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I have a keyword rich domain - what should i optimise for? Does it matter?

6:33 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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joined:Nov 8, 2006
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Hi guys,

I have a bit of a dilemma that I keep ummming and ahhing and going back and forth.

I'm working with a highly-sought after, keyword-rich domain in a very competitive market. The URL is a two phrase keyword.

However, the order of the keywords is not the popular way. For example...

I have www.widgetsonline.com.

"widgets online" pulls in a fair amount of traffic but nothing compared to "online widgets".

My question is, should my keyword focus, with regards to on and off site optimisation, be on "widgets online" or "online widgets"?

I guess what I'm asking is do people think the order of the keywords in the domain affect the engine rankings for those specific keywords to any large extent? And if so, should i be optimising for the larger volume order of my keywords?

As i say, I have been back and forth a number of times and just wanted to get some views from a knowledgable bunch of webmasters. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!


8:17 pm on Nov 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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joined:Jan 27, 2003
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There are a few related questions here:

Does changing the order of keywords return different search results?

Usually you'll get different search results when you change word order in searches. This makes sense since, often, changing word order can imply very different search goals - a "search engine" is pretty different from an "engine search" (although it's very tricky for search engines to get this right).

Will using keywords in a particular order make a site more likely to be deemed relevant (and shown in results) for the keywords in that order (rather than other word orders)?

Likely you will "brand" the site to match the domain name, others will refer to you in that way, and you will more frequently searched for in that way - it make senses that your site would be more relevant to that word order than others.

Can a site be deemed relevant for words that are in a different order to the site's branding and/or domain name?

Of course - it has to be easier than with an entirely unrelated domain name, right? Wrong word order is at least pretty close ;)

so, should i be optimising for the larger volume order of my keywords?

As long as you don't consider it out of your league to compete for that search, then of course! You want as much relevant traffic as possible, presumably?

10:48 am on Nov 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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joined:Nov 8, 2006
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Thanks for your input Andy.

As i said, wanted to gauge the opinion here. Always get top advice here!