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Can we now say officially that keyword domains are dead to Google?
MrSavage




msg:4358891
 10:12 pm on Sep 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

I know there is and has been quite a marketplace for domains. You know, people paying thousands for those high value keyword domains.

My observations from my points of interest continue in the same way. I'm seeing less and less keywords in domains. Just today after some current searching I'm drawing a deeper conclusion.

Is it time to say the keyword domain marketplace is dead? I'm sure people selling domains don't want to believe it just yet. For sure I'm noticing it. Anyone else monitoring those trends?

I can say regardless if people disagree with me, the fact is all those expensive auction domains are fools gold. Sure the Google algo can change but in this regard it's not going to imo. It's all about Panda right? Since when does a keyword in a domain equate to quality?

Anyone feeling the pain of left holding "assets" which are now nothing more than "expenses"?

If anything I hope word gets out there and these people asking thousands of dollars for domains can actually get a dose of reality.

 

wheel




msg:4359264
 11:26 pm on Sep 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well, that's a lot of speculation :). Problem with that level of detail is that there's as many counterexamples as there are examples.

HuskyPup




msg:4359274
 12:05 am on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)


It's entirely possible that Google is retaining some value in .com, but lessening the rest.


If so it would be something completely new. Google has always ignored the TLD (the extension itself) and allowed the relevance/trust/popularity/authority/quality factors in the algorithm to do all the lifting.


Tedster! You have to be joking or I am reading your post incorrectly?

I'll write no more until you clarify your opinion other than to say I totally disagree...at the moment.

jmccormac




msg:4359278
 12:32 am on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

If Tedster was right, there would be no need for TLDs (gTLD or ccTLD) which, in itself, makes it a strange claim.

Google has always used ccTLDs to try to associate websites with particular countries. Google is so desparate for ccTLD domain data that it has this Get Business Online scheme (it was rolled out in ccTLD dominant countries first) to try to get new ccTLD signups for Adwords and ccTLD sites to pad out its ccTLD sections of its index. This DotCOMmunism is very apparent with people with primarily .com experience and very little or no ccTLD experience.

I'd be interested in seeing a clarification or explanation on this claim, Tedster.

Regards...jmcc

Robert Charlton




msg:4359281
 12:38 am on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google has always ignored the TLD (the extension itself) and allowed the relevance/trust/popularity/authority/quality factors in the algorithm to do all the lifting.

This has been my impression too over the years, and I haven't seen anything to make me change my mind. We're talking now about the extension only.

There's no question than many users assume a dot com extension, and that some browsers default to "www.example.com" when "example" is entered via Ctrl-enter in the address bar... but, apart from cc TLDs, I've always seen Google as TLD extension neutral.

I've successfully gotten several .net domains, and even a .biz, to the point where they dominate their niches, and are suggested in Google autocomplete as you start typing in the domain.

Robert Charlton




msg:4359284
 12:44 am on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

PS to the above... jmcc and I were typing at the same time. It's clear (to me, anyway) that tedster was not talking about cc TLDs and geo-targeting, which we all know he understands well.

The context of the discussion here was this...

...the weight of keyword domains from the point of .com, .net, .org, etc. It's entirely possible that Google is retaining some value in .com, but lessening the rest.

lucy24




msg:4359313
 2:32 am on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

What happens if They Who Decide make good on the threat to allow anything-goes TLDs? fanta.soda, guggenheim.art, google.google, that kind of thing.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4359379
 7:49 am on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Perish the thought!

shazam




msg:4359444
 1:09 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

From what I've seen over the years, goo absolutely pays attention to the tld.

It has always been a lot easier to rank a .com than any other. The .net's have really become a contender in the last few years. In some cases the .net's are holding #1 spots, but it's still not that common.

I know this doesn't fit with the goo pr line. They can say tld's don't matter all they want, but the serps tell the real story.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4359474
 2:19 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

They can say tld's don't matter all they want, but the serps tell the real story.

I have never tested this but I am fairly sure that if the .coms are doing better then there is some other reason for this.

Robert Charlton




msg:4359595
 6:18 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Many of the sites I've been involved with use the .com because it's what's expected, but also own other TLD variants and 301 those to the .com. This is not uncommon.

One result, of course, is that you would see more .com TLDs in the serps.

lucy24




msg:4359680
 9:23 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

It can't be "dot coms do better". It would have to be "all things being equal, dot coms do better." But in google as in real life, all things never are equal. You choose your tld; they're not randomly assigned. You'd have to have two absolutely identical sites, created on the same date and revised in tandem, differing only in tld. And then you could see ... uhm ... which of the two got stomped harder for Duplicate Content. Or which of the two was better at getting inbound links. That would be interesting in its own right.

martinibuster




msg:4359686
 10:05 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

This discussion has drifted. Now we're discussing TLDs? :(

I routinely rank well with .org/net/us and even .biz. .Org has an incidental advantage because some mistake them for a non-profit and are more willing to give them a link. That's an incidental advantage, not algorithmic. A web page, even a .edu web page, stands or falls on it's backlinks. It doesn't make sense to place more value on a TLD.

The counterpoint to the above, which no one has yet raised, is that it's possible for a heavily spammed TLD like .info to raise an automatic yellow flag for extra scrutiny. By that logic then the .us domain should receive the opposite treatment and get a free pass on the basis that they're generally more expensive than .info, the registrant information cannot be hidden and they are generally registered by government entities. My counterpoint to that is that existing algorithmic checks for quality negates the need for a yellow flag for certain TLDs.

As webwork mentioned, there are incidental benefits to exact match domains and that extends to TLDs. But that's a side-effect outside of the algorithm. I don't believe it's part of the algo to reward an exact matched domain. For more information on that back up and read my previous post which shows a pattern of the algo distancing itself from connecting the meaning of a domain to the site topic.

Rewarding exact match domains would also be counterproductive because many exact matches are parked. The SERPs tell the story as there are less parked domains showing up in the SERPs today than there were five years ago. That may be one reason the domain name PPC industry has been depressed [dnjournal.com].

To make sense out of what you're seeing in the SERPs you have to turn to meaningful metrics, metrics that actually have something to do with what a web page is about, that vouch for it's popularity, that vouch for it's meaning, and that fit a profile Google believes site visitors are looking for.

Can we now say officially that keyword domains are dead to Google?


I believe webwork answered well:

...will likely curry some degree of "incidental benefit" from SE algorithms, but not because the website name

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4359812
 7:44 am on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't believe it's part of the algo to reward an exact matched domain.

Not on its own but I believe the results indicate that an exact (or partially) matched domain along with related content can be rewarded. As we all know, G looks for many signs in determining what a website is about. Keywords in the domain name (and perhaps the URL) appears to be one of them.

This may of course all be related to anchor text on inbound links but I am not so sure. It would be easy for Google to disregard anchor text juice from domain name embedded keywords but results suggest that they do not appear to do so.

For info, I did a search for a random term (Black Horse) and nine of the top ten results all have these words in their domain name. Looking at most of them there has been very little effort put into onsite SEO so this suggests to me that the domain name is playing a major part in their ranking.

I appreciate that this will not be as evident in more competitive areas but in some circumstances it is still playing a significant part in ranking and it is certainly not "dead to Google".

[edited by: BeeDeeDubbleU at 7:49 am (utc) on Sep 8, 2011]

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4359813
 7:48 am on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Oh and as I said earlier ...
Google's own SEO guide also suggests that this is acceptable. they call the fictitious site they use in their optimisation example "Brandons Baseball Cards" and use the domain name brandonsbaseballcards.com. If they don't want us to use key words in domain names then they are surely sending out the wrong signals.

[static.googleusercontent.com...]

Any comments on this?

This 44 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 44 ( 1 [2]
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