The exact domain name is important for SEO
How important is the domain name for SEO
Most people advise buying a domain name that is a perfect fit for your main line of business. For example, if you sell computers, Computer.com is probably the best, but with millions (maybe billions) of websites across the web, the chance that the perfect domain will be free for you is less than zero. So you have to settle for something else like companyname-computern.com or just companyname.com.
So the question is, how much does this count when the search engines calculate your website position in SERPs. I've always thought that having quality and related content, pretty URLs, and backlinks from valuable sources was more important than the domain name itself.
A list in order of importance would be impossible to make if we were to hope for long-term credibility, but yes, SEO takes SERPs into account and no, it won't ruin your SEO strategy if you use an irrelevant domain name.
With social marketing, quality content, clean code, etc., it is entirely possible to rank well if you know what you are doing. You will certainly not be penalized if your domain is not keyword intensive.
It's 2010. Domains are rare. Most new services make up words and mix things up in such a way that algorithms may not find relevance. Pick a domain that is marketable first and then good for SEO.
The domain name is important, but not the be-all and end-all of SEO. When you get a domain name with good keywords, you definitely have an advantage over someone with similar content who doesn't. BUT You can get over not having a good domain name with quality content, good urls, etc. as these are all factors and can help you overcome the lack of a good domain name (especially if you have high quality inbound links).
The domain name is very important. Here are some ideas based on my experience.
- People love to see a good domain name that matches their search terms. When you see it, click on it. A good domain name is a Click magnet .
- The Google search engine is happy about one exact match between the search terms and the domain name.
- Because of 1. and 2. there is a self-reinforcing loop. As users click on it, Google ranks the website higher, etc.
Note that most searches contain 1 or 2 keywords. Long tail is exactly what it is: it's long tail, which means it's the rest ...
Estibot has a very good free PDF on Domain Development that basically explains exactly that (without the self-reinforcing theory that is my TM).
Another great example: if you search for "ebook," ebook.com is number 1, although it is absolutely not a key player in that space. They're actually selling the domain name because they're leaving this market ...
I am not saying that the domain name alone ensures a SERP 1. But it is the foundation of your SEO. Backlinks, pagerank etc. are not a substitute for a good domain name.
For those who still stumble upon this question, which was last answered in 2010, take a look at Moz's biennial survey on ranking factors in the Google algorithm (https://moz.com/search- ranking factors). You will find that domain-level (exact match) use of keywords is still relevant.
Some of the points above also make sense. There are still many good domain names out there. Don't discount tlds like .net and .org (and many others) which work well with SEO too.
For example, if you're primarily targeting people in the UK, a .uk domain makes more sense (and ranks better) compared to a .com domain - this is due to the increase in localized searches.
It's also possible to get a good rank if your domain name doesn't even include a hint about the keywords you want to rank well for - as others have mentioned, write for people, have good metas, create high quality backlinks etc ...
Remember, even if your root domain doesn't have the keywords, you can always include a keyword in your posts / page urls :)
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