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.
First, some examples as provided in the thread:
(1) Short tail keyword of [carpet]: www.carpet.org ranks above a Wikipedia result.
(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.)
(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.
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.