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Great Domain Names = Great SEO!

January 22, 2010 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: SEO 

As search engines refine the way that they judge relevancy and authority, domain names have become a major factor. Over time, keywords within domains have become more significant and can have great a effect on a site’s SEO. Bing relies heavily on keywords within a domain name to rank websites.

In one recent case, I made a domain name change in order to test this theory. Bing immediately ranked the domain #3 overall for a competitive keyword. As a matter of fact, look at the search results for “SEO”.

  • Canadian Bing Search (only Canadian pages): 8 of the top 10 first page websites have “SEO” in their domain name
  • Bing.com Search: 7 of the 10 first page websites have “SEO” in their domain name Google has traditionally looked to keywords in domain names as a strong relevancy score.

The newest Google caffeine update, which could roll out any day now, is thought to put even a higher score on keywords within domain names. However, exact matches tend to work better with Google. Here are the search results for “SEO” (non-personalized).

  • Google.ca (only Canadian pages): 3 out of the top 10 search results have “SEO” in their domain name.
  • Google.com: 7 out of the top 10 search results have “SEO” in their domain name One other perk for having a keyword in your domain name is automatic anchor text optimization.

Many sites will link to a site by its name such as CanuckSEO.com. As SEO is in the domain name, it adds to the overall times the site is linked to with the keyword “SEO”.

Of course, every time I sit down to look for a good domain name, most of the good ones are already taken. So sometimes you have to be super creative or buy really long domain names. If you can get away with a keyword separator without harming your branding efforts, it may be a good idea.  Matt Cutts, Google’s chief spam fighter, has said that Google treats the “-“ as a keyword separator.

So, each word is clearly separated and counts for SEO purposes. He recommends using this tactic in the URL structure as well. SEO should not be the only factor in selecting a domain name, especially taking into consideration brand, usability, and potentially disastrous misspellings.

But the SEO friendlier your domain name, the easier your SEO campaign will be.


The above guest post was written by Jason Capshaw, an Atlanta SEO Consultant who works with small businesses to improve their profitability…

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5 Responses to “Great Domain Names = Great SEO!”
  1. Ileane says:

    It’s incredible how search has changed and you’ve provided very crucial information regarding domain names and their importance for search. The point about anchor text can’t be overstated.

    Based on some of the blogs I’ve visited, especially from authors that have English as a second or third language, misspelling do have an impact too.

    I found this post via the myblogguest forum and this seems to be a perfect match of blog to guest blogger. Great job!

    Thanks for the info.
    @Ileane

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