The rise and fall of domain name keywords

In the last couple of years, we’ve seen businesses rush to grab domain names that match the keywords they are targeting for their business.

 

For example, if you were involved in the retailing of computers, laptops.com.au may have been a highly sought after domain name.

 

The reason for this is that many people perceived having the exact match of the keyword you’re targeting in the domain name to have great SEO value.

 

While this is one of the hundreds of metrics that are used in Google’s algorithm, it definitely doesn’t hold as much weight as it used to.

 

Bing for example, seem to give exact match domain names so much weight that it used to be called ‘the exact match domain search engine.’

 

What we’re seeing here is the inevitable shift in the field of search from gaming the algorithm towards providing actual value to the visitor of the site.

 

New technology is enabling the automation of processes that allow search engines to think more like humans and actually value the things we value when it comes to the search results.

 

So if you’re starting up a business and think that buying that fancy domain name for a big chunk of money would be an important SEO investment, think again.

 

While the name of your website is important (I’d personally go for short and memorable), search engines are now giving more weight towards content usability, social signals and usage data i.e. things that actually matter to the potential user.

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