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[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 10:48 pm (utc) on Dec 22, 2011]
We recently 301'd all of our URL's from complicated long key word rich to short and sweet and we didn't see a negative effect.
nonsense words like zappos
1) In google's current (and foreseeable) algorithm, do keyword domains still really work? (Our competition doesn't use keyword domains, but are well-branded for their company names. Of course, they have advertising / marketing budgets that dwarf ours.)
2) After ten years, how much of a "loss" will it be to us if we move everything to a new domain (ensuring that we do proper 301 redirects)? We only have less than 200 inbound links to the site, and a PR4, and to be honest, some of them are so old that I bet many of the sites that did link to us have fallen to abandon.
3) Since we would like to be significantly more aggressive in terms of link building and branding, would we be more likely to incur a penalty if we move to a new domain as opposed to doing the link building on the old domain (which has all the history to it)?
4) Would it be a bad idea to start setting up a new domain with the new name and just make it a 301 page that redirects to the OLD site. Then on the old site, we would still keep our clunky URL but change the graphics and logos to the NEW NAME (hence the graphics and logos would NOT match the URL).
[edited by: buckworks at 10:49 pm (utc) on Dec 22, 2011]
forget about google.
But they still go below the fold
However, it's a certainty that the word is more than just something random that someone made up.
A few months after their launch, the company's name was changed from ShoeSite to Zappos (a variation of "zapatos," the Spanish word for "shoes") so as not to limit itself to selling only footwear.
Cutts said he had a personal preference for brandable but it may not be a team position.
That is why I register domains with keywords in them, or easily memorable / brand-able names...
And even find searches in google external KW tool showing up for exactly that - Product Name Direct.
I'm going to venture to say that the key term in the name of the URL is not as important today as it was... and that it is probably not important at all in an otherwise well produced website...