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Domain Name Keywords

     
11:18 am on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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One cannot help noticing how sites with keywords as thier domain generally do very well for that keyword. Infact, ussually number one in the SERPS.

I am strongly considering changing the name of my site after 18 years to a 3 word keyword tail anduse 301 permanent redirects so I am almost GUARANTEED great positioning in the SERPs
4:41 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It's interesting to note that there are many different observations. I've seen them doing well for certain aspects, but EMDs that are low quality and for keyword stuffing are much less likely to do well, although I can find them. It's more about the site, imho, than the domain.

Here's some history on EMDs
Algo Change Targets Low Quality Exact Match Domains 9-28-2012 [webmasterworld.com] Sep 28, 2012
EMD Branding Strategy [webmasterworld.com] May 31, 2013
Exact match domains making a comeback? [webmasterworld.com] Dec 17, 2013
Exact Match Domain - How much is it worth? [webmasterworld.com] Feb 2, 2015
Google Claims All Top Level Domains (TLDs) Treated Same [webmasterworld.com] Jul 21, 2015
9:14 pm on May 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It tends to increase the use of those keywords in the anchor text of backlinks from other sites.
9:54 pm on May 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It tends to increase the use of those keywords in the anchor text of backlinks from other sites.
Possibly, if the URL is the link text instead of the page or site title.
2:46 pm on May 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@engine +

Thank you for replying. Generally very good quality sites mobile friendly, with Google Local presence. They always have an advantage when the keyword is in the domain.
8:47 am on May 23, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It is amazing that keywords do change over time (their value) whereas creating a BRAND has long legs and is not keyword dependent (becoming it's own "keyword")

I fight clients (within reason, of course!) who want to play that game. Most "get it" that the keyword should be in the content and let their company name SHINE.

There aren't that many keywords that will survive the test of time (or user taste), so tread with care when picking/pushing a domain name. Also remember that search engines change ALL THE TIME and what works on Tuesday might not work on Thursday.
6:33 pm on May 23, 2017 (gmt 0)

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When I chose my series of domain names roughly 15 years ago, it was with a primary keyword in mind (the name of a local region). And very quickly, those domains showed up in the top 10 (usually top 3) when searching for anything related to that keyword.

Now, though, it's different. My top site is very popular and has a lot of traffic (about 6 million monthly pageviews), but where it used to be #1 for that keyword, now it falls below a Wikipedia page, a FamilySearch.org page, a Mapquest page, a Facebook page... all having that keyword in the 3rd or 4th level of the URL (eg, mapquest.com/us/nc/[my keyword]-123456).

My second most popular site is currently on the 5th page! Just below data.mongabay.com/igapo/zip_codes/counties/alpha/[my keyword]%20County-North%20Carolina1.html . Somehow, Google thinks that people would find that page more relevant than a site with local news, classifieds, events, and message boards...

A few years ago, when my top site had fallen to the 3rd page of results (below pages that had absolutely nothing to do with the topic of the keyword), I just gave up on search engine optimization and mainly started to focus on the existing audience (which is what Google recommends). Which is fine for a site that is already popular and has a lot of traffic, but getting attention to smaller and newer sites is next to impossible (unless you have a good marketing budget, of course).