Is domain name itself really that important?

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Is domain name itself really that important?

Postby Vash » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:59 am

Almost every SEO guide talked about the importance of the domain name. Many said that...
1. We need to have keywords in the domain
2. The shorter the better.
3. 2-word is better than 3-word.
4. .com is better than .org .net .us and all the rest.

However, from what I have seen during my own Google searching for certain information through keywords, these claims don't seem to be 100% true. I am quite confused at this moment because I see no arguing against them.
What I saw was,
1. Often time the top ranked search results contain no keyword in their domain. At least not the keywords I was searching for, and sometimes not even having the keywords of the topic at all in their domain.
2. Some domains are long yet they still rank high in SERP.
3. Many of the quite popular forums have 3-word domain.
4. I have seen .net ranked as #1 and it is also a very popular forum.

So what should I believe?
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Re: Is domain name itself really that important?

Postby johnthomas1433 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:04 pm

You just have to understand that though having the keyword in the domain shall be an advantage over the competitors, its most certainly is not the only metric that matters. In a low competition niche, that alone should gain you the top results, but not in other niches.
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Re: Is domain name itself really that important?

Postby tommymac » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:55 pm

johnthomas1433 wrote:You just have to understand that though having the keyword in the domain shall be an advantage over the competitors, its most certainly is not the only metric that matters. In a low competition niche, that alone should gain you the top results, but not in other niches.


Exactly this. Even if the domain name meant NOTHING to search engines rankings, a keyword in the domain name has enough psychological impact on a person to potentially draw them in.
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Domain bias

Postby Bloominternet » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:59 pm

A study focusing on the domain bias, defined as the propensity of a user to choose a page of search results on another just because they come from a particular domain and stresses the importance of this factor. Extrapolating the commercial world in which each site (domain) were a product, we would be saying that the user choose brand from other factors such as product quality or position. The domain influences the user's preferences when choosing which page to click out of all the search results above the position and description (snippet) in 25% of cases. In short, more and more users have the domain account when determining whether a page is relevant to them (regardless of the level of importance assigned by the search engine). This makes these users click more times in the domains they know, making the circle smaller and smaller domains so these domains concentrate a higher click volume.
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Re: Is domain name itself really that important?

Postby Hardison » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:29 pm

It used to be that having an exact keyword match for a domain name who help search engine rankings. I used to have sites that would rank number one overnight. Then, marketers took advantage of this and started created mini-websites with very little content. Google fixed this during its corrections last year.

The SEO advice that talks about exact keywords are outdated. Websites with long domains can rank well. It depends on the content and how socially connected the site is.
"Talking ain't doing." --Zoe Washburne from Serenity
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Re: Is domain name itself really that important?

Postby etc » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:40 am

I beleive domain isn't that important now a days just like Hardison said. This is also the reason why I'm confident to create any website with three word domain today as long as I can create good well written contents for it. I do have a domain with 3 words on it and it ranked well. :mrgreen:
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Re: Is domain name itself really that important?

Postby Jessi » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:19 pm

It's important, but it's not the most important thing.

You can obviously make *any* url work. It just might be harder to make some of them work if they don't necessarily fit all of those guidelines.
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Re: Is domain name itself really that important?

Postby johnthomas1433 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:29 am

Jessi wrote:It's important, but it's not the most important thing.

You can obviously make *any* url work. It just might be harder to make some of them work if they don't necessarily fit all of those guidelines.


Actually it was one of the most important thing in the Micro Niche field before the EMD update. But that update has not stopped any of the black hatters from doing the same.
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Re: Is domain name itself really that important?

Postby scout01 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:19 am

EMDs used to rank really well until Google updated its algorithm. Nowadays domain names don't affect search rankings very much but having your keyword can help new visitors understand your site's content and slightly increases SERPs when your link isn't posted behind keyword text (like so: your keywords).

Having a short, memorable name helps when it comes to promoting your site through social media and forums. Most people are used to the .com extension so if all they remember is your site's name, a .net or .org may reduce traffic slightly.
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Re: Is domain name itself really that important?

Postby Isabellas2007 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:36 am

I have found that before the last update from Google, that the domain name did have an impact. However, with the changes that Google has made I found that the domain names, even exact matches, are not making a single impact at all. In fact I had one site which was on top of Google for an exact match fall off the face of the Earth for this reason.
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