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Should you do keyword research to pick domain
Should keyword popularity be considered?
meingallsphp




msg:3169968
 12:13 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Does keyword popularity matter,and if so, how much does it matter in picking a domain name? For example, if you could get <snip> "Example.com" as a domain name and it is popularly searched upon term, would that make a difference to any of the key search engines or do they just disregard the domain name words in displaying results now?

Thanks-

[edited by: Webwork at 1:17 am (utc) on Nov. 28, 2006]
[edit reason] Charter [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]

 

stu2




msg:3169985
 12:38 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes it helps to have your keyword in your domain name, sub-domain, folder, page names, page title, headings and content.

meingallsphp




msg:3169993
 12:48 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

So it makes sense to pick a domain which seems to generate the most amount of searches, and is easy for clients to remember and spell, correct?

Would it make sense to use a hypen, if you can't get the keyword that is being searched on? <Snip>

Thanks

<If you wish to discuss keyword concepts please stick to Example.com or Word1.tld: BlueWidget.tld vs Blue-Widgets.tld, ChicagoExample.tld vs AustraliaExample.com, Word1.tld vs Word1-Word2.tld. Thank you.>

[edited by: Webwork at 1:28 am (utc) on Nov. 28, 2006]
[edit reason] Charter [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]

Webwork




msg:3170018
 1:24 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

If ranking was a simple as having keywords in a domain name then the search engine's ranking algos would be broken rather badly, don't you think? And, yes, there have been times that search engines have been broken rather badly, some so much so that they were not very popular with anyone (other than spammers who were having a field day with simple ranking "solutions" such as link spamming, multi-hyphen keyword domains, subdomains, etc.).

The best information I have is that keyword(s) in a domain is one of many factors - a very small one - in ranking. Chances are, as the ranking algos improve it will be one small one amongst 100 other small ones and a baker's dozen of larger factors such as the weight assigned to the inbound links (quality signals and score), the depth of and quality signals assigned to the content, etc.

Do I favor generic descriptive domains? Yes, but for reasons other than search engine love, which love is reportedly a very fickle thing.

[edited by: Webwork at 1:25 am (utc) on Nov. 28, 2006]

Pedent




msg:3170283
 9:44 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

The main use of having a keyword in the domain name that I've found isn't a direct boost to rankings but an indirect boost.

For branding purposes, it helps to have your site name and your domain name match. If you have your keyword in your domain name, then you can have your keyword in your site name and still achieve this. If you have your keyword in your site name, then a greater proportion of your inbound anchor text will contain your keyword, and that makes a big difference.

Of course, there are other ways of achieving this goal (e.g. acronyms), but this is why I like keyword domains.

stu2




msg:3170440
 12:53 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok. I still stand by what I said. It helps to have your keyword everywhere, including your domain name. If you have your keyword in every place I've suggested, then you'll stand a better change of ranking better than those who don't. You'll also need good content and backlinks of course.

Webwork




msg:3170498
 1:54 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Everything that can be gamed to effect ranking must eventually become ephemera or algorithmic search will forever be hobbled by exploits. If you can say "do this, it will gain you ranking" you are pointing to exactly that which the mathematicians and search scientists will next be laboring to neutralize. In this case anchor text that mirrors the keywords in the URL is likely to be a factor whose weight is or wil be "lightened" in time. Why? Because it is easily gamed.

That's not to say that one ought not to plant soybeans whilst there's a market demand for . . tofu?

Pedent




msg:3170537
 2:43 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you can say "do this, it will gain you ranking" you are pointing to exactly that which the mathematicians and search scientists will next be laboring to neutralize.

If they neutralised every factor, then all results for a search query would be tied! Some factors have to be left alone, and these can be used to gain ranking. Ideally, these will be factors that make for a good page that's easily understood by search engines. Work with the engineers, and they won't be looking to neutralise the techniques you're using.

Webwork




msg:3170579
 3:18 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Neutralize all factors? Why would all factors be neutralized? That's not at all what I said.

Not all factors are as easily gamed as keywords in domain -> inbound anchor text -> (presumed durable) ranking boost. The variables a search engineer ought to target for elimination or downward weighting will (should) always be those variables that are easiest to play games with. If searcn engineers can't algorithmically discern and factor out the lightweight stuff, such as keyword-domain-to-anchor-text-bootstrapping, then search engines are and will forever be broken.

Ultimately, if inbound anchor text is to have any value, it will be because an algo can be engineered that finds commonality amidst great variability in the language chosen for inbound links. Fixed patterns of anchor text are more likely to be subject to greater scrutiny in any system that actually works since fixed patterns suggest a certain pressure to conform, a certain artificiality or compelled pattern. Domain = Anchor Text, albeit "natural", is - in effect - a thoughtless vote pattern, something "programmed in" or automated-by-design, and consequently it is a pattern likely to be downward adjusted at some point.

Emphasis on "likely". All this assumes a certain intelligence. I may be a search engineering knucklehead or unduly optimistic. The merit of the proposition also assumes the capacity to computationally execute any intelligence that may exist in the proposition. ;-/

[edited by: Webwork at 3:38 pm (utc) on Nov. 28, 2006]

Pedent




msg:3170603
 3:37 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Neutralize all factors? You're hoisting your argument on an absurd presumption. Why would all factors be neutralized?

I was just trying to make the point that to rank sites some criteria must be used, and if you can make your site meet these criteria then it's going to rank better, even as the engineers make progress. Sometimes you can say, "Do this, it will gain you ranking," without setting someone up to be the next victim of an algo change.

Webwork




msg:3170630
 4:03 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ummm . . I did edit that quoted statement before you posted as I thought it a bit too much. ;)

I'm of the mind that websites are best engineered to be people friendly. People friendliness is the sole reason why I favor generic descriptive domains. People friendliness is the only reason why I would argue their value proposition to anyone: They are easy to remember. They imbed that which people are often looking for. They are, in effect, a no-brainer.

In my reality search engines are best treated as worms: Something constantly moving and working in the background that produces significant value but nothing that I spend my day thinking about.

Everyone is free to chase the searchquick du jour and many have made their fortune doing it. If owning a generic domain yields some extra small measure of search engine love today then enjoy that little ray of sunshine whilst it lasts. I'd rather not think of anything I do as an effort to please a search engine except to the degree that a search engine thinks and act like people.

[edited by: Webwork at 4:07 pm (utc) on Nov. 28, 2006]

jtara




msg:3170712
 4:46 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm of the mind that websites are best engineered to be people friendly. People friendliness is the sole reason why I favor generic descriptive domains. People friendliness is the only reason why I would argue their value proposition to anyone: They are easy to remember.

LOL, this is where we agree to disagree!

I think their non-uniqueness makes them easy to CONFUSE.

Was it widgets? Or bestwidgets? Or betterwidgets? Oh, maybe it was widget? Ah, hell, I know floobie sells widgets, I'll buy it there!

I do like keywords appearing in a domain name, but with something else added to make it unique and memorable.

Very few sites that are truly of interest to users are keyword domains. I'm not saying they are not successful. (I'm sure that popular single-keyword domains get more than enough traffic to pay the bills, and can successfull arbitrage the traffic.) Just not of interest to users.

Webwork




msg:3170942
 7:29 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

jtara, a domain is only a building block, so I don't disagree with your premise that a website address that is only memorable for its location - say the Park Avenue of addresses - is not enough to be truly memorable.

However, all those big brands that started their life as websites often had a few million dollars to spend on branding and driving traffic. Even those failed for wont of compelling content or service.

I'll still take Pets.tld any day of the week, over FurryLittleCreatures.tld, for building a compelling pets community. ;-P

joshkaufman




msg:3170993
 8:00 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

So let's say you wanted to start a site offering online video piano lessons and you were going to use YouTube technology to start this site.

What would the best choice be?

<snip> <edit>A domain that is a YouTube variant for piano or a domain that is the same as the verbal description of the service "in the domain"?</edit>

Or something else alltogether?

[edited by: Webwork at 9:31 pm (utc) on Nov. 28, 2006]
[edit reason] Charter [WebmasterWorld.com] [/edit]

stu2




msg:3171431
 1:12 am on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

A .com domain with video piano lessons in the name would rank better for the keywords "video piano lessons" than a domain with something else in the name, all other things being equal, imho.

[edited by: stu2 at 1:17 am (utc) on Nov. 29, 2006]

Webwork




msg:3171434
 1:16 am on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

stu, you're always okay in my book. ;-P

joshkaufman




msg:3171541
 3:04 am on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

thank you for your opinion stu. i tend to agree with your statement.

if someone does a search for "video piano lessons" it seems more likely that a domain name with "video piano lessons" as part of the domain will rank higher than a variation on the you tube name even if the meta description and meta keywords do a good job of describing what the site is about.

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