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Emphasis on Keyword in Domain Name Lately?
Saw a Change from Ten Days Ago
martinibuster




msg:3320227
 4:50 pm on Apr 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not long after the Cutts fiasco one of my sites with the keyword in the domain (no hyphens) jumped up to number one and started making unprecedented amounts of money. I checked it's backlinks and referrals and DMOZ/Yahoo but no change. The only change was Google giving my site a boost because, and I can't explain this any other way, because of the keyword in the domain.

I've not done any promotion to that site at all. Zero.

I've also been seeing an unusual amount of parked domains that are exact matches for the keyword sitting at the top, although they seem to have been dialed back today.

 

trinorthlighting




msg:3320239
 5:07 pm on Apr 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

We noticed the same thing on one of our sites as well. Although the sites that were dropped and we replaced were involved with paid links though.

Miamacs




msg:3320298
 6:02 pm on Apr 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Don't know.

Doesn't it come down to the fact that most people who don't care about text links being descriptive just use the URL as the anchor itself?

Most of the links to sites I work with ( meaning somewhere near or over 50% ) are like that. And thanks to Vanessa Fox and the Webmaster Tools team we now know that URLs are trimmed and used as normal anchor text.

... anchor text which lately became even more important to be an exact match. ( As if it wasn't out of balance before ).

It's fun, especially if they have keywords in a non-excessive way. Otherwise it's keyword stuffing.

From where I'm looking at it, this is the only explanation.
But if the site doesn't have a lot of such inbounds it could be that they gave the URL a little more weight.

martinibuster




msg:3320301
 6:04 pm on Apr 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Doesn't it come down to the fact that most people who don't care about text links being descriptive just use the URL as the anchor itself?

Not in this particular case because it wasn't being linked to except perhaps from a few scrapers like everybody else. No promotion at all. Zero, zip, nada.

But if the site doesn't have a lot of such inbounds it could be that they gave the URL a little more weight.

Exactly. Or else the lack of promotion?

MrStitch




msg:3320325
 6:15 pm on Apr 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Doubt it.

For my primary keyword (actually it's a two-word phrase), 5 of the top 10 do not have the keyword in the URL. One of those in fact doesn't even have the keyword anywhere on the site. What's interesting about that tho, is that this sites obvious target term is something even more general than my primary keyword... but is linked VERY closely. The terms technically almost go hand in hand. Semantics?

Also, NONE of the top ten have the full two word phrase in the url, but 5 of them happen to have one of the words, which by definition is an 'item' where the other word would be like an event, or action, adverb... call it what you will.

Almost all sites have the full term in the description. One of which seems a bit on the spammy side, which surprises me. I would've expected them to trip a filter. Apparently not....

arnarn




msg:3320654
 10:52 pm on Apr 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

not in our case..

domain name is w1w2w3.com where w2 is a verb (most common use is as a verb) and w3 can be an adverb, adjective, verb or noun.

is it possible that keywords in urls may be more meaningful if the keywords are nouns only?

.

Robert Charlton




msg:3320738
 1:21 am on Apr 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

...one of my sites with the keyword in the domain (no hyphens) jumped up to number one...

If it's in a big-money area and you haven't done any promotion, possibly you're up top because everyone else has been reported to Matt. ;)

But the results I've been monitoring don't suggest the boost you've observed.

I've always felt that the perceived ranking boost from a domain name comes in fact from the company name... or whatever ends up in anchor text of inbound links. I don't think I've seen anything to suggest that Google parses the individual words, but I'm generally seeing sites that are ranking because of inbound links.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 1:28 am (utc) on April 25, 2007]

J_Mac




msg:3320827
 3:31 am on Apr 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

To add to martinibuster's theory, I know of someone that owns a few sites that have the keyword as the domain name.

Example:

www.example1.org
www.example2.net

And these sites are getting first and second page rankings for their respective keywords each with a few backlinks - and from crappy sites at that! And to top it off they are all located on the same server.

My only guess was that it had to be the keyword in the domain.

Question: Do you think www.widgets.com would rank better for the keyword widgets than www.purplewidgets.com by virtue of a higher keyword density in the url as compared to the latter?

JoeSinkwitz




msg:3320863
 4:28 am on Apr 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

It always begged the question with me:

All things being equal, the exact match URL is going to be on theme with the phrase in question X% of the time, and so long as that X% is greater than the non-exact match, it should count for something.

Granted, I could do without the parking pages.

stefano




msg:3321872
 10:14 pm on Apr 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

@martinibuster: is your ranking higher or others ranking lower? :)

suntzu




msg:3322012
 3:00 am on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Six of the top ten websites have the keyword in the url for my industry which knocked one of my sites down to #13.

At the same time I've seen one of my clients sites showing up with more dealer sites showing up in the top ten for their brand name which we are optimizing for.

martinibuster




msg:3322069
 4:16 am on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

My ranking went from nowhere to number one. It's a site I never intended to promote.

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