I have a website that I launched a while back that has never done well in the SERPs and since Panda and Penguin it effectively gets no traffic. The site has quite useful, original content that I wrote myself so I think that the main reason for its failure is that I used a four word spammy domain name (well it used to work!).
The site has been up there now for long enough for me to realise that it is just not going to work. I am thinking of binning it but before I do, if I changed to a more Google friendly domain name and placed the content on this is it likely to improve?
I am doubtfull that the only reason the domain does not rank is the domain name itself. Do you mean not ranking for its EMD phrase or just not ranking across wider set of keywords?
In any case, should you decide to change the domain name, I would be very interested to hear the results, in particular if you only change the domain name and all else remains the same.
If hou decide to do the change, I would be also interested to know if you then did one to one page redirects from the old domain to the new or did you just kill the old domain and started the identically looking new one.
BeeDeeDubbleU I have to go through this process in a few days for a client that is moving away to an adjacent region. Her current domain name on an existing site has to be ditched not because of performance issues but because the keyword domain name is irrelevant to the new region she is moving to. I was contemplating the new name to register using keyword1 = city name and keyword2 = service name. And now I read this about maybe keyword domains are something that should be avoided? Is this known with strong certainty?
I'm planning on just redirecting traffic from the old domain name to the new one until the search engines get it all sorted out. I'm now also concerned about how google's happy feet beast will treat this transition -- should be interesting. Fortunately this person wanted some down time until she settled into her new environment. I assured her the site transition will come with an almost certain guarantee of at least a 30 day and maybe even up to a 60 day suppression of her site. That will probably be due to me having to change the main topic keywords sitewide to match new geographic names of service area.
I had similar issues with a three word domain. I bought it at reg and neglected to look into the domain history. It has a history of being kind of a spammy looking site. It took close to 5 weeks for this new site to gain any traction. Once out of the probation period it has been steadily taking off.
Just keep adding new content, keep adding links from a variety of sources and add social proof (FB likes, Twitter).
It's the same recipe that has always worked - just that the ingredients are of a finer quality now.