphens in the domain.)

exact Google match

(3) But not for all terms, try [seo] and you'll see many of the top results don't have the keyword seo in the domain.

seo exact Google match

I don't think any SEO would argue that exact match domains do have a bit of priority in the Google search results these days. The question is, when Matt and his team get their hands on this 'issue' in the near future - what will change?

People typically link to web sites by their names. How do I know? Besides for common sense, Google Webmaster Tools tells me people link to my corporate site most of the time with the anchor text rustybrick and people link to this site, most of the time with the anchor text search engine roundtable.

So if you have the keywords you want to rank well for in your domain, people will likely link to you with those keywords. As links become less and less important, things may change but right now, it is still a lot about your links.

It is not always where an exact match domain will outrank another page. But right now they have the edge. If Google removes any exact match weight they give to domains, and they rely on just links and content and other signals, will your site stand up? Think of it that way.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: November 18, 2010
 

Comments:

Michael Martinez

11/20/2010 12:55 am

People in the SEO community are making way too big a fuss over exact-match domains. They go out, buy those domains for the keyword value, and then point hundreds of thousands of links at the domains with the keywords in anchor text. The problem isn't with exact-match domains -- it's with SEOs who can't distinguish between what THEY are doing with links and domain names and what the search engines are doing.

Johannes Thomas

11/21/2010 09:04 am

"As links become less and less important, things may change but right now, it is still a lot about your links." How do you come up with that? Are you referring to the social matrics? In general I think exact match will always have a bit of an advantage because Google still wants to help brands to rank on top...

Nikolas

11/22/2010 05:14 pm

>>>In general I think exact match will always have a bit of an advantage because Google still wants to help brands to rank on top...<<< Amen

Bill Sebald

11/23/2010 09:55 pm

By that rationale, if Google wants brands to rank on top, then they would also want the thousands of affiliates who buy exact match domains to rank too. I doubt that's the case. I think it's a signal, and I think it has a lot to do with anchor text (as Barry mentioned). It's a strong play, but it's not the be-all. I've beaten my share of exact match domains in the last couple years that weren't brand terms.

Si

06/29/2011 11:47 am

I have over 20 websites with exact match domain names, and they are all on the first page of google :-) so yes, it does work.

Ravikant Sharma

10/01/2012 11:29 am

any drop or increasing for those 20 domains ?

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